What are the health benefits of water?

What are the health benefits of water?

Whether you’re drinking water, getting active in it or simply bathing, H20 is awash with health benefits for your body and mental health

Water might protect against cancer and heart disease

Water helps convey nutrients, hormones and proteins around the body, and messages to the nervous system. Water also flushes out our liver, kidneys, bladder and bowels.

In fact, a US study found that men who drank six 250ml glasses of water a day halved their risk of bladder cancer, while another study suggested that women who drink more water cut their risk of colon cancer by up to 45 per cent.

Other research found it also lowers women’s risk of a heart attack.

Water might help you lose weight

Some research has suggested that quaffing Adam’s ale can help you burn calories. At the very least, it will curb hunger pangs and boost your energy.

Both hunger and fatigue might be signs of dehydration, as are headaches.

Healthy foods hydrate you too

Woman in red dress and sun hat bites into watermelonUp to 20 per cent of our daily water intake comes from food

While we should all be drinking six to eight glasses a day of this life-saving liquid, some healthy foods also have a high water content. These include smoothies, soups, cucumber, tomatoes, courgettes, watermelon and citrus fruits.

Swimming’s a great no-sweat exercise

Not only does swimming provide a full-body workout, destress you and boost your energy, it’s also a sport that won’t leave you sweaty, because the water surrounding your body will keep you cool.

Canoeing calms you down

Like swimming, canoeing and kayaking are low-impact sports. They’re great for your arms, torso and legs, but another bonus is paddling on tranquil water has a meditative quality and can release stress.

Paddleboarders have better balance

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is great for fitness, according to Australian research.

What’s more, it improves balance on dry land in older adults, according to
a 2018 Brazilian study.

Floating has the feel-good factor

But if the thought of all that activity has left you exhausted, you’ll be cheered to learn that floating in warm salt water in a flotation tank has been shown by researchers to lower stress and reduce pain, while increasing optimism and sleep quality.

For pain and stress, a bath is best

Woman relaxing in luxurious bubble bathShowers might make you cleaner, but a hot bath on the regular can have some of the same health benefits as going for a run

If sensory deprivation in a floatation tank is not your thing, just taking a warm bath will soothe aching muscles and make you feel relaxed.

Even better, a review of research from Coventry University found that a regular soak in a hot bath or hot tub, or session in the sauna, can replicate some of the benefits of exercise without having to lift a finger!

It can reduce blood pressure, blood glucose and inflammation.

Boost your immune system with a shower

Not only will a shower get you cleaner than a bath, it might have the added advantage of bolstering immunity from illness. A Dutch study where participants took hot-to-cold showers found that they had fewer sick days from work.

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