Does drinking more water help you live longer?
Water is crucial for survival. On average half of an adult’s body weight is water (the exact figure varies depending on both age and gender), but the water we drink makes a long list of vital body functions possible.
With this in mind, staying hydrated is the key to maintaining health and wellbeing, but could all those glasses of water you’re drinking help you live longer?
We take a closer look at the link between drinking water and life expectancy, and decipher whether staying hydrated daily could mean a longer, happier and healthier life.
Water – the ultimate elixir?
Due to its countless health benefits, water is often referred to as an elixir, and for good reason.
Drinking water regularly and avoiding the damaging effects of dehydration helps you reap a number of rewards. These include enhanced memory and mood, easier weight management, improved physical performance, good digestion, better immune function, and a lower risk of a wide range of mental and physical health conditions. These may include anxiety and depression, kidney stones, bladder infections, and migraines.
As well as preventing several illnesses and diseases, good hydration can make the management of existing health problems more effective. Arthritis is one of the many conditions that can be relieved by a water-rich diet.
Living longer through better hydration
Eating a healthy and balanced diet has long been known to reduce the risk of premature death.
Along with the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day and regular exercise, staying hydrated has also been connected to living longer.
Thanks to water’s amazing capability to minimise the risk of various health problems and in turn boost immunity, drinking more water on a regular basis can give you a powerful way to improve your health and live longer.
According to The Harvard Gazette, adopting healthy lifestyle habits like drinking water regularly can increase your life expectancy by as much as 12 to 14 years.
How to up your water intake
Your body needs water to stay healthy, but drinking enough of the good stuff isn’t always easy – especially as you get older.
Here, BBC Good Food reveals how much water you should drink to reap the rewards detailed above:
“Each individual’s needs are unique to them and depend on their health, age, size and weight as well as activity levels, the type of job they do and the climate they live in. Drinking little and often is the best way to stay hydrated.
In the UK, the Eatwell Guide suggests you should aim for 6-8 glasses of water and other liquids each day to replace normal water loss – around 1.2 to 1.5 litres. Water, lower-fat milk and sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count.”
Upping your water intake is simple with the right know-how. You should aim to hit small and manageable water drinking milestones throughout the day.
Aligning water drinking with activities you do daily, like go to the loo or eat a meal or snack, will also help you remember to drink water more regularly.
Don’t forget there are several healthy drinks you can enjoy to fulfil your hydration goals. You can also incorporate water-rich ingredients into meals to increase hydration through the food you eat.
Stay hydrated on the go as well as at home by reading our essential guide.