As summer kicks in and temperatures continue to soar, you might find you’re left feeling extra thirsty – both inside and out. Heat, humidity and cranked-up air-conditioning all have one thing in common; they leave us dehydrated. Cue dry skin, lethargy, and mirage-style visions of cool, flowing water you’re longing to dive into and guzzle up all at once. " H2O: Get the glow “
It’s a well-known fact that water is an essential part of staying healthy. But it’s also said to be the key to keeping a youthful, radiant complexion. The A-list credit their water-drinking ways as the catalyst to looking so good, with radiant beauties like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and J-Lo declaring it a vital element of their beauty regime. Water is making waves in the world of health and beauty. So if you want to get the glow turn to H20.
It’s been drummed into us all that we need to be drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water a day. Large glasses that is, teeny little cups just won’t cut it. But have you ever stopped to think why? Well, here’s the answer: As babies our bodies are made up of nearly 80 per cent water, but as we age this depletes and the average adult is 50 to 60 per cent H20. The human brain is about 85 per cent water, whilst bones are between 10 to 15 per cent, muscles are 75 per cent and blood is 92 per cent. So it’s clear we need to maintain our water levels to stay in tip-top condition both mentally and physically. Even when our water levels drop by what seems only a minimal amount, every part of us is affected. We start to feel thirsty when we lose about 2 to 3 per cent, but mental performance and physical coordination start to become impaired at 1 per cent dehydration.
Ever wondered why you feel tired and can’t concentrate later in the afternoon? Don’t reach for the nearest biscuit (however tempting), because a glass of water is most likely what you need…“Water is the most vital nutrient required by the body,” says Dr Archana Arora, leading dietician at Health Factory, Dubai. “It acts as the main transport system in our body and its scarcity causes a reduction in the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the cells, which makes us feel tired. A 2 per cent drop in body water can cause a small but critical shrinkage of the brain, impairing neuromuscular coordination, decreasing concentration and slowing thinking.”
Arora goes on to list many other effects of dehydration, including cramps, slow muscular response, a number of digestive issues, from constipation to ulcers, and kidney diseases – as, without water, kidneys can’t excrete metabolic waste, which leads to the accumulation toxins and bacteria. Bad news.
The good news? Water can help you lose weight, as it not only helps to suppress your appetite, but, as Arora says, it actually reduces water retention: “Yes, believe it or not, if your body is deprived of water, it is more likely to hold on to what little it has.” So you can beat that belly bloat just by getting your glug on. We hope you’re knocking back those eight glasses by now…
But water doesn’t just make us feel good, it can help us look better too. Dr Upendra Acharya, a dermatologist at the Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre, explains why. “Skin is the largest organ in the body, and like any other organ is formed of cells made up of water. Without adequate water, the skin cannot function properly or at its best.”
After seeing a #selfie on Instagram of a gorgeously glowing girl who said the secret to her luscious locks and super skin was drinking three litres of water a day, Sabrina Bachai, a New York-based health journalist, decided to follow in her footsteps – upping her water intake for a week. She didn’t change anything else in her diet or lifestyle, but noticed that in just seven days she was sleeping better, her skin looked fuller and she lost a kilogram. Bonus!
Dr Acharya adds, “Well-hydrated skin gives a more radiant glow. Lack of hydration will result in dry, tight and flaky skin… Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone
to wrinkling.” So water helps wrestle wrinkles? We’re all ears!
Dr Arpita Jain, dermatologist at the Aster Aesthetic Clinic in Dubai, is also all for getting the glow from H20. She says, “Skin forms the protective barrier for our body against all environment hazards, and water is an essential component of this barrier layer. Also water hydrates the skin cells, plumps them up and adds to the glow and radiance of skin. It also protects it from premature ageing.” She adds that dehydrated skin tends to develop wrinkles faster.
According to a study by dermatologists who monitored the effects of long-term water intake on skin, after four weeks, those who drank mineral water showed a decrease in skin density – suggesting that skin was retaining more moisture. They also reported that water can help banish blemishes, thanks to its ability to flush out skin-inflaming toxins.
It’s clear all those bottle-boasting celebrities and supermodels are on to something, as hydration holds the secret to sublime skin. The Journal of Dermatology recently revealed that healthy hydrated skin aged just 22 per cent over eight years, compared with dehydrated skin which aged a staggering 55 per cent over the same period. Scary.
So give skin a helping hand with these hydrating heroes – guaranteed to maximise moisturisation from the outside whilst water works its magic on the inside…