When it comes to our health and vitality, rarely do we consider how important a role water plays in nourishing our bodies with its life sustaining attributes.
Water hydrates tissues, carries nutrients to cells, purges toxins from our vital organs, and eliminates waste. The lack of water in our bodies significantly reduces the effectiveness of all these bodily functions.
Some experts suggest that for our bodies to function at its best, we should drink up to three liters (10 glasses) of water daily.
Dr Emma Derbyshire, senior lecturer in nutritional physiology at Manchester Metropolitan University and adviser to the Natural Hydration Council, says:
“Our brain is 73 per cent water, so poor hydration can affect how it functions. Dehydration can reduce our ability to concentrate as well as our cognitive performance.”
In an interesting case study that appeared in the Daily Mail, UK resident Sarah Smith, 42, consulted with both a neurologist and nutritionist about an ongoing struggle with headaches and poor digestion.
Sarah was advised to increase her daily intake of water, and was particularly impressed when she read a survey suggesting that at least one in five women in the UK consumes less than the recommended daily intake of water.
So Sarah decided to conduct an experiment and drink the recommended three liter amount of water every day for a month. Before she began she consulted with a doctor to be sure there were no adverse health implications to increasing her water intake so dramatically.
Sarah took a photograph of herself the day she began and writes: “The photograph of me taken the day I started this trial demonstrates perfectly — and rather frighteningly — what a lack of hydration does to a face.”
Sarah remarked that even her lips look shriveled, which is classic evidence of poor hydration, because every system and function in our body depends on water.
“I am 42, but have to admit I look more like 52 in this picture, which is shocking. There are dark shadows under and around my eyes, which make me look exhausted, a profusion of wrinkles and strange reddish blotches, and my skin lacks any lustre. It looks dead.”
Here a few highlights Sarah documented in her journal
I exfoliate my face every day to try to get rid of dry patches before I apply moisturiser, but suddenly I seem to be breaking out in spots. Maybe it’s all the toxins coming out of my skin. A few days into the experiment I’m still urinating five or six times a day but it’s clear now, rather than dark yellow.
For years I’ve been doing ten minutes of yoga every morning straight after I get up, but I’ve been feeling stiffer over the past six months. Yet since I started drinking more water my flexibility has improved. Gemma Critchley, from the British Dietetic Association, confirms that water helps lubricate the joints.
Weight: (lost a pound)
My complexion is improving and my skin tone is more even. I still have wrinkles under my eyes, but they look less creepy and shadowy than before. The blotches on my face are diminishing, and the shadows around my eyes are less pronounced.
I haven’t had a headache for over a week now, which is unusual for me, and I’m delighted that my bowels are working so much better. Result!
Waist: 27.5in (lost half an inch)
The dark rings and wrinkles under my eyes have virtually disappeared, and my skin looks plumper and more nourished. My friend, who is a beauty therapist, says this is because the water is helping my skin cells regenerate more efficiently.
I’m eating less because drinking water with meals makes me feel fuller quicker. I used to snack, but I was reaching for food when I was actually thirsty. Studies show 37 per cent of people mistake thirst for hunger.
When I put on eye make-up, my eyes seem less wrinkled. When I rubbed an eye-shadow applicator over my eyelid, it used to drag the skin with it, too, but now my skin seems to have more elasticity.
Weight: (lost another 1lb)
Waist: 27in (another half an inch)
I genuinely can’t believe the difference in my face. I look like a different woman. The dark shadows around my eyes have all but disappeared and the blotches have gone. My skin is almost as dewy as it was when I was a child. The transformation is nothing short of remarkable.
I feel fitter, leaner and healthier, and my husband and friends tell me I look ten years younger. Who in their right mind would not want to try something which gets such incredible results?
Whatever happens, I am going to keep on drinking three liters of water a day – and would advise every woman to do the same.