Water is the main component of the human body. In fact, the body is composed of between 55 and 78 percent water, depending on body size. Adequate and regular water consumption has numerous health benefits. As an added plus, it has no calories, fat, carbohydrates or sugar.
The recommended amount of water to be drunk per day varies from person to person, depending on factors such as how active they are and how much they sweat. There is no universally agreed upon amount of water that must be consumed daily, but there is a general level of consensus as to what a healthy amount is. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an adequate intake for men is approximately 13 cups (3 liters) a day. For women, an adequate intake is around 9 cups (2.2 liters).
To function properly, all the cells and organs of the body need water. It is also used to lubricate the joints, protect the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, regulate body temperature, and assist the passage of food through the intestines.
And what are the main benefits of drinking water?
If you often feel tired, there is a high chance that it could be due to inadequate consumption of water which makes the body function less efficiently. In fact, fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration. When there is less water in the body, there is a drop of blood volume which causes the heart to work harder to pump oxygenated blood out in the bloodstream, and other major organs also work less efficiently. Thus, drinking adequate water can help your body function better and reduce fatigue.
Research indicates that mild dehydration (even one or two percent lower hydration level of hydration than optimal) can negatively affect your mood and ability to think. A small study conducted on 25 women and published in the Journal of Nutrition found that being dehydrated can take a toll on your mood and cognitiive function. The color of your urine is a good indicator of your level of hydration. The lighter the color the better the level of hydration and vice versa.
Treats Headaches and Migraines
If you have a headache or migraine, the first thing that you can do to get some relief is drink plenty of water. Headaches and migraines are often caused by dehydration. Researchers found that increasing water intake helped reduce the total number of hours and intensity of headaches in the study participants.
Aids Weight Loss
Forget other diet tricks – drinking water could also help with weight loss. Numerous studies have found a connection between water consumption and losing a few pounds. The secret reason? Water simply helps people feel full, and as a result consume fewer calories.
Flushes Out Toxins
Water is an excellent detoxifier as it helps flush out toxins from your body and get rid of waste primarily through sweat and urine. It also promotes kidney function and reduces kidney stones by diluting the salts and minerals in urine that cause kidney stones. Our kidneys process 200 quarts of blood daily, sifting out waste and transporting urine to the bladder. Yet, kidneys need enough fluids to clear away what we don’t need in the body. Let’s drink to that!
Regulates Body Temperature
An ample amount of water in the body also helps regulate body temperature. The thermal properties of water and its ability to release heat from the body when sweat evaporates from the surface of the skin greatly helps maintain an even body temperature. A well-regulated body temperature also will make you feel more energetic when exercising. Water also helps keep your joints and muscles lubricated, thus preventing cramps and sprains.
Promotes Healthy Skin
Water keeps the body well hydrated and improves capillary blood flow, which promotes healthier and younger-looking skin. Water helps replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases the elasticity in your skin. When the body gets enough water, your skin will feel moisturized and it will look fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Certain toxins in the body can cause the skin to inflame, which results in clogged pores and acne. Water flushes out these toxins and can reduce the risk of pimples.
If booze has got the best of you, help a hangover with a glass of water to hydrate the body and stop that pounding headache. Being a diuretic, alcohol causes you to pee much more than you take in. Thus, water helps rehydrate the body and speed up recovery. Experts recommend drinking 16 to 20 ounces of water at night before going to bed after you have had too much alcohol.
5 Tips to Help You Drink More
If you think you need to be drinking more, here are some tips to increase your fluid intake and reap the benefits of water:
- Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
- Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
- Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
- Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you’re watching calories, go for non-caloric beverages or water