Top 12 Benefits of Drinking Plenty of Water

We hear it everywhere we go: drinking more water will improve your health; drink 8 glasses of water per day; blah, blah, blah… I completely agree that drinking enough water everyday is essential for good health, but I am not the type of person to settle for doing something just because you are “supposed to.” Instead, I like to study out different topics so that I can understand the reasoning behind WHY I should be implementing it into my lifestyle.

So, that’s what I did with water consumption, I studied the reasons why the body needs a sufficient amount of water. I learned that the body consists of about 60% – 70% water (the numbers vary depending on the source), and all chemical reactions in the body depend on good hydration. Here are some details about what I learned:

The Top 12 Reasons You Should Drink Plenty Of Water Everyday

  1. Optimize your metabolism. Everyone wants a high-functioning metabolism, and drinking water is a great way to support your bodies digestion process and increase your metabolism. The water also helps to flush out by-products that are created when the fat is broken down. If you are losing fat (or want to lose fat), it is necessary to drink plenty of water to assist the body in getting rid of the unwanted by-products.
  2. Water helps the body absorb nutrients. Getting essential vitamins and nutrients are important for health, but it doesn’t mean anything until the nutrients are absorbed on a cellular level. The water in your body helps to transport oxygen and nutrients to the cells so that they can absorb what they need.
  3. Drinking enough water everyday will replenish and allow the body to function properly. Without water your organs and major body functions will not work as they should, so you need to provide your body with plenty of clean water everyday if you want optimal health. If the major organs don’t have the necessary water, they will have to work harder to complete the necessary functions.
  4. Drinking enough water may help to reduce the risk of colon and bladder cancer. When the body is well-hydrated, it is constantly moving waste out through the bladder and colon. But, if there is not enough water then the waste will become more concentrated and it will stay in the body longer. Some studies suggest that diluting the concentration of waste and continually keeping it moving will reduce the amount of time that cancer-causing agents are in contact with the bladder lining, so cancer is less-likely to develop.
  5. Water helps to regulate the temperature of the body. It is known that the human body is very sensitive to temperature, so in order to maintain optimal nutrition (and stay alive!) the body must have a way to regulate it’s temperature. Drinking water provides the body with a great resource so that the internal functions can work properly. When you are over-heated, the body begins to secrete sweat, which in turn helps to lower the body temperature. But, the body needs to be well supplied with water in order for this function to work as it should.
  6. Water helps to release toxins. As the body excretes water through sweat, urine, and bowel movements, toxins and other unwanted substances are released. Natural processes create a buildup of waste, and it is necessary to get rid of that waste– and water is the substance that the body uses to remove these toxins. If you are dehydrated, your body will work to preserve the water by slowing down these natural body functions… you will be constipated, your urine will be more concentrated, you may have a dry mouth, among other symptoms of dehydration.
  7. Not drinking enough water can harm our health. Even though it may not seem like a big deal, dehydration can actually cause problems such as constipation, headaches, muscle cramps, kidney problems (kidney stones, ack!), and it can even mess with your blood pressure! It is much easier to avoid these complications by drinking enough water each day.
  8. Drinking enough water can help you to avoid over-eating. Many times people confuse their bodies signals and think that they are hungry, when really they are thirsty. Whenever you find yourself reaching for a snack, try drinking a full glass of water first and see if that satisfies your body.
  9. Beautiful skin is another benefit of drinking plenty of water. Being well hydrated provides the skin what it needs to be soft and it increases the elasticity of the skin. If you are dehydrated, your skin may become dry and cracked. Also, when the skin has enough water it is able to release the toxins more efficiently, which is turn helps to prevent buildup (ie. zits) under the skin.
  10. Higher levels of energy. Water helps your body to have more energy, because your muscles will be fueled and your body temperature will be regulated. Also, the brain consists of 90% water, so drinking enough water will help your brain to function optimally, which in turn may help you to feel more alert and aware of what you are doing.
  11. Drinking plenty of water relieves constipation. If you aren’t drinking enough water, the bowels will slow down in order to absorb more water from the waste before it is eliminated. So, the waste becomes more compact and hard, which means that it will be harder to get out. Drinking plenty of water can help the bowels to have plenty of fluid so that you can keep things moving along.
  12. Hydration helps to lessen muscle fatigue. Staying well hydrated will supply your muscles and joints with the lubrication that they need, preventing cramps, aches, and pains. If you have sore muscles from a workout, make sure that you are drinking plenty of water to help your body heal the muscles.

So, How Much Water Do You Need?

Now that we have established how important water is for the human body, let’s talk about the amount of water you should be drinking. Various sources suggest specific amounts that should be consumed each day, but I personally don’t feel that there is a set amount that is best for each person.

Some factors that need to be considered are your body weight, how physically active you are, the types of food that you eat on a regular basis, and the climate where you live. For example, an active athlete in a warm climate will need to drink more water than a sedentary person in a cooler climate.

In my opinion, the best way to tell how much your body needs is by paying attention to how you feel— and try to keep yourself hydrated at all times. If you are experiencing a dry mouth or fatigue, you are probably already dehydrated and you should increase your water consumption. But, it is best to try to prevent it in the first place, so make a conscious effort to drink water BEFORE the dehydration symptoms kick in. It takes some practice, but you will be doing yourself a huge favor by being proactive about your hydration.

One of the most effective ways to see if you are staying well hydrated is by paying attention to your urine color. (I know, it’s such a gross topic to talk about… but in order to have optimal health you need to pay attention to what is going into you body AND what is leaving your body) You should try to keep your urine a colorless or light yellow color. If it is a darker color, make it a point to drink more water so that it dilutes down to a better color.

Keep in mind that your body will require more water if you are eating processed foods or seasoned meats, because most of those foods are loaded with sodium. In general people eat waaaaay too much sodium, so if you want to keep your body hydrated it is a good idea to cut back on the foods that are heavy in sodium and increase your water intake.

Also, it is important to remember that you can over-do it by drinking too much water. If you drink too much water, it can throw off the balance of electrolytes in the body, which can have a fatal effect in severe cases. Here is a great article with some detailed information about why too much water can damage the body: Why drinking too much water is dangerous

The best thing to do is to pay attention to your body cues, and you will start to notice how you feel when you drink varying amounts of water.

How To Drink More Water

I have found that I am much better at staying hydrated if I get some habits or reminders put in place. You will want to start your day out right: wake up and drink a liter of water first thing in the morning. The body is always dehydrated in the morning because it has gone the entire night without sustenance, and so starting with water first thing in the morning is a great way to get things moving.

Drinking 1 liter of water is literally the first thing I do when I get up each day. I tend to drink another glass of water within an hour or 2, and then I try to make it a point to get a drink each time I use the bathroom. I don’t count the glasses of water that I drink each day, it’s silly to measure it out. Instead, try to drink when I feel like my body needs it– and I make sure to always have a glass of water on hand throughout the day.

Figure out a system that works for you. If you feel like you need to set an alarm, preset your phone to message you every so often throughout the day to remind you to drink some water. You will find that the pre-set times will turn into habits after you do it for several weeks.

What About Other Types Of Drinks?

One reason that many people fail to drink enough water throughout the day is because they are constantly sipping on a can of soda, mug of coffee, or glass of iced tea. Yes, these are liquids… but these drinks do not support your health in the way that water does.

Soda is especially harmful, because it not only stops you from drinking water (because you are too busy drinking thee soda), but it also contains harmful ingredients and empty calories. There is NO nutritional benefit to drinking soda, it does you body more harm than good.

So, the best way to stay well hydrated is by increasing the amount of water you are consuming and decreasing the amount of other drinks you are consuming.

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