The benefits of drinking water are endless. But very often we drink too little or too late – by the time you are thirsty you should already have picked up the glass. You need water to transport nutrients and to expel waste matter from your body. Drinking water also helps to avoid gaining weight and headaches.
Coffee, as long as you drink less than five cups per day, will not hurt you. Coffee can however become addictive, and can keep you awake longer at night. So every now and then, try to drink no coffee at all.
What are the benefits of drinking water?
Our bodies are more than half water, our brains are as much as seventy percent. Your management of fluids is therefore extremely important.
Not only is water necessary to keep your systems and organs functioning, but drinking a lot of water also works if you want to lose weight. You feel less hungry, and drink less sugary drinks.
In addition, drinking water stimulates your metabolism. Water is also vital for your brain: if you don’t drink enough you will function worse, and you can get horrific headaches. Your brain consumes a lot more water than you think! Scientists in Maastricht researched whether drinking water helped for migraines, and it did. Patients suffered from migraines for a shorter duration, and the pain itself was less bad.
And how about coffee?
In the Netherlands most people drink a huge amount of coffee. We drink on average four cups per day, men slightly more than women, and we tend to drink a bit more as we get older. In itself that is not a problem: up to five cups of coffee per day will not harm you.
Coffee can be addictive: coffee increases your level of dopamine – just like chocolate does – making you feel good.
In addition, caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors, an important substance that makes us feel sleepy and calms us. As the day advances, the effect of adenosine increases, making you feel more tired.
If you then drink a cup of coffee, you become alert again. That can be very effective, but if you do this too late in the day, you will disturb your natural night’s sleep. You do not start to feel tired naturally for no reason: if you suppress these feelings you are not giving your body the chance to rest. This principle also becomes addictive: you constantly need more coffee in order to achieve the same level of alertness.
If you cut coffee altogether, you will notice some withdrawal symptoms: headaches, lower energy or bad temper. But these symptoms are temporary. After two to nine days your body starts to work properly again – this time running on its own power.