MILAN – Scientifically speaking, water is the basis of life. But in addition to being essential for our very existence, it makes us feel better in a number of ways. Here are the 6 reasons, given by the American portal Shape.com for which water can help solve some everyday health problems: from bad headaches to too many kilos.
Drinking water increases the metabolism
Water can increase the ability of the body to burn fat. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism has found that the metabolic rate increases by 30 per cent in healthy men and women. The increase occurred within 10 minutes, but was at its highest 30-40 minutes after drinking the water. The studies also suggest that a slight dehydration can slow the metabolism down by 3 per cent.
Helps the heart
Drinking sufficient water may reduce the risk of a heart attack. A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology has found that people who drink more than five glasses of water a day are 41 percent less likely to have a heart attack than those who drink less than two glasses. In addition, research shows that staying hydrated can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45% and bladder cancer by 50 per cent.
In a paper published in the journal Neurology scientists took a number of migraine sufferers and divided them into two groups: one group took a placebo, the other was told to drink 1.5 litres of water (about six glasses) in addition to their normal daily intake. After two weeks the group who drank the water had 21 fewer hours of pain than those who took the placebo as well as a decrease in the intensity of the pain.
Increases intellectual faculties
The brain needs a lot of oxygen to operate at optimal levels, and drinking plenty of water helps to store the amounts required. In fact, drinking from eight to ten glasses of water a day can improve levels of cognitive performance by as much as 30 per cent. Research has shown that a level of dehydration of just 1 per cent of body weight reduces cognitive functions.
Makes us active at work
Dehydration is the most common cause of tiredness during the day. Thus, low energy levels in the afternoon can be held at bay by a glass of water. It is also possible to work better and prevent 2 per cent dehydration levels from penalizing short-term memory and the ability to focus on the screen of a personal computer or a printed page.
In the long-term, consuming bottled water in place of other drinks is cheaper. In the United States it has been shown that a year of buying a bottle of water at lunchtime instead of a can of soft drink can help save as much as 180 dollars.
by Alessandro Conte