Health Benefits of Drinking Water
Water is the healthiest beverage you can drink. It takes three minutes for humans to die from lack of oxygen and about three days to die from lack of water.
Why Should You Drink More Water?
There’s a reason water is called the lifeblood of the planet.
But in spite of all of these benefits, over 80% of people don’t drink their daily recommended number of servings of water.
Doctors typically recommend a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day – but in reality, most people should be drinking many more than that.
So why exactly should you be drinking more water?
Here are just a few of the benefits of drinking water you can enjoy:
Balance your Body Fluids
Most people know that the human body is made up of about 60% water. Where do you think that water comes from? That water doesn’t stay in your body forever: it needs to be replenished constantly or else we get dehydrated.
Water can be found in all parts of the body – from the digestive system to the circulatory system. It’s in our saliva, our brain, our kidneys, and the liver. When these organs don’t get enough water, their functionality decreases.
Drinking more water can replenish your bodily fluids and make all your organs function more effectively. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply get rid of a headache, balancing your body fluids is always important.
The weight loss benefits of water have long been a point of debate. What we know today is that water isn’t a magical weight loss fluid. However, drinking more water can still help you lose a significant amount of weight.
Why? Well, when we drink water, we’re replacing less-healthier beverages. Instead of having a beer or a sugary soda, we’re just having clean, refreshing, calorie-free water.
Another weight loss benefit of water is that it helps us feel fuller. One of the oldest dieting tricks in the book is to simply drink water when you’re hungry– or drink water before and after meals to reduce overindulging.
Foods with high water content also tend to look larger. The larger volume may require more chewing and it may trick your body into thinking you’ve consumed more calories that you actually have.
Boost Energy in your Muscles
Without water, the body cannot function. Your muscles are among the first parts of your body to feel dehydrated. The cells in your muscles will literally shrivel when they don’t get enough fluids and electrolytes. When cells shrivel, it causes muscle fatigue.
This makes you feel weak. It reduces the effectiveness of your workout. It can cause serious and permanent health problems.
Clear Up Your Skin
Sick and tired of having acne? Embarrassed about your skin tone and blemishes when you look in the mirror? In many cases, skin problems are directly related to your diet. A poor diet leads to poor skin.
There’s a scientific reason why water clears up your skin: your skin cells contain plenty of water. They also function as the first line of defense to prevent excessive fluid loss.
With that being said, you can’t simply drink 60 glasses of water every day to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. If that was true, then the anti-aging supplement industry wouldn’t exist! Your body will simply remove excess moisture from the body after all your skin cells have been replenished.
To maximize hydration, use a moisturizer. Moisturizers lock hydration into your skin and prevent moisture from escaping. This forces skin cells to retain fluid, which can eliminate fine lines and wrinkles even further.
Cleanse your Kidneys
Your kidneys cleanse toxins from the body and excrete those toxins through the urine. That’s why you don’t die every time you eat small amounts of pesticide in your food or breathe toxic fumes in the air.
But without water, our kidneys can’t function. When you don’t drink enough water, your urine becomes dark. When you are drinking enough water, your urine should be clear (or extremely light-colored) and free of odor.
When you’re not getting enough water, the concentration, color, and odor of your urine increases because your kidneys take all the extra water in your body for more critical bodily functions.
Ultimately, a lack of water can lead to serious health problems like kidney stones.
Maintain Normal Bowel Functionality
Obviously, the more you drink, the more you pee. But water’s connection to healthy bowel functionality goes far beyond urination.
Water actually pushes fecal matter through your digestive tract and prevents constipation. When you don’t get enough water, your colon will pull water from your fecal matter (your stool) to stay hydrated. This can make it difficult to maintain normal, healthy bowel movements.
WebMD.com claims that water “acts like a broom” to keep your bowels functioning properly. If you have a history of constipation and digestive problems, you may want to start drinking more water.
Boost your Productivity
Drinking a healthy amount of water can boost your productivity and help you focus. As mentioned above, your body’s organs – including the brain – are filled with water. When your brain is dehydrated, every cell in the brain functions less effectively. This can lead to poor attention spans and bad memory.
Of course, drinking too much water could actually harm your productivity because you start taking too many bathroom breaks. Pace yourself.
Do you know what the most common symptom of dehydration is? It’s tiredness. The next time you reach for that cup of coffee in the morning, consider having a glass of water first. After 8 hours of sleeping, your body is usually dehydrated in the morning. Drinking a glass of water upon waking up can energize your body and get you ready for a productive day.
Cure and Prevent a Hangover
Hangovers are primarily caused by dehydration. Alcohol sucks water from your body, and since you probably spent the entire night drinking beverages that aren’t water, you’re going to be extra dehydrated.
Obviously, you can treat a hangover by drinking water the morning after. But you can vastly reduce your hangover symptoms by drinking a lot of water the night before.
Prevent Muscle and Joint Pain
Many people are surprised to discover that their muscle and joint pain is caused by dehydration – not by some genetic condition or nagging athletic injury. Water is crucial for the ligaments and cartilage between your joints. Drink more of it and you might find that your nagging injuries start to disappear.
Boost your Immune System
So far, we’ve learned that your cardiovascular system, digestive system, and musculoskeletal system all depend heavily on water to stay healthy. That’s why it’s not a surprise to learn that your immune system also relies on water to stay healthy.
Sickness can dehydrate the body – especially if you’re vomiting or have a runny nose. You should already be drinking more water when you’re sick. Water can also help with decongestion and dehydration.
Improve your Grades
Are you bad at school? Can’t remember anything? Performing poorly on exams? Well, one study out of the UK might boost your spirits. That study showed that students who drink water more than their peers tend to do better on tests.
Researchers examined the behavior of 447 undergraduate students across multiple disciplines. Researchers then looked at the marks students achieved on those exams and compared to the amount of water they drank on average.
Ultimately, researchers concluded with the following quote: “The results imply that the simple act of bringing water into an exam was linked to an improvement in students’ grades.”
Improve your Mood
Even mild dehydration has been shown to decrease your mood. Drinking more water can make you more cheerful and less moody.
Lower your Risk of Heart Disease
Researchers tried to examine the connection between heart disease and water consumption. What they found was that consuming more water can dramatically lower your risk of dying from coronary heart disease.
You can read the full study here. The study involved over 20,000 male and female participants between the ages 38 and 100. Over a period of 6 years, a total of 246 participants died from fatal coronary heart disease events. Participants with high daily water intake (5 or more glasses of water) were much more likely to die than participants with low daily water intake (2 or fewer glasses of water).
How to Drink More Water
Oddly enough, some people claim they have trouble drinking more water. They don’t like the neutral flavor, for example, or their city has gross, chemical-tasting tap water. Whatever the case may be, here are a few tips that will make it easier for you to drink more water:
— Drink Water With Every Snack And Meal
— Eat More Fruits And Vegetables. Fruits and veggies have high water content and can hydrate you without even feeling like you’re drinking more water.
— Buy a good refillable water bottle and keep it at your work desk or beside you on the couch at home.
— Skip The Soda Aisle And Buy Bottled Water Instead. Or, better yet, drink tap water, which typically contains more valuable minerals and nutrients and has a higher standard of hygienic testing.
Whether you want clear skin, luxuriously soft hair, a sharp brain, or a skinnier waistline, the benefits of drinking water extend across your entire body.