I have been thinking a lot lately about my water consumption. I don’t ever really drink it, unless it is in the form of coffee, tea, or seltzer water. I have always assumed that this satisfies my body’s hydration needs. A large number of us think this way, with 43% of adults drinking well under the recommended amount of water a day. However after looking at my daily energy levels, skin dryness, and digestion, I new there was a missing piece to the puzzle. Some days I would seemingly have more energy and be more focused, while others I would be dragging my feet all day with low energy. What was the difference? Water consumption.
I recently tried the GOMAD (gallon of water a day) protocol for a week and the results have been stunning to say the least. A very noticeable increase in energy, disappearance of dry skin, and better digestion followed immediately after proper hydration. I have completely re-thought my views on how much water is actually necessary for optimal health. I know many others that simply don’t drink water unless it is in the form of a flavored drink. By making a simple shift to consume more water, our quality of life can shift in a positive direction in a dramatic way. Let’s dig into why this is.
You Will Have Better Cognitive and Physical Performance
This one is important. How many days do you get up and simply not have the energy to move without forcing yourself? Many studies have been done on the effect of exercise while in a state of dehydration. In even a mild state of dehydration (2% of water weight lost through sweat), athletes had impaired cardiovascular, metabolic, and central nervous system function. All of those processes were remedied by re-hydration.
Not consuming enough water also affects your cognitive performance. In a study in healthy males, men walked on a treadmill under less than 1% water weight was lost. Cognitive and mood questionnaires were given before and after the walk. In a mild dehydrated state men scored lower on all cognitive and mood marks, showing increased levels of anxiety and aggravation. Now, you may be thinking this doesn’t apply to you if you aren’t an athlete. A state of mild 2% dehydration is easy to achieve after just a day of under consuming water.
The Health Of Your Skin Will Improve
This one is almost a no-brainer. Hydration is something I never thought about once while dealing with dry skin on my face, arms, and itchy scalp. I have always had breakouts of ashy, dry skin on my elbows and dry skin on my face. After drinking in accordance with the recommended amount of water per day, itchy skin basically dissipated, as well as itchy scalp. Before you call nonsense on this, there is some evidence to support it.
A study was done looking at whether hydration effected any of the three layers of skin (epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis). With a fixed amount of daily water added to their diet, adults had much improved levels of epidermal superficial and deep hydration. Their outermost layer of skin had much improved hydration and elasticity, bother markers for skin health. This was after adding about 67 ounces of water into their diet.
Your Digestion Will Improve
This is an important one for me as I have always had issues with proper digestion of food. Yet again, by drinking more water I was able to dramatically improve my digestion. This is because water is an important part of the digestive process. Fiber needs water to bind to it in the large intestine to bulk stools and allow for easier passing. When we aren’t getting enough water in, the colon pulls water from the stool, increasing the risk of constipation.
In older folks, low fluid intake is associated with a 2 fold risk of constipation.
Water is also key in the removal and filtration of waste from the bloodstream.
That’s it for this week folks. Try adding 4-8 8oz cups of water to your diet a day and see what happens. I think you will be suprised at how much of a change it makes to your wellbeing. Thanks for reading along, leave any question or comments down below!
Elliot Steele is a Primal Health Coach based in Chelan WA. He strives to empower those looking to regain their health after a lifetime of misinformed practices. This is the essence of Steele Back Your Health, to truly learn how to be healthy with sustainable habits. Check out the coaching and blog page for more info!