Water is one of the most foundational yet underappreciated pillars of optimal nutrition and health. If you aren’t utilizing its benefits, you’re missing out big time.
You’ve surely heard that it’s beneficial to drink more of that good ole H20, but do you know why? The health benefits of drinking water are more far-reaching than most people know. It is, after all, one of THE most essential elements for our survival.
Over 2/3 of our bodies are made up of water, and it plays a huge part in how we function. But despite that, up to 75% of adults are chronically dehydrated. And if you aren’t drinking enough water, it could be really be affecting your health, including any weight loss goals.
Basically, water is SO crucial for good health! So let’s talk about the biggest health benefits of drinking enough.
9 Reasons to Drink More Water Today
Dr. Roberta Lee explained the importance of water this way: “60% of our bodies is composed of water, 75% in our muscles, 85% in our brains. It’s like oil to a machine.”
Staying hydrated has an impact on the entire body, meaning it benefits many aspects of life.
1. You’ll Metabolize Fat Better
Drinking enough water helps your kidneys work at their peak performance. This then helps your liver property eliminate waste and toxins from the blood. It’s a natural body detox!
The liver also metabolizes fat into energy, and staying hydrated helps it stay “focused” on fat burning for fat loss.
2. You’ll Eliminate Overeating
Thirst can often be mistaken for hunger. So when you feel hungry, drink a glass of water before eating a meal or snack.
Water works as a natural appetite suppressant because it fills your stomach with the hydration your body is craving! That means you can focus on eating good food only when you are actually hungry and not be tempted by cravings.
3. You’ll Save Calories
This is one of the best things you can do for your fitness goals: replace your regular beverages with water!
You don’t get the same level of satiety from drinking calories versus chewing them, so it’s easy to consume too many through sodas, coffee drinks, juices, and even smoothies and shakes.
To save calories, focus on getting them from whole foods you can chew and make water your beverage of choice! Commit to drinking half your bodyweight in ounces daily.
Make sure water is always accessible to drink throughout the day. You can even purchase a large reusable water bottle to carry with you to work and in the car.
4. Weight Loss Will Be Easier
Besides naturally helping you reduce calories, stay hydrated is great for weight loss in other ways:
- It boosts metabolism and can even help with appetite control. Studies show drinking just one glass of water increases your resting energy expenditure (the amount of calories your body burns while at rest), by 24-30% in 10 minutes . This effect lasts a whole hour!
- Drinking a glass of water before each meal helps you eat less. It’s really just a matter of volume and space. There’s only so much space in your stomach. If you fill it with water, there won’t be so much room left for food and will reduce the chance of overeating.
- Workouts will be better. When you loss just 2% of your body weight in water, workouts start to suffer . Better workouts mean more calorie burned, a boosted metabolism, and more fat burning, so hydrate for better gym time!
5. Digestion Will Be Better
Water is an amazing digestion aid. Without it, your intestines can get blocked and slow down, causing potty time to be, er… strenuous. And nobody likes to have to spend an hour in the lou.
Drinking water can keep things flowing freely by helping to dissolve soluble fiber and fats. It also makes your kidneys’ and liver’s job easier by flushing out toxins before they reach these organs.
6. You’ll Improve Joint Mobility
Water acts as a lubricant for our joints and cartilage, helping us move around with ease. Plus, cartilage is made up of about 85% water.
It only makes sense we must continue supplying our joints with water to stay supple. When our cartilage gets dry and brittle, that’s when we start to walk like Quasimodo.
7. You’ll Boost Your Brain Power
Being dehydrated can make you feel tired, depriving you of the energy you need to get stuff done and stay sharp. And when you don’t supply the brain with enough hydration, the cells can actually start to shrivel. This causes the brain to have to work harder to do the same work as before.
A properly hydrated brain has a better attention span, focus, and memory. Drink up your water and you may have an advantage over many of your coworkers. Here’s looking at you for the next promotion! Wink, wink.
8. You Complexion Will Glow!
Just like any organ in the body, your skin is made of cells that are made up of water. Without proper hydration, your skin can’t look and function as well as it should. Drinking enough water ensures skin stays hydrated, supply, glowing, and less prone to wrinkles.
9. Chance of Diseases Will Be Reduced
Drinking enough may help prevent pain in many areas of life.
Besides helping prevent headaches related to dehydration, staying hydrated combined with a healthy lifestyle may also play a role in long-term prevention of diseases like bladder and colon cancer.
How to Know if You’re Dehydrated
Worried about being a victim of dehydration? Here are a few signs to look for:
- You are thirsty all the time. Duh. (And in fact, experts say that by the time you actually feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!)
- You feel like taking a nap or feel lazy.
- You get frequent headaches or migraines.
- Your urine is darker than usual and you don’t need to go so often.
- Your skin feels dry or flaky.
- You get dizzy or lightheaded often.
Do you have any of these symptoms? Or perhaps all of them? You need to drink up! It’s time to start the habit of having water handy at all times. And don’t worry — we’re here to help with that too.
Simple Ways to Increase Your Water Intake
Staying hydrated is easy when you have water nearby, delicious and ready to drink. Think about how you can have fresh water around you wherever you spend your day, making it easy to reach out and guzzle it down.
Here are a few ways others have made drinking lots of water a daily habit:
Carry a Water Bottle
Buy lots of pretty and functional water bottles to keep wherever you see fit. A fancy water bottle for the office desk will help you to drink while at work. (I’m seeing your initials monogrammed in gold or silver, just to make you look important.)
You’ll also need a water bottle for the car. This bottle should be glass or an approved plastic that is safe to keep in the sun (DEHA free).
While at home, you can keep a filtered water jug in the fridge for access to clean and cold water at all times, or invest in a water delivery system like Culligan or Crystal Springs that stick out like a sore thumb and are hard to ignore.
Use an App Reminder
There’s an app for that! Yes, you can download an app on your phone that will remind you to drink your water. It will also track your intake and let you know how you are doing.
Some of the highest rated free hydration apps include:
- Daily Water (iPhone and Android)
- Waterlogged (iPhone only)
- Plant Nanny (iPhone only)
- Hydro Coach (Android only)
- Water Drink Reminder (Android only)
Jazz Up Your Water
If you’re getting bored with the plain old water, add some flavor to it. Here are some ideas:
- Make your water XTREME! x2o is an amazing additive to your water bottle that has an alkalizing, mineralizing, hydrating effect on ordinary water. Grab some here.
- Add a slice of lemon, lime, or other fruits.
- Place a water infuser in your water bottle and fill it with lots of yummy things.
- Add a stick of cinnamon, which comes with its own boost of nutrition.
- Steep some mint and cucumber to make a fancy spa-like water. This will help you feel refreshed and pampered.
- Make flavored ice cubes from fruit juice — it flavors the water as it melts without adding many calories.
- Add some Focus Up drink mix for a boost of nutrients to improve energy, mood, and concentration. It has a natural berry flavor and is just 10 calories!
Know What NOT to Drink
Remember that when choosing what to drink, not all liquids are the same. Water is king and any variations that don’t add calories or sugar will do just as well.
Sodas, alcohol, and sugary fruit juices should be avoided, of course, but I’m sure you already know that. Coffee should be limited and not loaded with creamer and sugar.
Coconut water is a great choice, as long as it has little to no added sugar. It even helps replenish any lost electrolytes.
Hydrating well will certainly help you reach your health (and sometimes life) goals. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the change in mood, energy, and overall wellness that comes with staying hydrated. You’ll fall in love with water!
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Note that this information is presented as educational in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure or prevent any disease.
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