14 Overlooked Benefits of Drinking Water
It’s no secret that up to 60% of the human body is comprised of water. But did you know that on any given day you lose 64 ounces of water through perspiration (16 ounces from your feet alone)?
Unless you're working out, most of this perspiration goes unnoticed. But our body is constantly regulating its temperature through sweat. Even when you're sitting in a chair, typing on your computer, your body is still maintaining a healthy core temperature.
We both know that water consumption is imperative for maintaining hydration. But keeping up with that kind of diminishing supply can seem difficult.
In the battle to stay hydrated, it sometimes feels like the only option is countless trips to the bathroom. But before you move your office into the second stall, let’s figure out just how much water you should be consuming each day.
How much water should we drink each day?
The recommended water consumption can vary based on age, weight, sex, activity level, and the climate you live in. But generally speaking, women should drink 90 ounces (11 cups) of fluids per day and men should drink 125 ounces (16 cups) per day.
But if you want to get specific, there’s a pretty simple way to figure out the exact amount of water you should be drinking each day. Multiply your weight by ⅔ then consider your activity level. You should add 12 ounces of water to your daily intake for every 30 minutes of exercise.
But, other than maintaining 60% of your body mass and a few extra trips to the restroom, what do you get from drinking water all day? If you’re anything like us, you like to know the why behind anything you do.
What are the benefits of drinking water?
You’ll be happy to know that water provides plenty of benefits. And we want to give you 14 of the often-overlooked benefits of drinking water.
1. Increases Brain Power and Provides Energy
Need a mental boost? Next time you feel your mental performance diminish, skip the cup of coffee and drink some water.
One of water’s many benefits is an increase in brain power. Since your brain is made of 73% water, drinking it helps you think, focus, concentrate, and stay alert. As a result, your energy levels also improve.
According to research, it doesn't take much to feel the impact of dehydration. "Being dehydrated by just 2% impairs performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor, and immediate memory skills, as well as assessment of the subjective state."
BSX Technologies lists four ways dehydration affects your brain:
1. Dehydration affects your mood.
2. Dehydration reduces your cognitive and motor skills.
3. Dehydration makes you more sensitive to pain.
4. Dehydration affects your memory.
If you begin to feel these dehydration symptoms, grab a glass of water.
2. Promotes Healthy Weight Management and Weight Loss
Your brain isn't the only part of your body to feel the positive impact of staying hydrated.
Water aides in the removal of fat by-products and also helps you feel more full. Not only does this act as a natural appetite suppressant, but it can also improve your metabolism.
Research on water's impact on your metabolic function is ongoing. But one thing is certain – you're less likely to gain weight when you drink a couple glasses of water before a meal rather than eating the basket of bread.
3. Flush Out Toxins
You’ve probably heard the expression, “sweat it out.” Water consumption helps your body flush out waste through sweat and urination. This also prevents kidney stones and protects you from urinary tract infections.
Your body is able to naturally detoxify through the use of its lungs, liver, and kidneys. But sometimes we give it more than it can handle (i.e. holiday eating marathons or a few too many drinks over the weekend).
Consider toxins the boats floating through your body. Water is the river that floats those toxins out. Don't let the water level drop or the toxins make get stuck and cause harm.
4. Improves Your Complexion
It's understandable that if your body is composed of 60% water, dehydration will harm your skin.
As UW Health points out, your skin is an organ. And water is important for organ function. "If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling."
Drinking water is great for your skin. It helps to moisturize it, keep it soft, and removes wrinkles.
5. Maintains Regularity
Being regular is the result of a healthy digestive system. And drinking water helps your body digest everything you eat.
According to Mayo Clinic, water helps break down food (so that your body can absorb the nutrients) and prevents constipation.
6. Boosts Immune System
Want to know the easiest way to stay healthy during the cold and flu season? Drink more water!
One of the most common overlooked benefits of drinking water is a healthy immune system. And drinking water has been directly related to a stronger immune system.
According to Fit Day, water strengthens your immune system in two ways: First, it carries oxygen to your body's cells, which results in properly functioning systems. And secondly (see the third point mentioned), it flushes harmful toxins from your body.
Water has also been shown to reduce the risk of bladder cancer by rapidly flushing toxins from your bladder.
7. Prevents Headaches
One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is headaches. Water is important for brain function. In addition to increasing brain power, drinking water also helps prevent and relieve headaches often caused by dehydration.
Medical News Today explains that a dehydration headache occurs when your body loses essential fluids to function properly. Dehydration can cause the brain to temporarily shrink from fluid loss. This mechanism causes the brain to pull away from the skull, causing pain and resulting in a dehydration headache.
8. Prevents Cramps and Sprains
It’s no secret that dehydration leads to cramping. But did you know that hydrated muscles are also less prone to sprains?
Water acts as a natural lubricant for your muscles and joints. Develop healthy hydration and you’ll be more flexible, less likely to experience sprained ankles, and less likely to be sore after that next killer workout.
9. Helps Regulate Your Body Temperature
One of the more well-known benefits of water is the way it replenishes your body's cooling system source – sweat.
Sweat is the natural cooling system of your body. And since water is a key ingredient of your sweat, your body needs enough water to properly regulate your body’s temperature through perspiration.
10. Prevents Backaches
Dehydration is often an overlooked cause of back pain.
The bones of your vertebrae are supported by discs. And the central nucleus of each disc is made of water. A lack of water can compromise these discs leading to back pain.
11. Improves Your Heart Health
Research has shown a link between coronary heart disease and water consumption. Water maintains the proper viscosity of blood and plasma and fibrinogen distribution.
12. Prevents Bad Breath
Have 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. In addition to the food you eat, dehydration can also cause bad breath.
Drinking a sufficient amount of water washes away leftover food particles and oral bacteria that lead to bad breath.
13. Takes the Edge off of Hangovers
Instead of being reactive the next morning, take a proactive approach next time you drink alcohol. Alcohol consumption causes dehydration, which can lead to a hangover.
The unforgiving consequences of alcohol can be prevented by simply drinking a glass of water with each alcoholic beverage.
If you want to learn more about how to prevent the effects of alcohol by drinking water, read The Importance of Drinking Water While Consuming Alcohol.
14. Puts You in a Better Mood
Just as a well-oiled engine runs at top performance, so your body will also work better when properly hydrated. And when your internal systems and organs are running better, you’re more likely to feel better about yourself. In turn, you’re more likely to be in a good mood!
How do you consume enough water each day?
To start, make sure you know how much water you should be drinking each day. It's hard to set a goal if you don't know your target.
As we previously discussed, to figure out how much water you should be drinking multiply your weight by ⅔ then consider your activity level. Be sure to add 12 ounces of water to your daily intake for every 30 minutes of exercise.
Here are five ways you can reach your daily water intake goal:
Click here to download the 5 Ways to Reach Your Daily Water Intake PDF.
1. Drink 2 cups in the morning (16 oz) and 1 cup at night (8 oz)
Many people find drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning to be the best way to wake up. It’s also a great way to jumpstart your metabolism. Drink one glass (16 oz) of water when you wake up and another 8 oz glass before going to bed each night. This will add another 24 ounces of water to your daily intake. Keep a glass next to your bed to prevent you from forgetting.
2. Drink 2 cups (16 oz) of water before every meal
Studies have shown that drinking 2 cups of water before each meal causes you to eat less (you’ll feel fuller faster) and indirectly lose weight. If you do this with each major meal you’ll automatically consume 48 ounces of water.
3. Infuse your water
Water can get boring after awhile. But try infusing your water with fruit, herbs, and other flavors to take your plain old water to a new level. Checkout our infused water recipes to get some ideas.
4. Keep track with your container
One of the easiest ways to track your water intake is to track the number of times you fill your water bottle. Take your answer from below and divide by 25 – this is how many Elemental Water Bottles you should consume each day.
5. Drink at the break
If you’re still having a hard time consuming the recommended amount of water each day, then consider taking a big gulp of water at regular intervals. For example: When you’re reading a book, take a drink at the end of each chapter. And if you’re watching television, take a sip at the commercial. Or have fun and make your own drinking game... just exchange the alcohol with water.
Want to enjoy more benefits of drinking water?
Start your day off right by drinking a glass of water each morning before breakfast. This will jumpstart your mind and body. And carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day to ensure you remain hydrated.
So maybe your new drinking habits will lead to a couple more trips to the bathroom. But you'll be happier, healthier, and more efficient with a properly hydrated brain.
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