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What can you do in the next 2 minutes that will increase your health and brain function?
Well let’s think about that. A 2 minute power-walk would burn about 10 calories and get your circulation going, so that’s something. Or you might have enough time to chew a couple mouthfuls of spinach. Those are both pretty good 2-minute options. But there is another, simpler option that might even be more beneficial:
Drink a big glass of water.
Now, we all know it’s BAD to be dehydrated; I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know. But do you also know being fully hydrated leads to all sorts of health benefits?
Here are a few of my favorite reasons for getting up right now and filling up a tall glass of the cool crystal clear elixir of life.
Water Makes You Smarter:
Being dehydrated can impair cognitive performance. That’s pretty significant especially considering our thirst mechanism doesn’t kick in until we’re down 1-2%, too. So, if you’re feeling thirsty, might not be the best time to sit for the bar exam.that, your brain needs a lot of oxygen. Drinking plenty of water ensures it gets the oxygen it needs to work properly. Research shows even a 1-2% decline in the body’s water levels
Water Gives You Energy:
Tap water as an energy drink? Who knew! You’re constantly losing water and electrolytes through your breath, sweat, urine and bowel movements, so even mild dehydration can exhaust you. The Natural Hydration Council found that one in 10 consultations for tiredness and fatigue could be attributed to dehydration, and more than a third of the patients reported feeling better after drinking more water. So the next time you find yourself feeling sleepy when you shouldn’t be, drink up!
Water Lifts Your Mood:
According to the findings of a study published in Appetite, in which 120 young female recruits recorded the details of their lives for 5 days and then answered mood questionnaires, the greater the water consumption, the higher their mood levels. In another study, 30 people who habitually drank about five cups of water a day doubled their intake for three days. Mood improved, as well as energy levels. The researchers then had another 22 well-hydrated people decrease their water intake. Low water intake led to worse moods, more headaches, confusion and tiredness. Hey, why not try water next time you need a mood booster? It’s plentiful, free, and easy to come by.
Water Helps You Lose Weight:
Dehydration can mess with your metabolism and trick you into thinking you’re hungry. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found drinking one and a half liters of water would increase the metabolism by 30% starting 10 minutes after drinking and sustaining for another 60 minutes. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to rev up your metabolism, look no further than the faucet in your kitchen.
Water Gets Rid Of Toxins:
Okay well you got me here. It’s actually our liver and kidneys that work to get rid of toxins in our bodies. BUT! They depend on water to be able to do their jobs most effectively. Think of it along the lines of diluting the polluting. Diluted toxins coming into the liver and kidneys are easier for your body to deal with.
Okay Stef, I get it. Drink More Water. But How Much?
What a great question, happy to answer! The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
- About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
But as a reminder, food also has water in it, so you can account for about 20% of your fluid intake to come from the foods you eat each day. Plus, you should take these numbers as a guideline, not law. You may need more or less depending on various factors; exercise, weather, medications, etc. The best thing you can do is to pay attention to your body, and if you ever feel thirsty, don’t wait. By the time you notice a thirst, your body has already dropped its hydration levels a percentage or two…and that’s not good. As I mentioned above, a percentage is enough to impair your brain function.
And with that, let’s all go get our water bottles and Fill. Em. Up.