Benefits of Drinking Water?
Drinking enough water each day may not be at the top of your list, but just like oxygen, water is an essential element and a significant component in the human body. In fact, your body is 60% water, with the blood containing 90% of it. That’s to say, every cell in your body needs water to function correctly. So what exactly are the benefits of drinking water? Let’s find out!
1. It promotes brain function
The brain contains more water mass than any other organ in the body. Approximately 75 percent of the brain mass is water. This offers structural and metabolic support for cells and tissues. Water also helps deliver nutrients and other compounds essential for better brain function.
Studies show that even a slight level of dehydration may affect normal brain function.
In one study, 26 men were involved in three randomized trials of exercise-induced dehydration plus a diuretic, exercise-induced dehydration plus a placebo without a diuretic, and controlled exercise with no dehydration plus placebo.
At the end of the study, researchers found that mild dehydration, even without hyperthermia, increased tension and fatigue and induced concentration and working memory changes.
In another study, mild dehydration altered cognitive function, including mood changes in young women.
2. It may relieve constipation and improve digestive health
Inadequate water intake is a major contributing factor for constipation in both young and old. Fortunately, incorporating a high fluid intake, especially water, into your daily routine may help relieve constipation naturally.
Extra water in the stool makes the stool softer and easier to pass through. This promotes bowel movements, consistency, and frequency. For some people, adding some lemon to their drinking water may help relieve constipation even more.
Water also helps flush out any toxins and waste residuals in the colon, thus promoting general digestive health.
Mineral water high in magnesium and sodium has improved frequency and consistency in individuals with constipation.
3. Adequate water consumption maximizes physical performance
Whether going for a run or hitting the gym, staying hydrated is the key to keeping yourself on board. It increases energy, maintains thermoregulation, improves movement and agility, and aids mental activity, including clarity which plays a bigger role in improving performance and reducing chances of injury.
A study published in the International Society of Sports Nutrition journal found that individualized hydration plans customized according to athletes’ sodium and fluid loss could improve attention and awareness, increase anaerobic power, and fasten heart rate recovery.
In another study, voluntary drinking when dehydrated is less likely to improve performance compared to dictated drinking. And where dehydration was likely, following the recommended rehydration guidelines was shown to improve performance and prevent the harmful effects of dehydration.
4. It may help relieve and prevent headaches
Headaches and migraines are very common, but people are less likely to associate them with dehydration. Research shows that headache is a common symptom of dehydration, and without medication, proper hydration may help resolve it.
Since the brain is 75% water, during dehydration, it temporarily contracts, which pulls it away from the skull resulting in pain in the form of headache.
Once hydrated, the brain cells fill in with water and return to their normal state, which helps relieve the headache.
5. Water may treat kidney stones
Kidney stones are hard deposits of salt and minerals found in urine. They are formed when oxalate, a byproduct of certain foods, binds to salts and minerals such as calcium and uric acid in the kidney without adequate fluids.
Drinking enough water each day is the best way to prevent high concentrations of these salts and minerals that crystallize and form stones. It keeps your urine diluted and flushes away minerals that may form stones.
6. Water may aid in weight loss
Water boosts metabolic functions and promotes satiety. This may help increase the calories you burn while limiting the ones you take and thus promoting weight loss.
A study to evaluate the effects of drinking excessive water for weight loss found that consuming an additional 500ml of water three times a day before meals may help decrease body weight and body fat in overweight young women.
Remember never to drink with food as it will dilute your digestive juices, disrupting normal digestion. This is most cases, may lead to indigestion and abdominal discomfort.
The best way to drink water is between meals and 30 minutes before and 2 hours after meals.
7. Water regulates body temperature
Water is thermoregulatory with a high heat capacity, meaning it holds on to heat very well. When the body becomes too hot, it lets out water in the form of sweat through the pores on the skin surface. When the sweat evaporates, it has a cooling effect on the skin, thus bringing your skin temperature back to normal.
8. It acts as a lubricant for joints
Your joints contain synovial fluid, which is primarily made up of water. Synovial fluid acts as a shock absorber, protecting the cartilage covering. It also keeps the bones in your joints slightly apart, which helps prevent the cartilage from wear and tear. Lastly, it promotes lubrication which promotes free and easy movement.
Adequate hydration may help ease arthritis symptoms, such as pain and inflammation, often due to wear and tear, repeatedly associated with reduced synovial fluid.
9. Water transports nutrients
The water you drink is absorbed in the small intestines and into body fluids, with the highest percentage being in the blood. As the blood moves through the body, it delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells, promoting their function.
In the presence of dehydration, the blood is more viscous, making the easy circulation of blood difficult, causing a delay even in the delivery of such nutrients.
Research shows that high blood viscosity may increase your risk of life-threatening conditions such as cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases.
How Much Water To Drink A Day?
According to Harvard Health, healthy individuals can take between 4-6 cups.
At the same time, anyone with health issues such as kidney, thyroid, heart, or liver problems or on certain medications such as antidepressants may require even more.
Physical activities that involve sweating or a hot day may also dictate the amount of water you’re going to drink.
To ensure proper water intake by the cells, add a pinch of Himalayan or Celtic salt to your water. You can also place a bit under the tongue for a few seconds before washing it down with water. When the magnesium in the salt gets into the cell, it automatically pulls water providing optimal cell rehydration.
In Conclusion: Benefits of Drinking Water?
Water is an important component of normal body functions. There are so many benefits of drinking water, but here are a few:
It’s essential for different body functions, including better brain function, promoting digestive health, improving physical performance, preventing and dehydrating headaches, regulating body temperature, enhancing nutrient distribution, and promoting joint health.
Although a healthy individual can take between 4-6 cups of water daily, water intake should be individualized as some conditions, physical activities, or seasons may facilitate more inputs.
To increase your water uptake by the cells, ensure you add a pinch of natural salt to your water.
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