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The Importance of Good Hydration for the Prevention of Chronic Diseases

The Importance of Good Hydration for the Prevention of Chronic Diseases

Water makes up 50-60% of our body, and just like its omnipresence in nature, water has become an indispensable aspect of living.

Yet it can be taxing to keep track of your water intake during timeless work hours. 

Although water requirements vary for everyone depending on many factors, the goal is not to deprive the body of it.

Drinking more water has excellent benefits for all of the body's microscopic cells and we can even help prevent or manage chronic diseases by making proper hydration a daily habit.

  • Health benefits of good hydration

    Body fluids are responsible for the magic every organ creates, from cell birth, cognition, thermoregulation, hormone secretion, blood circulation, metabolism, and excretion to cell regeneration.

    Good hydration significantly boosts energy levels and cognitive abilities. Increased water intake leads to mental clarity, active short-term memory, and an increased level of happiness. Plus, it lessens the frequency of migraines.

    For those who carry out high-intensity exercises, optimal hydration reduces oxidative stress and boosts physical performance.

    Water breaks down food, enabling nutrient absorption and normal bowel function. It also smoothens digestion, making it easy for the intestines to flush out waste.

    Drinking more water helps kidneys filter toxins like urea and nitrogen from the blood that pass as urine. [2]

  • How does hydration prevent chronic diseases?

    The Brain

    Water facilitates neurotransmitters to communicate with each other by carrying nutrients and flushing out toxins that otherwise impair cognitive performance.

    When fluid level drops by as little as 1-3% of body weight, it exposes detrimental reactions like poor memory and concentration, degraded mood, migraine, stress, and overall mental fatigue.

    Clinical trials in mild to moderately dehydrated patients have proven increased instances of cortisol, the stress hormone. So, water becomes your first cost-effective, healthy solution to prevent chronic stress and disruption of neurons and synapses. [3]

    You can also enhance cognitive abilities and make fast, informed decisions with optimal hydration.

    Body fluids improve internal sleep-wake cycles and pacify patients on the verge of chronic sleep disorders.

    The Alzheimer's Society has proven that drinking plenty of water lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and other instances of dementia, a chronic illness affecting the elderly.

    So remember, when you enter a mental state of confusion, irritability or lethargy, try drinking a glass of water and see how it rejuvenates the spirit from inside!


    According to researchers at The National Institutes of Health, staying well-hydrated reduces the risk of developing chronic heart disease. [4]

    Conditions like heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy (enlargement and thickening of the heart) develop when the heart does not pump enough blood for circulation.

    Water alleviates the strain on the heart in pumping blood by thinning down the blood vessels and facilitating circulation.

    Hydration regulates blood volume by managing any potential drop in blood pressure and helps prevent low blood volume shock.

    In cases of high blood pressure (a common chronic illness), fluid loss induces vasopressin hormone to secrete. In high concentrations, it constricts blood vessels and hence spikes blood pressure. However, it's important to note that more research is needed to understand the connection between hydration and high blood pressure.


    Dehydration leads to gastrointestinal dysfunction that disturbs the stomach for prolonged periods.

    To cut down the risk of this happening simply up your water intake to help loosen things in the intestinal tract and let stools pass more freely.

    Almost everyone has encountered constipation at one time or another and usually, the first call to action for relief is good old laxatives.

    However proper hydration with water and electrolytes helps to hydrate the digestive tract. This results in a better environment for the microbial colonies that are so vital for our health. The result of this is better bowel function and consequently better health.

    Whatsmore, research claims that drinking water before a meal may reduce appetite leading to a decreased risk of obesity. Also, fluids burn more calories causing modest weight loss and helping prevent many chronic health risks. [5]

    Liver and Kidneys

    The kidneys and liver are the detoxifying agents of the body. A simple detox remedy in the form of hydration reduces the burden on these organs by thinning the blood toxins.

    The kidneys clean blood quickly while the water-fed liver metabolises its wastes. Drinking water before meals protects the liver from chronic diseases by keeping it lean.

    Kidney stones are another common threat which can turn into total renal failure. Patients on dialysis have reported severe dehydration as a potential cause.

    Increasing fluid intake is a great preventive strategy for chronic conditions such as prerenal azotemia that have the potential to progress to outright failure. [6]

    Bones, Joints & Muscles

    Proper hydration plays a significant role in orthopaedic health. Water carries calcium and other nutrients to strengthen the bones and the synovial fluid, which acts as the cushion between bone joints.

    Joints, when well-lubricated, prevent wear and tear injuries by absorbing the shock of sudden movements.

    Also, toxins may deposit on bones, causing inflammation and weakness. Fluid flow washes away toxins, preventing deposits and degradation. Since joint cartilage doesn’t heal fast, it’s essential to stop chronic joint pain and arthritis by staying hydrated.

    From bones, joints, and bone marrow to muscles - the entire muscular-skeletal system relies on hydration to stay healthy and in shape. [7]

    Total Body

    Diabetes is a chronic disease which threatens the health of all organs. Statistics show that about 422 million people worldwide suffer. [8]

    Good hydration helps with diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels and suppressing sugar cravings.

    Feeling tired and lethargic may be tell-tale signs that the body is running low on fluids.

    Craft a high-energy and healthy lifestyle by consuming sufficient water, which combats fatigue and all sources of fluid loss.

  • Balancing Water

    Balancing water, salt and sugar levels

    At a cellular level, our system will function adequately when we strike a good balance between water, electrolytes and sugar intake.

    Water requirement depends on various factors. However, health experts claim that the ideal water intake quantity is - 11 ½ cups (2.7 litres) per day for women and 15 ½ cups (3.7 litres) for men respectively. To easily remember, the recommended intake is eight 8-ounce glasses per day. [9]

    Electrolytes regulate essential body functions, including nerve responses, pH balance, and muscle contraction. Aim for around one teaspoon of salt per day. [10]

    When it comes to sugar, avoid all added sugars and if necessary use natural sugar alternatives. Avoid processed foods with hidden sugars.  Be careful to ensure you do not consume excess sugars.

    Tasty hydrating alternatives to drinking water

    Hydration is crucial, but it’s hard to push plain water down your throat all of the time. Drink a glass of water before bed and in the morning to tick two of the eight glasses. How about adding juicy fruits and vegetables to your diet?

    Coconut water can become your next give-me-more beverage! Loaded with 94% water and antioxidants, it aids heart and kidney health.

    Or why not try some delicious water-infused recipes?

    Tip apple and mint sprig into a jug of cold water, or choose combinations like rosemary sprig and watermelon chunks, strawberries and basil leaves, a spray of lime, mint and ginger, a wedge of lemon, cucumber or anything else you love!

    Fruit salads, smoothies, squashes, and herbal tea all go well as refreshments. [11]

  • To summarise

    Each glass of water missed may have a long-term detrimental effect on your health

    There’s enough research out there to support the miraculous purpose of hydration. Each glass of water missed may have a long-term detrimental effect on your health.

    Dehydration is a potential concern for those who engage in physical activities or already have a chronic health condition.

    All efforts towards good hydration go a long way in protecting the body and its organs which may otherwise be vulnerable to chronic health risks.

    Written by Kieran Higgins, Health Writer.

    Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.