Benefits of Hydration, and How to Stay Well Hydrated

Water, water everywhere! It’s an essential part of life that we can’t live without. The human body is even made up of 60% water (1)! But do you know the benefits of water? It’s important to stay hydrated for many reasons.

Did you know that 75% of people are chronically dehydrated (2)? Even mild dehydration can slow down your metabolism and make you feel tired. Water is also needed for muscle movement, digestion, and keeping skin healthy.

Dehydrating Effects on Our Bodies

Did you know that dehydration can have a negative effect on our bodies? When we are dehydrated, our body doesn’t function as well as it should. Some of the effects of dehydration on our bodies are:

  • Slower metabolism
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Headache

The best way to avoid these negative effects is by drinking water!

How Much Water Should You Drink?

The amount of water that’s necessary depends on a person’s activity level and environment. People who are active or spend time outdoors need to drink even more water than those who don’t! The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine recommend that men drink 125 ounces (3.7 liters) per day while women should consume 91 ounces (2.7 liters) (3). However, this number is only a starting point because your size, metabolism, location, diet, physical activity, and health all factor into how much water you need.

An easy way to tell if you’re hydrated is by looking at the color of your urine – it should be light yellow or clear. If it’s dark, you need to drink more water!

10 Benefits of Staying Hydrated

Drinking water might seem like a no-brainer but there are plenty of reasons you can come up with for not doing it. Well, we’re here to clear up any confusion about the importance and benefits of hydration.

1. Drinking water can help maintain muscle function

During exercise, it is important to drink water so our muscles stay hydrated and functional. When we sweat during a workout, we lose water through our skin and breathe out water vapor as well. So if you’re working hard at the gym or just enjoying some time outdoors on a hot day, make sure to drink water before, during and after your activity (4).

2. Drinking water helps improve digestion. 

Water is essential for breaking down food in the stomach and moving it through the intestines. When we don’t drink enough water, constipation can occur. In addition, drinking water before or during a meal can help reduce water retention and bloat, which is common after eating (4).

3. Drinking water has been linked to improved cognitive function. 

Water helps transport nutrients through our body and also removes waste products so we stay healthy and think clearly! Without enough water in the brain, we become dehydrated – resulting in tiredness, difficulty concentrating and even dizziness (4).

4. Staying hydrated helps keep skin healthy. 

The body’s largest organ is our skin and it needs water to look its best! When we don’t drink enough water, our skin can become dry, cracked and irritated. In fact, many moisturizers contain water as one of their main ingredients (4).

5. A sufficient amount of water is essential for weight loss. 

Water helps the body metabolize food and burn calories. When we are dehydrated, our metabolism slows down in order to conserve energy – making it more difficult to lose weight. In addition, drinking water can help reduce feelings of hunger and cravings for unhealthy foods (4).

6. Drinking water helps improve joint health. 

Cartilage, the tough connective tissue that cushions your joints, is made up of 80% water! When we don’t drink enough water, cartilage breaks down and our bones start to rub against each other, leading to joint pain (4).

7. Staying adequately hydrated can help regulate blood pressure. 

Dehydration can cause the body’s blood volume to decrease, which leads to a rise in blood pressure. In addition, water helps flush toxins from the body and regulates our body temperature – both of which are important for maintaining a healthy blood pressure (4).

8. Drinking water can also help ease headaches. 

Headaches are often caused by dehydration and drinking water throughout the day can reduce their frequency. In addition, water helps maintain a healthy blood flow which is important for delivering nutrients to our brain cells that require oxygen! (4)

9. You can even reduce your risk for cancer by drinking enough water. 

Dehydration can lead to an increase in the body’s level of toxins, which have been linked to an increased risk for cancer. In addition, water helps flush out these harmful toxins from our system  (4).

10. Drinking water is essential for overall health. 

Water is necessary for every function in the body, from regulating our temperature to transporting nutrients. It’s impossible to be healthy without enough water and it’s important to drink water throughout the day so our body can perform at its best! (4)

So next time you think about skipping a glass or two because it’s “not that hot” or you’re “not that thirsty,” think again! The benefits of hydration are too important to ignore. And remember, water is the best way to stay hydrated- so drink up!

How to Sneak More Water Into Your Day

Water is an essential part of our diet, but it can be tough to drink the recommended amount each day. Here are a few tips to help you sneak more water into your day:

  1. Add fruit or cucumber slices to your glass of water. This will add flavor and hydration!
  2. Drink water with meals. Not only does water help with digestion, but it can also reduce water retention and bloat.
  3. Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. This will make it easy to drink water throughout the day.
  4. Eat foods that are high in water content. Cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, and grapefruit are all great water-rich foods that you can try!

Conclusion

So, now that you know all of the amazing benefits of hydration, make sure to drink up! Water is essential for our health and plays a role in every bodily function. By drinking water throughout the day, we can ensure that our body stays healthy and functioning at its best! Cheers to good health!


References:

  1. “The Water in You: Water and the Human Body Completed.” The Water in You: Water and the Human Body | U.S. Geological Survey, https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/water-science-school/science/water-you-water-and-human-body#:~:text=Up%20to%2060%25%20of%20the,bones%20are%20watery%3A%2031%25.
  2. Survey of 3003 Americans, Nutrition Information Center, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center (April 14, 1998).
  3. Nationalacademies.org, https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2004/02/report-sets-dietary-intake-levels-for-water-salt-and-potassium-to-maintain-health-and-reduce-chronic-disease-risk.
  4. Popkin, Barry M et al. “Water, hydration, and health.” Nutrition reviews vol. 68,8 (2010): 439-58. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x

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