While most people can agree that water is a healthy beverage choice, there has long been debate over how much of the drink should be consumed daily. It was previously thought that at least eight glasses per day was needed to help combat the natural effects of dehydration. Recently, however, a study suggested that that much water may not be necessarily. Despite this, water remains the most recommended drink due to its many benefits.
Water Helps to Regulate the Body
Nearly everything inside the body serves a purpose, and water is no exception. The need to remain properly hydrated all comes down to the fact that the body itself is 60 percent water. While that may seem like a lot, it really isn’t considering just how many basic human functions require water. These include:
- Creating saliva
- Digesting food
- Transporting nutrients
- Maintaining body temperature
When the body starts to run low on water for all these functions, it sends a message to the brain that triggers the thirst command. This means that as soon as an individual becomes thirsty, they’re actually in the beginning stages of dehydration. Considering how important all the functions listed above are, it makes sense that drinking more water is always best.
Need to Lose Weight Quickly? Switch to Water.
Another perk to water is its amazing weight loss benefits. For those who are looking to lose weight quickly, switching to the beverage may be the perfect solution. The drink contains zero calories, so by replacing sugary drinks with water, individuals are cutting hundreds of calories from their diet. This switch alone resulted in an average weight loss of 10 to 15 pounds. Best of all, dieters typically see results within a few days, all without ever having to change their diet.
Water also helps individuals lose weight by tricking the body into feeling full. To accomplish this, simply drink a glass of water before and after each meal. Since the stomach is now filled with water, dieters will automatically eat smaller portion sizes because they feel full.
Water Removes Toxins From the Body
Of all the organs in the body, few are more impressive than the kidneys. The main purpose of the kidneys are to filter out waste and other toxins that are found inside the body. Without this, humans would die.
The most common toxin is called blood urea nitrogen. While toxic, the body makes this chemical naturally as it digests food. Blood urea nitrogen is water-soluble, meaning that in order to remove it, it must be urinated out. Without proper hydration, this task becomes extremely difficult for the kidneys to do.
To compensate for the lack of water, they begin to trap extra fluids in an attempt to remove the toxins from the body. If this happens often enough, it can lead to extremely painful kidney stones. Fortunately, all this can be prevented by drinking a couple glasses of water each day.
Improve Your Appearance with Water
Water isn’t just beneficial for the internal body, but external as well. Anyone who lives in a cold climate knows that winter takes a toll on the skin due to the lack of the moisture in the air. This same concept can be applied to the body. If an individual doesn’t drink enough water, the skin can become dried, flaky, cracked, and age at a much faster rate than someone who is properly hydrated.
Even worse, when facial skin is dry, the body produces oil in an effort to keep the skin moist. While this is done to protect the skin, the extra oil can lead to clogged pores and severe acne. The solution? Drink more liquids each day and use a moisturizer that also contain water. This will help to lock in all the beneficial vitamins and minerals while giving the skin a healthy glowing appearance.
Water Makes You Feel Better
While there may be tastier drink options on the market, drinking water frequently has been shown to help the drinker feel more energized and overall healthier. This is largely due to the muscles within the body. In order to work properly, the muscles must stay hydrated. When not enough water is consumed, the electrolytes stored within them begin to shrivel. This leads to muscle stiffness, soreness, and a general feeling of fatigue.
There are also a lot of serious side effects that may be experienced when an individual becomes too dehydrated. These include:
- Rapid heart beat
- Low blood pressure
While most of these side effects won’t be experienced by missing a few glasses of water, they can start to take effect within the first 24 hours. Even worse, the longer someone goes without drinking water, the harder it will be for their body to digest it properly.
Who Needs to Drink Water?
While everyone should drink water on a daily basis, there are several situations when more water is needed in order to keep the body healthy. This is based on several factors, including age, fitness level, health, and more. The most common reasons to increase water intake levels are listed below.
- During and after recovering from an illness
- While on a high protein or fiber diet
- During and after all forms of exercising
- On a hot day
- Anytime when the body is sweating
Tips to Drink More
There are countless reasons to drink water, but many Americans still struggle to drink a healthy amount each day. Fortunately, there are several tips that individuals can try to help increase their water intake level.
- Keep a water bottle on hand at all times. If water is more convenient than soda, individuals will drink it more.
- Drink a glass of water before each meal. Not only does this help with dehydration, but also weight loss.
- Drink flavoured water instead of tap.
- Missing soda? Try switching to carbonated water.
- Try drinking water with a straw. Many people consume more liquid this way.
- Add some honey, lemon, mint, or other ingredients to help enhance the flavour.
- Try drinking cold or hot water instead of room temperature.