A new study has examined the dietary habits of more than 18,300 adults, and found the majority of people who increased their consumption of plain water by 1 percent reduced their total daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.
People who drank up to 3 cups more water:
- decreased their total energy intake by 280-830kJ daily
- decreased their sodium intake by 78 to 235 grams,
- decreased their sugar consumption by between 5-18 grams less sugar/day
- decreased their cholesterol consumption by 7gr to 21 grams daily.
This new study provides further support for the need to drink more water. According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, the normal turnover of water is approximately 4% of total body weight in adults. In a 70 kg adult, this is equivalent to 2.5-3.0L/day. Considering we get approximately 30% of fluid needs from foods, the average Australian should be drinking 2.0-2.5L of water/day.
The top 5 reasons health benefits of drinking more water includes:
1. Provides adequate hydration – our bodies are 70-75% water and it is essential to ensure our enzyme system work better. Our liver works better to detoxify the body with adequate hydration
2. It keeps us feeling full. Often the feeling of thirst is mistaken for a feeling of hunger. When you are hungry, try drinking water and see if that helps
3. It stimulates the metabolism – Your GUT is a muscle. By drinking water, you move food through the digestive tract and exercise the GUT muscles (a process called peristalsis). As such, you burn through calories more efficiently
4. We think clearer – 1-2% dehydration impacts cognition. So if you need to think quickly, increasing water can help. This is particularly important for athletes who need to make quick decisions on the sporting field. In addition, a common cause of headaches is dehydration and can often by simply overcome by drinking more water
5. We eat less sugar, fat, sodium and fats. The new study shows our diets are improved with more water.
Do how can we increase our water intake? Here are some tips:
- Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to plain water to add variety.
- Keep a bottle or glass of water handy on your desk or in your bag.
- Add ice cubes made from fresh fruit to a glass of water.
- Minimise dehydrating fluids (alcohol, caffeine etc)
- Eat raw fruits and vegetables – they are dense in water. You can get water from food, not just from beverages.
- Drink water and other fluids until you urinate frequently and with light colour (e.g. straw colour).