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Sports & Fitness

Why Drinking Water Is Important (Especially in Protecting Yourself from Sickness)

Here’s why good ol’ H2O is better than that cup of caffeine

It seems tuning into the news has never been quite this puzzling. In the time of the coronavirus, staying informed rings synonymous to being left speechless at the staggering spread of illness, questioning leaders’ decisions and ultimately finding ourselves at a loss for what to do to help. While keeping ourselves updated and refusing to silently standby are part and parcel of being responsible citizens, we’ve got another obligation to fulfill: keeping ourselves healthy.

Even with hospitals full, the gym closed and the front door barred shut (except when an empty pantry calls for a refill, that is), there are a number of ways to keep that immune system in tip-top shape from home. One such method is one that we’ve heard since time immemorial but still forget to do: staying hydrated.

While there’s no universally agreed-upon measurement of just how much water we should be drinking per day, a good rule to go by is the 8x8 rule: that’s eight 8-ounce glasses every day. But what exactly is the point of glugging down that much (frankly tasteless) fluid? What benefits can good ol’ water bring?

Ahead, we break them down.

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Water keeps your skin glowing

Just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind. When life resumes regular programming, chances are your #skincaregoals will still be in place—so if there’s any time to take care of that complexion, it’s now. On top of ditching makeup and staying out of the sun, one of the best ways to care for the skin from the comfort of home is to drink up and get that hydration in.

Water keeps that energy up

Alright, you may be wondering what you’d need energy for when your WFH routine consists of laying in bed, answering Zoom calls half-dressed and walking to the fridge and back. But just like those skincare goals, your fitness goals may very well be within your reach now that you’re home all day. If you’ve been feeling lethargic and just too darn lazy to get started on that workout, remember that drinking down your fair share of H2O can help in giving you an energy boost.

Water powers up your muscles 

Speaking of workouts: when you finally get around to working up a sweat, it isn’t just sheer willpower that will keep those muscles going: those eight glasses you drink down daily will be of help, too. When the cells in your muscles don’t have enough fluid, you can expect muscle fatigue to kick in and for your performance to be sub-par. 

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Water regulates body temperature

As the tail end of March and the first licks of April approach, as do the warmer days of the incoming summer. As a tropical country, the Philippines is notorious for its scorching hot weather between the months of April and May—which means there’s no better time to keep a bottle of thirst-quenching water, which helps regulate the internal temperature of the body, nearby.

Water helps your digestive and urinary systems

The body is built to function like a well-oiled machine—if there’s enough water to support all our bodily functions, that is. From aiding in digestion to making sure the kidney cleans out toxins within the body, water keeps our systems in check. Drinking too little increases the risk of kidney stones, kidney failure and even seizures due to loss of electrolytes.

Water relieves congestion

With the threat of the virus looming, the last thing any of us want is to get sick. However, as healthy as we try to keep ourselves, some of us are still privy to illness and the common cold. Although we’re less likely to consume the recommended amount of water when sick, there’s definitely merit in drinking up. 

Flu and the common cold cause fluid loss, whether through sweating, faster breathing or diarrhea. Drinking your fill of water or any fluids with electrolytes helps in loosening mucus and getting rid of that headache-inducing, congested feeling that goes hand-in-hand with being sick. 

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Drink up, gulp down, bottom’s up. Here’s to caring for ourselves (and in turn, those around us!) even in the most trying of times.

Words Cessi Treñas

Art Matthew Fetalver

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