Of all the brain training techniques I've developed to keep my mind sharp, one thing I follow as my number one most important step every day is to stay hydrated. Yes, getting enough sleep and doing mind puzzles help keep us sharp. Physical exercise helps us exercise muscles to make them stronger. Yes, my CPR Brain Training techniques then keep us on track to make the changes we want, but it is hydration that is at the foundation of it all, for it is hydration that allows brain training to work its magic better anyway.
More than 50% of us (including our kids) are not drinking enough water. In fact, research has found that the number one reason for physical and mental fatigue in adults (and our children) is influenced by dehydration.
If, in fact, more than 70% of our body and brain is composed of water, then it is logical to see that both our brain and body rely on the amount of water we drink to function correctly. Even being 2 percent dehydrated will impact our ability to think and perform dramatically.
If brain function isn’t enough of a reason for you to stay hydrated, here are my other top 5:
1. You’ll slow the visible signs of aging
Your skin is your largest organ, and it is made up of cells that consist of water. De-hydration causes dry, flaky skin and will lead to more wrinkles… say what? If that’s not reason enough to drink up, try this too. The dehydrated skin has more prominent pores and is less elastic. In fact, according to Julius Few, the clinical professor of plastic surgery in the University of Chicago, the collagen in your skin relies on water to do its elasticity thing. When the skin is hydrated, it will be supple, elastic, and it will appear younger.
2. You could even live longer because water reduces hypertension (reduces blood pressure).
One of the simplest ways to lower blood pressure is to drink enough water. When we do not stay hydrated, our body gradually shuts down its capillary beds. When this happens, the pressure is put on our capillaries and arteries. This results in elevated blood pressure.
3. Ever heard anyone say ‘kidney stones are akin to the pain of having a baby? Kidney stones often result from chronic dehydration.
By keeping yourself hydrated, your kidneys function properly. Water prevents blood urea nitrogen buildup by excreting it in our urine. I know this to be true because earlier this year my husband had a nasty gastro bug and became very dehydrated. Before he'd even recovered he was overcome by severe pain so excruciating that he begged to be taken to hospital in the wee hours of the morning. He was hospitalised with a massive kidney stone and had to have two operations over the next 6 weeks; a lot of pain and a long recovery period caused by dehydration. All waste in our body requires hydration in order to be eliminated. Water also helps maintain regular bowel movements.
So all waste products are removed from our body more effectively when we drink enough water; stay hydrated for the body to function correctly. Who wants to keep all that toxic waste inside? Not me!! Drink up.
4. Drinking water helps reduce pain… yep, you heard it right! It will help alleviate joint pain if you stay hydrated.
The cartilage, a connective tissue on our joints that serve as a cushion between the bones, is made up of 60% water. When we do not drink enough water, joints become dehydrated, causing joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. These conditions limit our movements and affect our daily lives.
5. The 2% Hydration Rule
If you experience thirst, you are already 2% dehydrated. By the time your brain registers you are thirsty, it means that the water in your brain and body has already decreased by two percent. It is our brain’s way of telling us to drink up. Give yourself the water you need.
Drink up to live well!
Unleashing Your Potential