We know, we know…drinking water is good for us. It prevents dehydration, headaches, and gives the skin a beautiful glow. It’s necessary to expel toxins from the body and assists in the many functions our bodies have to process every day. And though the actual amount is specific for each person, we’ve all heard about the eight cups a day rule. So what’s new? It turns out that studies have shown that it’s not only how much water you drink that’s important but when you drink it.
In a CNN interview with nutrition specialist Dr. Melina Jampolis discusses the benefits to drinking water 30 minutes before a meal. She cites studies that showed weight loss in participants who drank one to two glasses of water before a meal. Not only did subjects eat less food after drinking the water but they also lost weight more quickly and in a greater amount than those who did not drink water. A reason for this, Dr. Jampolis says, could be that feelings of hunger and feeling of thirst are interpreted similarly by the body. People may be driven to eat when actually their bodies are just dehydrated. Drinking water consistently throughout the day and especially before meals prevents overeating and can stimulate the metabolism and speed up digestion.
However, physical health isn’t the only thing that sees improvement by drinking water. A recent article by the Huffington Post suggests that drinking water can improve brain function. One study showed that people who drank 3 cups of water before taking several mentally engaging tests scored higher results than the subjects who didn’t drink any water. A reason given may be that simply being aware of thirst is distracting for the brain so it’s best to take tests comfortably full and properly hydrated. But research has also concluded that a lack of water affects the make-up of brain cells which prohibits them from functioning properly. This is also why people are usually less than intelligent when they’re drunk. So though the specifics of why water improves people’s test scores are not completely understood, it is agreed that not drinking water hinders mental performance and can cause headaches, dehydration, and can lead people to do some very stupid things. Therefore, it’s probably best just to drink water anyway and let science take care of itself.
Yes, water. You’ve done it again. You’ve proven that you’re so much more than meets the eye. Besides the obvious health benefits, you provide us with a safe and effective weight loss solution and prove to be surprisingly important to our brains. Though here in America we are offer literally hundreds of alternative drink options, plain, tasteless, and, in most cases, completely free water remains the most important.
For several useful tricks on how to drink more during the day, check out this helpful article on The Huffington Post. A few suggestions include: setting a glass by your bedside and drinking it as soon as you wake up, carrying a refillable bottle around with you, and flavoring your water with fresh fruits and vegetables to break up the monotony.