The general rule of thumb: eat fibre to keep things regular. Now a new study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology finds that staying hydrated may be more important than eating fibre for staying regular.
Researchers analysed National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data on about 9 000 adults from between 2005 and 2008. The researchers were interested in determining if people who consumed less fibre and liquid had a higher likelihood of irregularity. And yes, both men and women who had low dietary sources of liquid were more likely to have constipation problems. But – and here's the shocker – low fibre intake wasn't associated with the same effect.
Water keeps your body running – it helps regulate your body temperature, keeps your joints cushioned, protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and gets rid of waste through sweating, peeing, and the like, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here are a few more reasons to hydrate regularly:
It helps you lose weight
In a study published in the journal Obesity in 2010, adult dieters who drank a bottle of water before each meal for 12 weeks lost more weight than the dieters who didn’t drink the water beforehand. We’ll drink (water) to that!
It prevents kidney disease
People who consume the most fluids have a significantly lower risk of chronic kidney disease, according to a 2011 study from the University of Sydney in Australia.
It can make you run faster - and safer
In a 2011 study, 14 runners completed two sets of laps - one in which they showed up hydrated and got water during breaks, and one in which they had to limit their fluid intake during the run and for 22 hours beforehand. When they were able to get their hydration on, the runners had faster times and lower gastrointestinal body temperatures and healthier heart rates post-run.
It’ll put you in a better mood
In a study published last year in the Journal of Nutrition, mildly dehydrated young women experienced headaches, fatigue, worsened mood, and difficulty concentrating.
Ready to drink up now? Make sure you know the real deal on water-drinking myths, then refill your water bottle.
(This story originally appeared on womenshealth.co.za - visit the site to read the full version.)