Whether it is in the dead of winter or in the middle of summer's scorching temperatures, our bodies needs water. Keeping hydrated is crucial for health and well-being.
Did you know your tissues and organs are mostly made up of water? In fact, our brains are 80% water, muscles (including your heart) are 75% water, blood is 83% water, lungs are 90% water, skin is 64% water, and even our bones are 30% water! Knowing this, it is vital to think of water as a nutrient your body needs.
Need motivation for drinking more H20? Here are 8 specific ways drinking water and staying properly hydrated will tremendously benefit your health:
1. Brain Health
Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you in a number of ways, including:
2. Weight Loss
Drinking water helps you lose weight by acting as an effective appetite suppressant so you will feel fuller and eat less – all with zero calories! Drinking plenty of water also prevents fluid retention, because your body won’t try to retain water if it’s getting enough. Additionally, multiple research studies have demonstrated that drinking a large, cool glass of water will increase your metabolism by 24-30% for up to 90 minutes.
Your body fluids transport waste products in and out of your cells, while your kidneys and liver flush those waste products and other toxins out of your body. This process can only work properly and efficiently, however, if you are well hydrated. When you are not drinking enough water, you are at an increased risk of developing kidney stones and experiencing urinary tract infections.
4. Maintain Regularity
Sufficient hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and helps prevent constipation. Water helps dissolve waste particles and passes them smoothly through your digestive tract. If you’re dehydrated, your body pulls water from your stools to maintain hydration, leaving your colon dry and making it more difficult to pass waste.
5. Healthy Muscles
Being adequately hydrated is very important when exercising. Drinking water helps prevent muscle cramping and lubricates the joints in your body.
Additionally, drinking water can actually make your muscles stronger. Water carries oxygen to the cells of your body, including those of your muscles. Being well hydrated enables your muscles to work longer and harder before they feel tired, and this will help you build muscle.
6. Youthful Skin
Your skin contains lots of water and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. Drinking plenty of water hydrates skin cells and plumps them up, making your face look younger. Water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes your skin, and increases the elasticity of your skin. It also flushes out impurities and improves circulation and blood flow, helping your skin glow.
7. Regulate temperature
Water that is stored in the middle layers of the skin comes to the surface as sweat when the body heats up. As it evaporates, it cools the body. Some scientists have even suggested when there is too little water in the body, heat storage increases and the individual is less able to tolerate heat strain. Having a lot of water in the body may reduce physical strain if heat stress occurs during exercise.
8. Performance Booster
Dehydration during exercise may hinder performance. Some scientists have proposed that consuming more water might enhance performance during strenuous activity. More research is needed to confirm this, but one study found dehydration reduces performance in activities lasting longer than 30 minutes.
9. Prevent Bad BreathHave you ever hung out in a crowd of runners after a marathon? You'd be wise to remain at a comfortable distance when speaking. Bad breath is often a clear sign of dehydration, and, in addition to the food you eat, dehydration can also cause bad breath.
10. Save Money
If none of the aforementioned benefits sound motivating to you, then consider how much money you could save by drinking water. If you spend money on soda and coffee each day, you’ll spend in the $2-$4 range. If you spend money on bottled or pre-made drinks almost every day, this can add up to thousands of dollars a year. Instead, purchase a reusable water bottle to fill up on-the-go. In most cases, it won't cost you a dime!
It’s necessary to maintain a healthy mind and body so you can feel good throughout the day. Need help drinking more water? Keep track of your water intake by measuring your progress with a cup or water bottle placed in a spot you will see it throughout the day. Set goals for yourself at time points throughout the day to make sure you are drinking enough. Here are a few other tips to increase your fluid intake and reap the benefits of water:
So the next time you’re thirsty, instead of ignoring your kitchen sink at home or the bubbler at work, take a moment to savor the one drink that’s free, refreshing, and actually good for us: plain old water!