Do you drink enough water? Despite all the messaging, the answer is "probably not". We're often told to drink eight glasses of water a day, but it's quite rare (for us, anyway) that we ever really hit that amount. This is a shame, because drinking more water is one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve our health.
We all know water is good for our skin and our kidneys, but (relatively) recent research has found it's worth picking up the biggest size you can get when browsing our best water bottles guide. A joint study between Hokkaido and Keio Universities in Japan examined healthy, adult men and women who increased their water intake from 1.3 liters per day to 2 liters (the recommended intake).
The results were surprising. An extra 700ml of water meant the respondents had significantly lower systolic blood pressure after properly hydrating for 12 weeks. High blood pressure is a potential indicator of cardiovascular problems, as it can damage arteries by making them less elastic, and is often caused by lifestyle concerns such as stress and metabolic syndrome.
Always on the go? Drinking water can help alleviate your blood pressure issues caused by a high-stress lifestyle.
What's more, the extra water was found to benefit respondents' kidney health, increase body temperature and even promote the "existence of an intestinal microbiome", encouraging the development of healthy gut bacteria. Good gut health is instrumental to the human body's good health, from your skin to your mental health, as well as aiding digestion.
An extra 700ml, or two large glasses of water, is enough to cause these improvements. If they were in a pill, you'd take it every day without question. So why aren't you drinking enough water?
It's even been found to aid with weight loss. Research from as far back as 2016 found that adequate hydration aided with the process of lipolysis, or burning fat, "reducing the risk factors in the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes". Drinking water before meals also increases your perceived satiety levels, helping with your tendency to overeat.
Too often we confuse thirst for hunger, especially as we eat salted, sugary foods. Coupled with a session on one of the best exercise machines to lose weight, drinking more water is one of the easiest things you can do today to burn off your spare tire.
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Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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