How often do you say to yourself "This week I will start drinking more water" because you know how valuable it is to your health, but you never do? Drinking water has many more benefits than just prevention of dehydration.

By Lubna Al-midfa

Published: Sun 18 Jan 2004, 1:18 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:42 AM

Forty per cent to 60 per cent of your body is made up of water, and quite a large percentage of the earth is too. So it is only logical that water is the key to good health and more importantly, survival.

People these days are so accustomed to drinking soft drinks and juices. Water is a much better alternative for many reasons. For the eager dieters who are trying to lose weight, more water than juice should be taken.

According to dietician Rana Decker from Cosmesurge, Jumeirah Medical Center, juices are bad because they contain empty calories. Due to the fact that they have no fibre, they get absorbed too quickly triggering insulin release and much more hunger later.

She adds that for people who are not used to drinking water, can rest assured that after forcing themselves for two months to drink only water, their taste buds get programmed so that they start loving water and preferring it over any other drink.

Here is some valuable information about the importance of water from Masafi:

When a person gets thirsty, he or she reaches for food as they get a confusing signal of hunger when in fact they need water. Do not wait till you are thirsty to drink. Drink whenever you can.

Water keeps your cells intact, and serves as a lubricant for your joints and organs.

By increasing your intake of water, fatigue and dehydration are avoided as the water helps keep your mind alert and maintain equilibrium.

Water regulates the body temperature.

It carries important nutrients such as calcium, sodium and potassium to your cells.

Water is an essential component of one's beauty regime because it keeps the skin hydrated and therefore soft, supple and glowing,

It is necessary to drink enough water when coping with allergies. It keeps the secretions thin, which allows them to flow easier through the sinus passage.

To minimise saggy skin and wrinkles, drink more water.

Research has shown that women who drank five glasses a day showed fewer cases of colon cancer. Their risk is about half of what it is for women who drank less than two glasses a day.

Drinking 8-10 glasses a day, reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections in women. By increasing the amount of fluids extracted from the body, more bacteria that could lead to infection is flushed.

Water helps the kidneys and liver purify the body of the many chemicals and toxins we eat every day. More water fights constipation and minimizes kidney stones.

Drinking water is the best remedy for fluid retention. The body retains fluids when the supply is low. It shows up in swollen feet, hands and ankles. So when you are properly hydrated, the body actually releases excess fluids.

Drinking water before any activity keeps your heart rate and body temperature lower. It will also give you fluid to spare.

While exercising, you should continue drinking water every 20 to 30 minutes to replenish the fluid you are losing. This is because when the heart rate is elevated, the body loses water much more rapidly.

Another crucial point to make is that you should know what you are drinking. If you are unsure of the origin of the water you are drinking, you shouldn't be drinking it.

There are eight types of drinking water. These are tap water, bottled water, pure drinking water, natural mineral water, pure natural mineral water, natural spring water, natural sparkling, and sparkling. Pure natural mineral water is the best because it is in its most natural form and is therefore the healthiest.

Tap water is the least preferable to drink. Even though it is derived from lakes, rivers or reservoirs, it does go through chemical and/or bacteriological treatment. Its composition is unclear, but it is known that it goes through a lot of chemical treatment. It is more prone to bacteria and fungi contamination than bottled water. Plus, if the internal pipeline of your building is not well maintained, it is very likely that you are consuming unsafe water.

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