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5 more reasons to drink water

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5 more reasons to drink water Empty 5 more reasons to drink water

Post by Tee on Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:36 pm

WE ALL know water is good for us, but the latest research shows it has some surprising health benefits.

About 60 per cent of our body weight is water, a statistic that highlights how important the substance is in keeping us healthy. But our body can’t produce all the water it needs, so topping up our supplies, particularly during summer or while exercising, is vital.

Losing as little as two per cent of our body weight due to dehydration - about 1.4 kilograms for a 70-kilogram person - affects our mental and physical performance, says Clare Evangelista from the Dietitians Association of Australia.

“This can affect our response times and muddle our thinking,” she says. “Not drinking enough water can lead to a range of other health issues too - from kidney stones, saggy skin and urinary tract infections to headaches, poor dental health and hunger pangs.”

The average adult loses about 1.5 litres of fluid a day via urine and another litre through breathing and sweating. We receive about 25 per cent of the fluid we need each day from food, while the remaining 75 per cent has to come from drinking.

We look at what the latest research says about the wet stuff.
1. Maintains blood-sugar levels

French research has found people who drink four or more glasses of water a day are 21 per cent less likely to develop high blood-sugar levels than people who drink less than two glasses of water a day.

High blood sugar increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. The study followed 3615 people, who all had normal blood-sugar levels at the start of the study, for nine years.

“If confirmed, this is another good reason to drink plenty of water,” says Ronan Roussel, professor of medicine at the Bichat Hospital in Paris. However, he says more research is needed.

Evangelista says it makes sense that if blood volume decreases because of dehydration, other elements in the blood, such as sugar, sodium and potassium, become more concentrated.

“Potassium helps control our heart rhythm, so if potassium levels are too high due to dehydration, that can cause heart palpitations,” she says.

2. Keeps the heart healthy

Severe dehydration can lead to blood thickening, says Barbara Eden, senior nutrition manager at the National Heart Foundation of Australia.

“When water in the blood dehydrates, blood becomes more viscous and harder to pump through the body,” she says. This can put pressure on the heart.

“Water maintains our blood volume and transports nutrients such as energy, vitamins and minerals,” Eden says.

“It also allows our muscles to contract easily so, like any other muscle, our heart muscle needs water to function.”

3. Boosts brain power and reduces headaches

A study carried out in India involving soldiers who lost one, two, three or four per cent of their body weight due to dehydration found the soldiers’ performance in maths and short-term memory tests deteriorated significantly after they lost two per cent of their body weight.

Drinking water also seems to have an impact on headaches. In a Dutch study, 18 people with migraine headaches were advised to drink an extra 1.5 litres of water a day for 12 weeks or were given placebo medication.

Over a final two-week symptom recording period, the group drinking extra water reduced the total hours of headache by 21 hours.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/ipad/more-reasons-to-drink-water/story-fn6jaj16-1226206137356

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