Benefits of Drinking Water
It may not seem like it, but our bodies are made up largely (60% or more) of water. It's required for healthy body functions such as digestion, transporting nutrients to cells, flushing out toxins, and maintaining normal body temperature.
Your body is constantly losing water. Fluid is lost when you breathe and sweat as well as through urine and stool. Therefore, water needs to be replenished consistently to ensure that you don't become dehydrated. If you are dehydrated, your body will have trouble working properly.
Here, we've collected just a few of the surprising ways that you can benefit from drinking water.
Water for Weight Loss
If weight loss is your goal, the first step is to make sure you're getting enough water. Water can contribute to easier weight loss in a variety of ways including those below.
For more on weight loss, check out "
Water Can Help Prevent Headaches
If you're plagued with headaches, take a look at your water intake and consider whether dehydration might be playing a part.
Your brain is protected inside a sack of fluid. Dehydration can cause that fluid to dwindle, allowing your brain to push up against different areas of your skull, resulting in a headache.
Many people experience headaches ranging from mild to migraine-intensity when they are not properly hydrated. In fact, dehydration is a big cause of the headaches that people with hangovers often develop.
At the first sign of a headache, try drinking a few cups of water over about an hour's time. It may relieve the headache entirely or decrease its severity and length. And if you suffer from headaches routinely, make sure that you are getting enough water every day.
Drinking Plenty of Water Can Help Support Healthy Brain Function
The brain, like all organs in the body, requires adequate hydration to function properly. In fact, it is made up of around 80% water.
Being dehydrated can actually cause your brain to shrink, and then it requires more energy for it to accomplish the same task (
Dehydration Causes Fatigue
Without adequate amounts of water in your system, your blood volume drops, and your heart has to work harder to deliver oxygen to all your tissues. This can result in muscle fatigue and general tiredness along with increased heart rate.
If you notice that you're tired a lot even though you feel that you're getting adequate rest, try upping your water intake.
Water Helps Regulate Body Temperature
Body temperature needs to be maintained within a fairly strict range for all bodily functions to be performed properly. One way the body regulates its temperature is by sweating when it gets too warm, which requires adequate water levels to be present. In fact, your body will prioritize temperature regulation over hydration. That means that, if you exert yourself, your body will first cool you down by sweating, possibly not leaving enough water in your system for other functions.
Being Well-Hydrated Improves your Physical Performance
Water is essential to good muscle performance. Without enough water in your system, your blood volume will decrease, making it difficult for enough oxygenated blood to reach your muscle tissues. Low oxygen leads to poorly functioning muscles and decreased performance.
Your muscles also need the proper electrolyte balance to function at peak level, and this balance is controlled partly by water.
Inadequate Hydration Can Cause Bad Breath
When you are dehydrated, your mouth tissues become dry. This is because your body doesn't have enough moisture to create adequate saliva. Your saliva has properties that fight bacteria, so a dry mouth can allow bad bugs to multiply, resulting in offensive breath.
Not having enough bacteria-fighting saliva in your mouth chronically can also lead to dental disease such as gingivitis.
Kidneys Need Water to Work Properly
One of the critical tasks of the kidneys is to remove waste from the body. Other functions these crucial organs help control are electrolyte balance and the production of hormones that affect many other bodily functions. Water aids the kidneys in their duties by diluting minerals so they can be used properly and by carrying waste products and bacteria out of body, and not having enough water can disrupt kidney function in several ways.
Dehydration Can Cause Joint Pain
Water keeps the cartilage within your joints plump and cushiony. Being dehydrated may be a big contributor to joint pain in many Americans.
Drinking enough water helps keep your cartilage "fluffy" so it can do its job of cushioning your joints so you experience less pain. As you get older, it's even more important to remain well-hydrated for good joint health.
Not Getting Enough Water Can Make Us Grumpy
Scientists have learned that being mildly dehydrated can result in mood disturbances, especially in women (
Reduce Your Cancer Risks by Drinking Enough Water
Various studies have shown lower rates of certain types of cancer, such as colorectal (
So How Much Water Do You Need?
The issue of how much water a person should drink every day is a matter of some debate. Studies haven't produced repeatable results on this issue. Some commonly quoted amounts include:
The truth is that many factors contribute to a person's daily water requirements. Climate, exercise level, age, weight, sex, and other health conditions can all impact how much water someone needs.
The Mayo Clinic suggests that, in general, if you drink enough fluids so that you don't often feel thirsty, you are probably getting an adequate amount.
Another way to monitor your hydration level is to evaluate your
The Mayo Clinic also states that you may get up to 20% of your daily fluid requirements through food sources. Fruits are an especially good food-based source of water.
Everything you drink contributes to your fluid totals, but the healthiest source for obtaining the majority of your fluid is probably water.
The Great Debate: Bottled or Tap?
According to most sources, bottled water is no safer than tap water. They are both regulated for safety unless you are drinking water from a well rather than a municipal source, in which case you should have your water tested for harmful substances and bacteria at least yearly.
If you live in an area where there is safe tap water, filtering it may be your best option for getting rid of some of its chemicals and avoiding the cost and potential environmental impact of consuming bottled water routinely.
Ideas for Increasing Your Water Consumption
Here are some tips for fitting more water into your daily routine:
Getting plenty of water may be one of the best ways for you to stay healthy, alert, strong, and fit.
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