Ordering a glass of water at a restaurant might seem like a boring choice. However, drinking water is very healthy for you. If you don’t care for the taste of plain water, try unsweetened flavored waters, or add a slice of lemon, lime, or cucumber. For general good health, shoot for 64 ounces – that’s eight 8oz cups of water. Your body craves water, as it should since it’s 75 percent of your being! If you work out regularly, if you’re pregnant or nursing, or if you’re going through a growth spurt, you might need up to two liters of water per day! It supports every system in your body and does wonders for the condition of your skin and hair. There are so many health benefits of drinking water.
Did you know that fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration? If you feel sluggish and tired half way through the day, you might not be consuming enough water. With an inadequate amount of water in the body, your blood volume level drops. In turn, your heart works harder to pump oxygenated blood into the bloodstream. Other organs also work less efficiently, but drinking more water can help the body function better. Instead of reaching for an afternoon snack of candy or a cup of joe, opt for lemon water.
Not only can dehydration lead to fatigue, but it also might affect your mood. Lessen mood swings by increasing your water intake. The hue of your urine is a key indicator if you are consuming enough water: the lighter the color, the better the hydration (and vice versa). If you seem irritable or annoyed, you might need to skip the soda and grab a bottle of water. Tension headaches also may be caused by dehydration – and these do affect your mood. Keep a bottle of water on your desk at work, to remind you to drink plenty throughout the day.
Helps With Headaches and Migraines
Just like the other conditions listed, headaches and migraines can be triggered by dehydration. Consuming plenty of water can even provide relief if you already have a headache. According to a study that was published by the European Journal of Neurology, drinking more water can help reduce the intensity and length of headaches. When you become slightly dehydrated, your brain shrinks slightly – it’s a fatty organ that needs a lot of water to function. This, in turn, can lead to a headache. Instead of popping an aspirin, try drinking a large glass of water and resting your eyes. You might find this remedy helps more than over the counter medication.
Aids in Digestion and Constipation
To prevent constipation, you can drink more water. If your body does not have enough of it, the colon pulls water from the stools to maintain hydration. This, in turn, makes solid waste harder to pass. Water, especially warm water, is good for digestive health. It improves the function of your gastrointestinal tract by helping break down food properly and promote regular bowel movements. When you eat large meals, your gut needs twice as much water to digest and process – so if you struggle with constipation, consider smaller meals and larger glasses of water.
Encourages Weight Loss
Sometimes you feel hungry, but you are just thirsty. Drinking water, especially two glasses before a meal, can help curb your appetite and indirectly support healthy weight loss. Water will not only fill your stomach, but it boosts metabolism, helps break down fat cells, and raises the rate at which your body burns fat. Other beverages add to your calorie count and contribute to gaining weight. Juices, sodas, and even some teas and coffee drinks have a lot of hidden calories. Stick to water to make sure you aren’t drinking your calories.
Flushes Out Toxins
Drinking water can help detoxify your body because you get rid of waste through sweat and urine. Increasing the amount of water you consume can also reduce the occurrence of kidney stones and promote kidney function in general. The water dilutes salts and minerals in the urine that cause these painful stones. However, do not go overboard, either. Your body needs a specific amount of water to function properly; discuss water consumption with your doctor to determine how much you should have every day. Too much water can lead to an electrolyte imbalance, which can cause dizziness and nausea.
Improves Brain Function
Do you feel distracted? Drinking more water can help you focus better. Your brain thrives when you consume water. If you need to feel more alert, coffee might seem like an obvious answer, but caffeine might not be the healthiest route. Water can also boost your energy levels, especially during exercise. Your brain is a fatty organ and needs plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you aren’t drinking enough, your brain can shrink a bit, making the transmission of electric signals and communication from it to your body more difficult. Think of your brain as a sponge, and make sure you’re keeping it plump.
Have you ever gotten a “Charley Horse” in the middle of the night? These leg cramping sensations can come on suddenly, but you can avoid this painful muscle tightness by drinking more water. Adequate hydration can help your muscles stay elastic and keep your joints lubricated. Thus, you are less likely to experience uncomfortable cramps. If you work out frequently, staying hydrated is essential to prevent muscle spasms and cramps.
Promotes Healthy Skin
The water you drink shows on your face – dewy, glowing skin is skin that’s kept well-hydrated. You can obtain a smooth, youthful complexion by increasing the amount of water you drink. Water hydrates the skin and improves blood circulation through tiny capillaries. When you replenish the elasticity of your skin tissue, you will start to achieve that radiant look. Allowing your skin to stay hydrated prevents dryness and dullness, as well. Plenty of water helps your body fight skin damage, too – the antioxidants you consume to fight the damage caused by free radical molecules need a lot of water to work. Keeping hydrated gives the antioxidants the tools they need to help replenish and renew your skin.
Eases a Hangover
Although there is no quick fix to a long night of drinking alcohol, consuming lots of water the night of the party and the next morning is a great way to lessen a hangover. Alcohol is also a diuretic that causes you to urinate more frequently. To stay hydrated, you need to drink an equivalent amount of water. It will relieve your hangover symptoms and speed up the recovery. Water also helps your body, specifically, the liver, process the alcohol and the impurities in it and flush them out.
Fights Bad Breath
A bad taste in your mouth can be a sign of low water intake. If you drink a sufficient amount of water, the food particles and oral bacteria should wash away with each meal. Further, it will dilute any lingering smelly compounds. Rinsing your mouth after eating the smallest of snacks can help remove bacteria and control odor.
Boosts Immune System
The more water you drink, the less likely you are to deal with common ailments like a cold or the flu. Some studies even suggest that staying hydrated with water reduces your chance of more severe diseases such as cancer or a heart attack. Drinking water will make you feel healthier in general, as it helps each organ system function at an optimum level. When your system has plenty of water, it’s better able to fend off bacteria and viruses.