Alice Tarnawski - Benefits of staying hydrated

Check out what physiotherapist, Alice Tarnawski has to say about the importance of staying hydrated;


We've all been told to 'drink more water' and we all know that it's important to stay hydrated, but we don't always recognise exactly why... Here are a few of the awesome benefits of hydration and hopefully a little incentive to keep up your fluid intake this summer!

More energy
Water is the medium for every biochemical reaction in our body. It's pretty important stuff! 
It's used for the transportation of nutrients, the release of glucose for exercising muscles and for mechanical function (the lubrication of our joints, eyes, mouth and more!). Did you know that as a little as a 2 to 5% reduction in hydration can directly reduce your aerobic performance? (Jeukendrup, Asker, Gleeson, 2015).

Without an abundance of this important molecule we can start to feel lethargic and achey, which might mean we're more likely to reach for that extra square of chocolate or jellybean and can't perform to our maximum potential at work, in the gym or on the sports field. 

Better muscle tone & less joint pain

Water makes up around 76% of our muscle mass and provides flexibility and elasticity to our tissues. Low-grade chronic dehydration can affect protein structure, metabolism and reduce muscle quality and function. In studies of dehydrated athletes, scientists found that these athletes had increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and in turn a reduced count of their muscle building hormones... If you're someone who is training to get stronger, or rehabilitating an injury it is especially important to stay hydrated to keep excessive amounts of cortisol at bay! If you have tight or painful muscles staying hydrated will facilitate faster recovery and ensure better results from your exercise, stretching and therapy.

Better mood, less headaches and improved cognition 

Mild to moderate levels of dehydration can make you irritable, cause headaches, reduce your capacity for short-term memory and make you feel less alert. Good news is that by rehydrating you can make yourself more alert, treat your headache and improve your cognition! (Popkin, D'anci, Rosenberg 2010). 

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Jeukendrup, A. (2011). Nutrition for endurance sports: Marathon, triathlon, and road cycling. Journal Of Sports Sciences, 29(sup1), S91-S99. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2011.610348

Popkin, B., D'Anci, K., & Rosenberg, I. (2010). Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition Reviews, 68(8), 439-458. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x

The Effects of Hydration on Athletic Performance. (2020). Retrieved 26 October 2020, from,increased%20rate%20of%20glycogen%20use.&text=The%20breakdown%20of%20glycogen%20during,of%20acids%2C%20principally%20lactic%20acid.

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