The Vital Role of Water: Understanding the Importance of Hydration

by Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Posted on Mar 15, 01:29 PM in . No comments.

Water is essential for our health. It regulates body temperature and supports cellular functions. In this article, we’ll look at the critical role of water and hydration, highlighting why maintaining proper hydration levels is essential for optimal health.

Water serves as the body’s primary transportation system, carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells while removing waste products [1]2. It plays a vital role in digestion, helping to break down food and absorb nutrients more efficiently [2]3. Additionally, water lubricates joints, cushions organs, and helps maintain the integrity of tissues and organs throughout the body [1]4.

One of the most critical functions of water is regulating body temperature. Through processes like sweating and respiration, our bodies lose water to maintain an optimal internal temperature [3]5. Staying hydrated helps prevent overheating and ensures that our bodies can effectively cool down when necessary, especially during physical activity or in hot weather.

Hydration is also essential for cognitive function and mental clarity. Dehydration can impair concentration, memory, and mood, leading to fatigue, irritability, and decreased cognitive performance [1]6. By drinking enough water throughout the day, we can maintain mental alertness and support overall brain health.

Furthermore, water plays a vital role in maintaining cardiovascular health. Adequate hydration helps ensure proper blood circulation, allowing nutrients and oxygen to reach cells and tissues efficiently [4]5. Dehydration can lead to thicker, more viscous blood, putting added strain on the heart and increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

Practical Tips for Staying Hydrated:

  • Carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day to ensure easy access to water wherever you go.
  • Set reminders on your phone or computer to drink water regularly, especially if you have a busy schedule.
  • Incorporate hydrating foods into your diet, such as fruits and vegetables with high water content, like watermelon, cucumbers, and oranges.
  • Drink water before, during, and after exercise to replenish fluids lost through sweat and prevent dehydration.
  • Flavour water with fresh fruit slices or herbs like lemon, lime, or mint to add a refreshing twist.
  • Aim to drink at least eight 200ml glasses of water per day, or more if you’re physically active or in hot weather.
  • Pay attention to your body’s thirst cues and drink water whenever you feel thirsty, as thirst is a sign that your body needs hydration.

UK Recommendations:

The National Health Service (NHS) recommends drinking about 6 to 8 glasses of fluid per day to prevent dehydration. This includes water, lower-fat milk, and sugar-free drinks, such as tea and coffee. Additionally, the Eatwell Guide advises that water should be the main drink we consume, with other drinks such as tea and coffee being consumed in moderation [7]8.


[1] NHS. “Water, drinks, and your health.” Retrieved from
[2] British Nutrition Foundation. “Healthy hydration guide.” Retrieved from
[3] World Health Organization. “Water and health.” Retrieved from
[4] British Nutrition Foundation. “Hydration and health.” Retrieved from
[5] British Nutrition Foundation. “Fluid and hydration.” Retrieved from
[6] NHS. “Dehydration – Symptoms and causes.” Retrieved from
[7] Public Health England. “The Eatwell Guide.” Retrieved from

About the author

Anne Myers-Wright

Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Anne is a Health Professions Council (HPC) registered dietitian (RD), an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD- Australia), a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and of The Dietetics Association of Australia.


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