Drinking eight glasses of water each day is the often publicized key to good health. While research is constantly changing on how much water you should consume to get the most health benefits, one thing is clear: water is an essential nutrient that your body needs to function properly! Water helps to replace the large amounts of fluid lost each day, regulates your body temperature, lubricates your joints, helps to protect tissues in the body, and assists with bodily waste removal processes . Your body loses fluid though urine and stool, breathing, and skin evaporation, so getting enough water each day is important to maintain good health. Did you know that your fluid needs are met through the water and beverages you drink, as well as the foods you eat? That’s right- soups and foods with a higher content of water (such as celery, melons, or cucumbers) actually contribute to your daily fluid intake! Continue reading for more information on the many health benefits of water:
Water is an important part of most weight loss regimens. While drinking water does not magically make the pounds disappear, it does help if you use it as a substitute for higher calorie beverages. Eating a diet that is full of foods with high water content can also help with weight loss by making you feel more satisfied and full for longer periods of time. Water-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, beans, and broth-based soups tend to be absorbed more slowly, making you feel full for longer. This can really help reduce your caloric intake and jump start your weight loss! Drinking a glass of ice cold water can also give your metabolism a boost, as your body burns extra calories to warm the water up.
Interested in more ways to lose weight with help from water? Try swimming!
Water works together with fiber to keep your digestive process functioning properly. Water helps to dissolve food and pass waste through your gastrointestinal tract smoothly, preventing constipation. If you become dehydrated, your body will absorb all of the water, leaving your colon dry and making it difficult to have a bowel movement and rid your body of its waste.
Water may be one of the keys to looking younger! Your skin contains water and acts as a barrier to prevent excess loss of fluids. If you are dehydrated, your skin may appear more dry and wrinkled. Drinking water hydrates the cells in your skin, flushes out pore-clogging impurities, and improves circulation and blood flow. Skin moisturizers actually function by creating a physical barrier to keep the water in your skin from being lost.
Water is critical for proper function of your kidneys, which are the organs in your body responsible for excreting waste in the urine. If you have enough water intake, your kidneys will detoxify and cleanse your body. You can tell if you are drinking enough water by the color and concentration of your urine – lighter colored urine that is free of odor is a good sign that you are adequately hydrated! Drinking water is also important in the prevention of kidney stones, which occur when there is not enough water to dilute the salts and minerals in your urine.
Improve Muscle Function
Muscle fatigue can occur when cells don’t have the proper balance of fluids and electrolytes. This is why it is especially important to drink enough fluids when exercising. Drinking water before and during physical activity can help your muscles achieve better performance. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you drink approximately 17 ounces of fluid two hours before engaging in physical activity, and to remember to replenish fluids at regular intervals to replace what is lost by sweating.
Robinson, Jennifer. “WebMD Slideshow: 7 Benefits of Water.” WebMD. WebMD, 7 Dec. 2014. Web. 03 Jan. 2016.
“Water and Nutrition.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 03 June 2014. Web. 04 Jan. 2016.
Zelman, Kathleen M., MPH RD. “Why Drink More Water? See 6 Health Benefits of Water.” WebMD. WebMD, 8 May 2008. Web. 03 Jan. 2016.