Drink Up: Four Reasons Staying Hydrated Will Change Your Life

Khloe Kardashian swears it helped her lose weight. Gwyneth claims it’s “full of healing power.” Rose Huntington-Whiteley says it keeps her, achem, regular. It’s Gabrielle Union’s secret anti-aging weapon and Naomi Campbell says it keeps her breakouts in check. So, what is this mystery remedy? It’s not some magical pill or expensive cream… “It” is hydration. Yes, the answer to many of life’s most frustrating and most important issues could be as simple as making sure you’re getting enough H20. I checked out the latest research and here are the four reasons why my new #lifegoal is to up my fluids.

1. Cognitive Benefits

Forget the crosswords, Scrabble matches and memory games; did you know that upping your fluid intake could improve your brain function by up to 14%? I read a study out of The University of East London that showed that being satiated freed up parts of the brain that would otherwise be focused on being thirsty. Beyond this extra boost of brainpower, drinking more apparently allows the brain to function more efficiently. Since 75% of the brain is made up of water, like any muscle, it needs to be hydrated to perform properly. Dehydration can not only cause slower cognitive function, fogginess and lack of focus, but it can also result in mood swings, according to a study from Tufts University in Boston.  

Nevermind han-ger – thirst-ger (we’ll have to work on the nickname but you catch my drift) is a real thing! According to research published in the Journal of Nutrition, even mild dehydration can cause negative moods.  The goal, according to most experts, is to drink six to eight glasses of 8 ounces of water, or a water-based beverage a day.

2. Digestive Benefits

Having a little trouble getting things moving in the bathroom? You’re not alone – one in four Canadians is constipated at any given time One of the best things that I’ve been told that you can do to improve regularity is – yep, up your fluid intake! Getting ample fluids keeps the bowels smooth and flexible, allowing waste to move through it more efficiently. #WINNING! It may sounds counter intuitive but drinking more will also help reduce that annoying bloat. Insert dance emoji, here! When the body is dehydrated it often retains more fluids to store for later. When we’re giving our body what it needs, it let’s go of excess water, which can result in a flatter tummy.

3. Beauty Benefits

Ever wish there was a magic potion that could firm up your skin, clear up acne and make you look more rested? Well, there is, and it’s called hydration. It’s no accident that the Victoria’s Secret Angles swear by the beauty benefits of drinking fluids. Based on my research, here’s the basic logic, dry skin is less resilient and more prone to wrinkles – drinking more water makes skin moist which makes it more elastic and therefore smoother. Water also helps deliver nutrients to cells throughout the body and that includes the skin. If that’s not enough to get you chugging – dehydration can also cause the pores to clog thanks to dry, flakey skin – which leads to unwanted breakouts. (As if there’s any other kind.) Finally, staying well hydrated also reportedly helps to flush out the toxins in our skin – therefore helping to minimize free radical damage that can lead to premature signs of aging. To increase the detoxifying benefits, Adele Tevlin, nutritionist and executive weight loss coach, suggests I try something infused with cranberries – like Pact® Cranberry Infused Water Beverage. “Cranberries are loaded with phytonutrients, have a high antioxidant profile.” Adding to Pact® Water’s healthy profile is its use of stevia instead of aspartame! Adele advises, “Always avoid anything with aspartame since it’s a neurotoxin and acts like sugar in the body so can actually contribute to sugar cravings and weight gain.” Non merci.

4. Fitness Benefits

“As little as 2% loss in bodyweight (due to loss of fluids) begins to negatively impact exercise or sport performance,” this, according to sports dietitian Nanci Guest. She tells me that even the smallest amount of fluid loss can result in symptoms like increased fatigue and reduced muscular endurance. Hydration also plays a role in keeping our bodies cool throughout tough workouts and in helping the recovery of our muscles post sweat sesh – which means reduced soreness after leg day. #BLESS. Nanci urges athletes to ensure they’re properly hydrated by checking the colour of their pee, “Ask yourself: is my urine clear, light yellow, medium yellow or apple juice? Aim for light yellow and a good volume several times a day.” She also agrees that a cranberry beverage is one of the best options to sip on during a workout because the natural sugars in cranberries are high on the glycemic index meaning that they’re easily digested and quickly absorbed. Adele adds to the strong cranberry cause saying, “They are extremely high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese, as well as a good source of vitamin E, vitamin K, copper and pantothenic acid. They also help prevent urinary tract infections and neutralize the PH in the body.” Brb while I go buy a case of Pact® Cranberry Infused Water Beverage.

Happy sipping!

The opinions expressed in this article are from fitness enthusiast, Caleigh Rykiss. They are based on interviews she did as well as research studies she reviewed.