Our bodies use water in their cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because our bodies lose water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it’s important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. The amount of water we need depends on a variety of factors, including the climate we live in, how physically active we are, and whether we are experiencing an illness or have any other health problems.
We all know it’s healthy, we all know we need to drink it, but quite often we shirk it off for tastier and less healthy beverages like soda, alcohol or sweetened tea and juices. Drinking water is a good habit, a habit that can be learned, and it comes with some pretty powerful benefits.
- Water is one of the best tools for weight loss. It can replace high-calorie drinks like soda, juice and alcohol with a drink that doesn’t have any calories. It’s also a great appetite suppressant, and often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. Water has no fat, no calories, no carbs and no sugar. Drink plenty to help your weight-loss regimen.
- Drinking a good amount of water could support heart health, by affecting factors such as the thickness of blood and plasma. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that subjects who drink five or more glasses of water per day have half the risk of fatal coronary heart disease compared with those who drink less than two glasses of water each day.
- Being dehydrated can sap your energy and make you feel tired — even mild dehydration of as little as 1 or 2 percent of your body weight. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated — and this can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness and other symptoms.
- Another symptom of dehydration is headaches. Often when we suffer headaches it’s simply a matter of not drinking enough water. There are lots of other causes of headaches of course, but dehydration is a common one and upping your intake of water could lead to less.
- Drinking water can clear up your skin and people often report a healthy glow after drinking water. A week of drinking a healthy amount of water can have good effects on your skin.
- Our digestive systems need water to digest food properly. Water can often help cure stomach acid problems, and water along with fiber can cure constipation (often a result of dehydration).
- Water flushes out toxins and waste products from the body, leaving your system cleansed and much healthier. The elimination of these toxins and waste can also contribute to weight loss.
- Related to the digestive system item above, drinking a healthy amount of water has also been found to reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45%. Drinking lots of water can also reduce the risk of bladder cancer by 50% and potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Being dehydrated can severely hamper your athletic activities, by slowing you down and making it harder to lift weights. Exercise requires additional water, so be sure to hydrate before, during and after exercise.
Starting a good habit is easy. Continuing that good habit until it becomes second nature, not so much. Always carry a water bottle with you and keep drinking. Replace other beverages you normally drink with water. Give yourself a goal of how much you would like to drink per day and improve upon it.