In the modern world, many of us feel busier than ever. From aiming for success in the workplace to maintaining a regular exercise schedule to keeping on top of social plans, it feels like we’ve never had so little time to do so much.
But one thing that can seriously impact our ability to keep on top of the professional and the personal is…hydration. Put simply, we’re just not drinking enough water. According to statistics, people in the UK are only drinking around 53% of the optimal water levels they should be consuming every day, causing a whole host of potential health problems, including higher blood pressure, confusion, weakness, and fluctuating body temperature.
Dehydration can also be the reason why you’re lacking focus.
During busy periods, we can forget to look after our basic needs, leading to long-term chronic dehydration, negatively impacting mental and physical health. The general recommendation for daily water intake is around eight glasses or at least 2 litres, but many adults and children are failing to reach this crucial amount. So why exactly is hydration so important, and how can it help us focus? And if we want to hydrate better, which times of the day are best to do it? Let’s dive in.
Why is Hydration So Important?
Here are just some of the reasons why adequate hydration is the cornerstone of good health.
Hydration improves sleep
Being better hydrated can actually help you sleep better, which is one of the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle. Better sleep leads to better focus throughout the day, improved mood, and a better ability to maintain a healthy weight. This doesn’t mean that you’ll still be downing a couple of glasses of water just before you go to bed, though, as this can lead to unwanted toilet trips throughout the night, which disrupts sleep. Instead, hydrate throughout the day and evening, and you’ll enjoy better sleep as a result.
Hydration improves focus, cognition function, and mood
Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can impair aspects of brain function. When we drink enough water, our brain can function at its best, helping us to make clear decisions, excel at our jobs, and even boost our mood. This is why water shouldn’t only be seen as something to drink during a workout – it’s just as important to have a carton or glass bottle at hand at school or in the office.
Hydration maintains the balance of bodily fluids
Our bodies are 60% water, and maintaining this delicate balance is key to both long-term and short-term health. The functions of key bodily fluids include creating saliva, digestion, absorption of nutrients, circulation, and maintaining a healthy body temperature. Hydrating adequately every day ensures your body has the fluids it needs to function effectively.
Hydration helps your kidneys
Despite how many fad diets promise to detox your body, we already have something for that – our incredible kidneys! These organs are experts at removing harmful toxins from our bodies, but they can only function with adequate water intake. Failing to drink enough water means the kidneys have to trap extra fluid for bodily functions, which increases the risk of kidney stones.
Can Alkaline Water Help?
The catch is that not all water is created equally. While in most cases, tap water is adequate for keeping you healthy and hydrated; it’s not the best type of water to drink for your health.
Alkaline water, which is less acidic than your average tap water, has a mineral content like no other. The extra alkalinity in this water neutralises acid in your body, providing a buffer to the acid build-up that accompanies intense exercise. Plus, the high mineral content produces enhanced hydration levels, meaning more fluid gets delivered to your muscles for better performance and a faster recovery. This is especially useful during or after a workout when your body has lost a significant amount of fluid and minerals through sweat.