Health: Stay hydrated and on top of your game

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As autumn looms and the temperature drops, a steaming cup of tea is more tempting than chilled water but think before you drink warns personal trainer and fitness expert Kirsty Walton.

“If you’re thirsty, chances are you’re already dehydrated which is why it is important to drink water throughout the day,” Kirsty said.

Around 60 per cent of the human body is made up of water and it is essential to maintain that balance in order to transport nutrients around the body, regulate body temperature and support digestion.

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Water is vitally important for your body to function fully, dehydration affects everything from your heartbeat to weight loss.

Water helps to keep your blood flowing and your heart functioning at full speed. A lack of hydration causes blood to become thicker making your heart work harder to pump blood round your body. A recent study suggests that drinking more than five glasses a day could reduce your chances of having a heart attack by as much as 41 per cent compared to people who drank less than two glasses per day.

Proper hydration provides muscle fuel, which can improve sport or gym performance. Sweating causes muscles to lose water and when it is when they don’t have enough that they get tired. Extra water equals extra energy which means a harder workout.

if you are trying to lose weight, being properly hydrated can make all the difference. Water can help you lose weight as it naturally reduces your appetite, staving off hunger pangs.

“Many of us confuse feeling hungry with feelings of thirst and eat when our body is telling us to drink,” explains Kirsty.

“And if your body is dehydrated, it’s more difficult to break down fat cells so you’ll find it harder to lose pounds.”

Although you may not think it, water also provides energy. One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is tiredness and feelings of lethargy, headaches can also be an indicator. It makes you more prone to catching any bugs that may be around.

Drinking water flushes out toxins and fights infection all over the body. Particularly good at helping prevent urine infections and kidney stones, water is also one of the best beauty products around as it gets rid of toxins in your body that clog pores, helping reduce the risk of spots.

According to the European Food Safety Authority, women should drink 1.6 litres and men two litres of fluid per day. This number does vary however depending on the temperature, activity levels, size, age and how much water is consumed through diet. Water rich foods are a tasty and easy way to stay hydrated.

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