How much water do I need to drink to have healthy skin?

I’m a chronic under-drinker. Not alcohol… I do plenty nicely there thanks! I’m talking about water, fluids.

esk drinking waterSo to avoid thirst, dry mouth and headaches, a few years ago I decided I’d keep a bottle of water on my desk and get through it in a day at the surgery together with copious cups of tea and coffee.

And since I’ve been taking better care of my hydration, I not only feel more energetic but I have noticed my skin getting better. Better hydrated, looking younger, plumper and smoother.

Connection? Thought I’d explore further.

Turns out that a group of researchers in Portugal did the same, following up women after advising them to drink smaller or larger amounts of fluid each day and then assessing their skin texture in a variety of sites… not just the face but hands and leg skin too.

Despite my intuitive thinking that the difference would be huge, these researchers failed to find any evidence that drinking more water helped the skin in any consistent way. This pretty much backs up the other studies done in this area.

So where does it leave you? My advice is to drink adequate amounts anyway. The NH&MRC (National Health and Medical Research Council- Our peak body of all things science here in Australia) says that as little as 2% dehydration in the body can make you tired and impair your reaction time and thinking ability. Plus it makes you feel thirsty and a bit dusty in general. So regardless of the effects on your skin, I’d keep up the fluids anyway!

How much?

Every country has different advice on this (seriously) but in Australia, the NH&MRC recommend 2.1 litres of fluids a day for women and 2.6 litres a day for men in addition to your food. Doesn’t have to be water mind you. Our science gurus say it all counts: coffee, tea, Coke and champagne! My advice? Stick to water, tea and coffee, skim milk. Calorie laden drinks like soft drinks, juices and sports drinks are bad for your waistline and terrible for your teeth. Traits that trump their excellent hydrating abilities! For me, drinking 2 litres of water a day is a tall order. I just don’t love water. So I bought myself a soda stream machine and that’s what I take to work each day… a bottle of Soda water!!

By the way around the same time I started really focusing on my fluid consumption, I also started our skin care company and started using our products. So I think that’s the reason my skin started looking younger and healthier. Not my water policy!!!

Do I need a toner?
Dr Ginni on Weekend Sunrise

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