I used to go for several days without drinking plain water, and the health consequences were obvious. I often felt sluggish, tired, and like my brain was in a fog. But I adopted better habits, and I learned that drinking water is crucial to maintaining excellent health.
The average person is between 55% of 75% water, so proper water consumption is critical to our survival. Also, the health benefits of drinking water regularly range from healthier, brighter skin to a reduced chance of developing certain types of cancers.
Let’s explore the top 10 proven benefits of drinking water!
1. Weight Loss
Water is a calorie-free beverage without sugars or additives, making it an excellent choice for those attempting to lose weight. Studies show that drinking water can help you feel fuller throughout the day, reducing the number of unhealthy snacks you’re likely to consume.
Sugary drinks like soda can provide energy in the form of sugar or caffeine, but they are often unhealthy and can cause you to lose water. Soft drinks are the largest source of calories in the average US diet. Also, caffeine, a common ingredient of sodas and energy drinks, is a diuretic.
Diuretics cause the kidneys to produce excess urine, helping the body to rid itself of water and salt. A hefty consumption of diuretics can result in multiple trips to the restroom. If the water lost during that bathroom break isn’t regained, you may begin to feel the effects of dehydration.
Replacing your preferred soda or coffee with a glass of water can help you avoid the high caloric consequence and possible dehydration associated with sugary beverages.
Adding one to three cups of water to your diet per day could result in reduced daily caloric intake. You could be consuming between 68 to 205 fewer calories per day just by drinking more water. Over time, this simple change can result in dramatic weight loss.
A similar study shows that overweight women who drink more water are very likely to lose weight as a result, no matter their current diet or exercise habits.
Obesity is a potentially life-threatening condition, and it is incredible to think that the addition of a few cups of water daily to our diets can help us avoid excessive weight gain.
2. Healthy Skin
Current research shows that increased daily water intake positively impacts the skin’s elasticity and condition. Low water consumption is directly associated with dermatological conditions and issues.
Though other factors may contribute to poor skin health, such as over consumption of oily foods or harsh sun exposure, drinking water daily can help improve overall skin health. Drinking water by itself may not cause acne to vanish, but it will certainly help your skin to remain moist and elastic.
As we age, we may develop wrinkles as a result of decreased skin elasticity. Proper hydration can prevent the signs of aging and the occurrence of wrinkles, especially in those that avoid tobacco and alcohol.
3. Improved Brain Function
75% of the human brain is water. If your body isn’t adequately hydrated, it’s possible to suffer from declining brain function, also referred to as ‘brain fog ‘. Children with reduced water consumption can experience changes in mood in addition to cognition, making it difficult for them to focus and remain calm.
Indeed, dehydration may be a mental stressor that lessens the brain’s ability to concentrate on multiple tasks. Drinking a few cups of water every day can help prevent dehydration, ensuring that your mind can function correctly. If you’re ever having trouble staying alert, trying to drink a glass of water!
4. Detoxification and Kidney Health
Toxins enter our bodies through the air, our food, our water, our cosmetics, and through the things we touch. Organs such as the liver naturally detoxify our bodies by altering toxic substances and sending them out of the body in the form of waste.
Toxins commonly found in the human body include ammonia, lead, mercury, arsenic, and aluminum. In trace amounts, they typically do very little harm. However, if allowed to amass and build-up within the body, these toxins can lead to painful conditions and diseases. That’s why it’s so crucial for our bodies to rid themselves of toxins daily.
One of the most critical forms of waste elimination is urination, a process accomplished by the liver and kidneys. The liver takes toxic ammonia and turns it into urea, which is then passed on to the kidneys to become urine. The liver also produces bile, a liquid that aids the body in digestion.
If the liver and kidneys become dehydrated, they cannot produce the necessary liquids to produce waste. In this situation, toxins continue to accumulate in the body, damaging vital organs in the process.
Dehydration has been linked to several digestive disorders, including cases of urinary tract infection, kidney infection, and bladder infection. Proper water consumption can help prevent these infections by ensuring that the digestive system has enough liquid to ‘flush itself out’ and remain healthy.
Though drinking water daily helps the body detoxify itself, it is essential to note that drinking massive amounts of water, also known as performing a water cleanse, can be dangerous.
Proper water consumption is directly related to the sensation of thirst. Instead of attempting to fill a water quota, drink water when you feel thirsty. Otherwise, you may be excreting vital electrolytes in addition to nasty toxins.
5. Better Joint Lubrication
In addition to a wide range of other health benefits, drinking water can also lubricate the joints, lessening the chance of developing arthritis and other joint-related conditions.
Joints are cushioned by a type of fluid known as synovial fluid. This prevents bones from rubbing together, causing painful friction. Drinking plenty of water is one way to keep the synovial fluid at a proper level, preventing symptoms of arthritis.
Joint inflammation is a reasonably common issue that affects about 50 million adults in the US. A National Health and Nutrition survey found that 54% of children in the US aged 6-19 were dehydrated at any given time.
Proper hydration, especially beginning from a young age, can prevent joint inflammation that results from dehydration. It is possible that adequate water consumption and a proper diet can significantly decrease the chances of developing arthritis later in life, though many factors play into the development of osteoarthritis.
6. Maintained Muscles
Did you know that your muscles are about 79% water? As you can imagine, this means that fit muscles are the result of adequate hydration.
Exercise, a key component to maintaining good health, often results in a loss of water in the form of sweat. The best fluid you can consume to replace what’s lost through sweat is water.
Without enough water, your muscles may take longer to recover from workouts, ensuring that you’ll feel sore for a longer time. Drinking water before and after a workout routine can significantly improve your results and help keep your body hydrated while it produces sweat.
An excellent way to think about a muscle’s relationship with water is to think of a sponge. A desiccated sponge is brittle and easy to tear. However, once you douse that dry sponge in water, it expands and becomes more difficult to rip.
Muscles work in a very similar way. Without water, they are likely to suffer from painful rips and tears during exercise.
7. Healthy Heart
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US. Drinking water is imperative to keeping your heart healthy and happy.
The volume of blood in your body is highly dependent on the amount of water in your body. The more water you drink, the more blood your body can produce. The more blood your body can provide, the less work your heart must do.
Just as a gasoline engine powers a conventional car, a heart powers a human body. If a car runs out of gasoline, it will be unable to feed the engine, which will stall. A body without an adequate supply of blood results in a heart that cannot correctly pump, resulting in death.
Staying hydrated ensures that your heart always has enough blood to maintain the necessary pressure to keep going. Also, the heart itself is composed of about 73% water, so proper water-drinking habits are essential to keeping it healthy.
Adding a few cups of water to your daily diet can significantly reduce your risk of developing a heart-related condition, especially when combined with a healthy diet and moderate exercise.
8. Easier Digestion
Being hydrated also means being able to digest foods more easily. Think about making a smoothie. If you only used dry ingredients, you’d have a challenging time trying to drink your smoothie. The addition of a liquid makes all the difference.
The same is true when it comes to your stomach. Stomachs naturally produce acids that break down foods and aid in digestion. At its most potent, stomach acids can rival the corrosive strength of battery acid. Our stomachs are kept relatively safe from the effects of digestive acids by maintaining a gastric mucous lining.
Though it may sound unappealing, this mucus wall remains slippery and resistant to stomach acid, protecting the stomach organ from corrosion. When our bodies fail to produce enough water to maintain that mucus lining, things get a little rough.
Our intestines also have a mucosal lining to protect themselves during the process of digestion. Dehydration can prevent this mucus development, leading to conditions such as ulcerative colitis.
Drinking water is crucial to maintain proper digestion and can aid in the absorption of foods such as red meat.
9. Reduced Risk of Cancer
Keeping hydrated can reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancers. Most vital organs require a high percentage of water to function correctly. When organs are deprived of water, they can become at-risk of developing cancerous cells.
This is because water acts as a detoxifier, helping rid the body of dangerous toxins that may accumulate over time. Without enough water, our organs cannot get rid of these toxins, leading to a higher chance of cellular mutation and, eventually, cancer.
Drinking water regularly has been linked to lower incidences of cancer in the digestive organs. The risk of colon cancer, bladder cancer, urinary tract cancer, and kidney stones are all reduced with adequate daily water consumption.
And prolonged dehydration not only affects your digestive organs. It has also been associated with breast cancer.
However, drinking water flushes toxins from the body, helping to reduce toxic build-ups and accumulated carcinogens, reducing the risk of cancers.
10. Proper Hydration
Dehydration is a scary beast. It can creep up on you silently without you noticing that it’s arrived. It can wreak havoc across your body, and even end up killing you.
When we sweat, defecate, urinate, vomit, or consume diuretics, we lose water. Waiting to replace this lost water could result in mild, moderate, or severe dehydration.
Anyone can become dehydrated. Playing outside on warm, sunny days can lead to dehydration. Working long shifts without taking a break to eat and drink can lead to dehydration. Excessive caffeine consumption and a poor diet can also lead to dehydration.
There are many symptoms of dehydration, including:
- Dark urine.
- A dry mouth.
- Muscle spasms or cramps.
- Rapid breathing and heartbeat.
In severe cases of dehydration, the body’s organs begin to shut down from lack of water, resulting in death.
Drinking water can keep you from suffering from these symptoms and can help your organs stay healthy.
Drinking water is vital to our health and our survival. Many of us are fortunate enough to have access to clean drinking water in our home.
Taking advantage of this convenient source of drinking water could result in improved general health and a feeling of wellbeing. Don’t wait, get hydrated, and start enjoying the benefits of drinking water!