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 of 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. Water 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 to 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 movement, 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 you’re 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.
10. Water keeps your skin looking young
Drinking plenty of water is important for a number of reasons, but one thing you might already be aware of is how it can keep your skin looking young. Water helps flush toxins from your body, and this can help maintain healthy skin cells.
Besides, when you don’t drink enough water, your body actually absorbs the moisture from your skin. This makes your complexion appear dull and wrinkled, even if it isn’t. With so many beauty products on store shelves today claiming to be age-defying, it might be hard to believe a simple glass of H2O can help do it. But it does!
Make sure to drink enough water throughout your day to keep your skin looking fresh and young!
If you need help remembering to drink enough water throughout your busy day, set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind yourself.
11. Water reduces hunger pangs
Water is an appetite suppressant. It’s widely known to reduce hunger pangs because it fills you up and keeps your stomach satisfied for longer. Drinking a glass of water before every meal will help control your portions and ensure you’re not over-eating at each meal.
A study found that if people ate soup before eating their lunch, they reported being more satisfied after eating and were able to eat 15% fewer calories compared with people who didn’t have any soup.
If you want to drink up for weight loss, start by swapping out calorie-heavy drinks like soda or juice for a big glass of water. If you find yourself still hungry after eating, add fruits and vegetables or low-calorie dip options like hummus or guacamole. These foods will help fill you up without adding extra calories from unhealthy foods.
12. Water improves concentration
Studies show that a glass of cold water can refresh your concentration and make it easier to focus on what you’re doing. Next time you find yourself feeling drowsy in class or at work, try sipping some cold water—it may perk up your performance!
Also, drinking enough water increases your alertness and attention, helps prevent fatigue and headaches, and can even reduce stress. Studies have also shown that hydration can help improve both short-term and long-term memory. Make it a habit to drink a glass of water every time you start to feel tired. You’ll get energized in no time.
13. Normalizes blood pressure
Water is essential for healthy blood pressure regulation. If your BP rises or falls outside the normal range, you’re much more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, or have a baby with low birth weight.
The key is to keep it within normal limits—and you can drink plenty of water each day to help get it there. Water helps maintain proper blood pressure by balancing out sodium levels in your body. If you have high blood pressure, increase your intake of water to at least 8 glasses a day.
Moreover, when you drink, your body responds in ways beyond just replacing lost fluids. By consuming water, your kidneys begin to shed excess sodium and increase urine production (leading to increased urination), which helps normalize blood pressure levels.
14. Flushes bacteria from your bladder
Drinking plenty of water has a lot of health benefits, including helping to fight kidney stones, detoxifying your liver, and improving brain health. But according to a new study, it also helps flush bacteria from your bladder — which could help fight infections like UTIs.
That’s right: Drinking lots of H2O might protect you from urinary tract infections in more ways than one. The study, published in The Journal of Urology, found that women who drank at least five glasses of water per day were less likely to get UTIs than those who drank fewer glasses.
And if they did get an infection, their symptoms tended to be milder and clear up faster. This is because water acts as a natural diuretic (meaning it makes you pee), which can increase urine flow and wash out harmful bacteria before they settle into your bladder lining or kidneys.
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 makes up 60% of the human body, but if you’re one of the many people who don’t drink enough water or drink it incorrectly, you could be doing your body more harm than good.
Water hydrates your body and helps regulate its temperature; it transports nutrients to your organs; flushes toxins out of your system, and supports digestion; it helps dissolve vitamins and minerals so that they can be absorbed into your bloodstream; it keeps bones strong; improves circulation throughout your body and helps decrease blood pressure. These are but a few reasons as to why you should be drinking sufficient amounts of water.
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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