Drinking water is essential for health. Representing up to 75% of body weight of each, water plays a key role in regulating multiple body functions, from brain functions physical performance, up to digestion and cell renewal. However, while it is clear that drinking enough water is important for health, it is also essential to have the right timing. It is in fact important to know the most suitable moments in which to introduce water.
The body is able to tightly regulate the water balance throughout the day by eliminating excess water through the skin, through sweating, lungs, kidneys and digestive system. However, the body is only able to eliminate a certain amount of water at a time.
Although rare, drink too much water it can disturb the sodium levels of the body elfluid balance, causing serious side effects such as headache, confusion, fatigue, convulsions and, in the most severe cases, the state of coma. Therefore, instead of drinking large amounts of water at the same time, it is important distribute the intake during the day to stay hydrated.
Try setting a timer to remind yourself to drink at regular intervals – there are also apps on your smartphone – and keep a glass of water on hand throughout the day to help you get enough fluids.
- Promotes the elimination of waste substances from the body, through the excretion of urine and sweat.
- Promotes muscle development in subjects who practice physical activity.
- Antagonizes the catabolic effects of cortisol: the adrenal glands increase the production of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that has a catabolic effect on muscle tissue, ie it tends to “break down” it to produce energy. Water counteracts this catabolic activity.
- It gives shape and stiffness to the fabrics.
- It allows to keep the surfaces of: nose, eyes, ears adequately moist.
- Gives adequate lubrication of the joints through the production of synovial fluid.
Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning is a good way to start the day in an optimal way. It is well established that drinking water upon awakening facilitates the maintenance of healthy hydration habits and increases your fluid intake throughout the day.
When you’re dehydrated, you need to increase your daily water intake to boost your hydration levels, which can be especially helpful for improving mood, brain function, and energy levels.
In fact, several studies show that even mild dehydration can negatively affect memory, concentration, anxiety levels and fatigue.
Drinking a glass of water just before sitting down to eat a meal, be it lunch or dinner, is a great strategy if you are following a diet that aims to lose weight. This not only increases the feeling of satiety, but also reduces the food intake during that meal.
For example, several studies have found that drinking 500ml of water 30 minutes before breakfast reduces the number of calories consumed by 13%; drinking 300-500 ml of water before lunch reduces hunger and the calorie intake of the meal.
During training, water and electrolytes are lost through sweat. Drinking plenty of water before and after exercise is important for keeping your body hydrated and helping to replenish lost fluids. Excessive fluid loss during exercise can also harm physical performance and cause electrolyte imbalances. It is recommended that you drink water or an electrolyte drink after exercise to help replenish lost fluids and optimize performance and recovery.
Excessive consumption of water (indicatively drinking more than 4-5 liters of water a day, in the absence of physical activity or particular climatic conditions), can be harmful to health and, contrary to what one might think, have no effect proven positive on weight loss.
Drinking excess water can cause:
- slowing of digestion. Excessive drinking during meals causes an excessive dilution of the gastric juice so that the meal tends to “stay on the stomach”;
- an increase in blood pressure due to an increase in blood volume.