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Why Hydration Matters

We’re constantly advised to drink water regularly, whether by healthcare professionals, bloggers or even celebrities, with little explanation as to why. Water is often held up as a simple cure for all that ails us, but this is not due to a global aqua-specific conspiracy. It’s all true – clear fluids do benefit human health.

The Importance and Uses of Water

Most importantly, before going into why water is good for you, just a short sentence would cover it – ‘man can live without food for several weeks, but only 3 days without water’. Scary thought, so bear it in mind if water wastage comes easily to you. It’s also worth bearing in mind that excess water can also be a problem. The body can suffer ‘hyponatraemia’ – a situation where when too much is consumed, not only does it flush out impurities, but it also removes vital minerals at the same time, including essential ones such as salt and potassium.

The functions of water in the human being

Let’s start with the body. Some of the most significant benefits of water to the body are those we cannot see. Regularly sipping on clear fluids keeps the blood flowing around your body, delivering essential vitamins and nutrients to the heart and other internal organs. This all leads to a steady heart rate and healthy blood pressure levels.

What’s more, drinking water is akin to washing out our insides. Any bacteria that stubbornly clings to internal organs can be banished by hydrating. It’s hardly a secret that the more we drink, the more frequently we need to use the bathroom. That does not need to be a bad thing. Every trip will eradicate more unwelcome invaders from the body in the form of urine.

Drinking water is just as crucial to the mind as it is to the body. Much like water carries critical nutrients around the blood, it also helps the brain cells remain sharp and communicate with the rest of your bodg. 75% of the human brain is made of water, and we need to maintain this hydration level to keep our minds working to their greatest possible potential.

Many people complain of “brain fog” when the weather is too hot (or, let’s be honest, after a night of excessive alcohol intake!), finding it increasingly difficult to retain information or make decisions. This is because, when dehydrated, the brain lacks the appropriate lubrication to fire all synapses. Regularly sipping on room temperature water can rectify this. 

Drinking water will not just leave you feeling sharper in the moment – it can also play a role in alleviating the threat of anxiety and depression. We’re not saying that drinking water is a cure-all for any psychological concern. Always consult a healthcare professional if you are worried about your mental health. There is no denying that keeping hydrated enhances the brain’s chances of combatting these negative sensations, though. By remaining hydrated, the brain feels better equipped to process and negotiate challenging circumstances.

Best of all, plain tap water provides these benefits too. Unless it’s your preference to do so, there’s no need to pay a small fortune for bottled water. People choose to invest in mineral water for various reasons, from effective marketing to taste preference. Tap water is perfectly safe, though, and a one-time investment in a water filter or purifier will also provide the same taste sensation as bottled alternatives. 

If you consider the taste of water to be too plain for your palate, add a slice of fruit or squeeze in a little juice for some additional pizzazz. Try to keep this in mind next time you’re advised to consume eight glasses of water per day or switch your favourite fizzy pop for green tea.

Hydration really can make all the difference to your everyday health – both physically and mentally. Raise a glass with us, and let’s celebrate the importance of water to our wellbeing!

The uses of water in cooking

Without water, think of all the food you couldn’t prepare. Of course, soup is one of those! But it really starts from the raising of crops and animal life – without water, neither of those would survive. By feeding, both crops and animals produce well-textured and healthy food, and water, in general, will help in any cooking process. Boiling, steaming ‘sous vide’ cooking, poaching, braising and the making of many sauces and soups depend heavily on water, some more than others.

Let’s face it, you couldn’t even have a cup of tea or coffee without water, so what would we do all day! Do drink clear water whenever you can though and realise how lucky we are in the Western world, to have it available at the turn of a tap.

Author picture
Bev Perkins

An experienced chef, recipe developer, food writer and qualified nutritionist, Bev’s career has encompassed over 40 years. Educated in London and Paris, and with an unquenchable thirst for travelling, Bev’s passion for cooking evolved with a deep desire to learn about every cuisine in the globe, so whilst resident in Paris she enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu (formerly L’Ecole Culinaire de Paris) and spent two years learning her art. She furthered her experience working in restaurants in all corners of the world from bistros to Michelin-Starred establishments and finally with her own catering company providing food to both corporate and individual clients. An experienced writer and editor, Bev is never happier than with a pen in one hand and cookery book in the other!

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