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Did you know that your body is made up of 60% water? And your brain is made up of 65% water! We NEED water for our body to function properly and to think clearly. And unfortunately, this is one of the biggest areas people overlook. When people think of health and weight loss, they generally just think about diet and exercise, but drinking enough water is equally important. You need to be 100% on your diet, 100% on your exercise and 100% on your water intake for optimal results. Will you see results with diet and exercise alone? Sure, but you’ll have success more quickly if you are drinking enough water and there are SO MANY benefits to drinking water besides losing weight.
Benefits of drinking water
Water is vital for nearly every function in your body
We can survive for weeks without food but only 3 days without water. Lack of water can cause fatigue, short term memory loss, trouble concentrating/focusing, dizziness, irritability, constipation and headaches.
Water helps you think more clearly
Like I mentioned above, our brain is made up of 65% water. If you aren’t drinking enough water, you’re head will start to feel cloudy and you’ll have a hard time concentrating. Not drinking enough water can affect your memory and also give you feelings of anxiety. If you’re having a hard time concentrating or staying on task, try drinking a glass of water and see if it helps.
Water helps you have more energy
When you don’t consume enough water, it leads to dehydration and you’ll start to feel tired and lack motivation. It can also lead to headaches and the feeling of wanting to just take a nap. We all know that feeling where you just have no motivation and feel like you can’t take another step. If the only thing that sounds good is a nap RIGHT NOW, it could be dehydration!
Water prevents headaches
Headaches can be caused by dehydration. Staying hydrated can help keep the headaches and even some migraines away. If you feel a headache coming on, go and drink some water to try to help it before it gets any worse. In fact, drinking enough water each day can keep you from reaching for the ibuprofen all together!
Water is necessary for digestion, nutrient absorption and carrying waste out of our bodies
If we don’t drink enough water, our bodies have a hard time getting rid of waste and toxins through urination, bowel movements and sweating. When the waste builds up in our bodies, it can cause a whole bunch of problems for us like constipation, weight gain and our bodies inability to rid itself of toxins. Constipation can lead to digestive disorders, gas, bloating, nausea and stomach cramps. Water is also vital for food digestion and absorption. Water can also help prevent the buildup of minerals that cause kidney stones. (My husband had them once and I don’t wish them on anyone. That alone should be motivation to drink more water!)
Water prevents disease and illness
Water can help protect against diseases and certain types of cancer. Yep you read that right! Lack of sufficient water can also lead to a weakened immune system and imbalances in our bodies. You can also develop ulcers when the stomach doesn’t have enough liquid to make the mucous that protects our stomach from the acids used for digestion. Drinking water helps boost your immune system and avoid illnesses such as the common cold and flu.
Water helps our mood
When we are dehydrated, it makes our head feel like it’s in a fog and can also cause us to feel grumpy and irritable. Even being just a little dehydrated can affect your mood.
Water helps maintain/grow muscles and helps performance in the gym
If you train while dehydrated, you’ll lose strength and muscle size. When you aren’t drinking enough water, your body isn’t able to carry enough oxygen to your muscles making them more easily fatigued and not able to build strength. Water helps prevent muscle breakdown and helps with recovery after your workout! It also prevents muscle cramping and fatique.
Water helps us lose weight
Water suppresses your appetite and is calorie free. Drinking water helps get your metabolism running better which can aid in fat loss! Thirst is often mistaken for hunger and can lead to overeating. So next time you think you’re hungry, try drinking a glass of water first and see if really was hunger or if it was thirst.
Drinking water helps with water retention
Sounds counterproductive right? But no! If you’re feeling extra puffy or can tell you’re retaining water, make it a point to drink lots of water throughout the day and you’ll be feeling back to normal in no time.
Water helps cushion our brain and joints
Not drinking enough water can cause your joints to feel stiff and stiff joints can lead to injury. When you drink enough water, we keep the cartilage in our joints soft and hydrated, which helps relieve any pain or discomfort you may feel in your joints.
Water helps blood circulation
Water is important for circulation and will increase the level of oxygen in our bloodstream. The more oxygen that is available in our bodies, the healthier our immune system and the better our organs will function.
Water helps keep your skin beautiful
Water helps keep your skin moist. If you’re skin is dry, you’re more prone to getting lines and wrinkles. It also helps with your complexion, skin texture and color and helps keep your skin clear.
Water helps keep your body cool and regulate its temperature in hot weather.
If you’re dehydrated you aren’t able to produce enough sweat and you can overheat. This can lead to something as mild as redness to something as serious as heatstroke.
How much water should you drink?
The amount of water a person needs varies based on your height,weight and activity level. You need to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces a day to provide your body with the MINIMUM water requirements. We lose water every day by going to the bathroom and through sweating. If you are active, you should be drinking more water than someone who isn’t. Our bodies use water that we drink as well as water in food to help replace the water that it loses each day. Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated? And a person can lose up to 2% of their body weight in water before they even feel thirsty! Crazy right!
How to increase water intake.
Water is hard for a lot of people to get in and I even fall short a lot of days. A few things you can do to remember to drink water is set a reminder in your phone or download an app that tells you to drink water, make it a habit of drinking one or two glasses of water before each meal and carry a water bottle with you every where you go. I find it’s easier to have a big water bottle I can sip on all day. If I have a small water bottle, I forget to go fill it up and before I know it, the day is almost over and I’ve hardly had any water at all.
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding some fruit or flavoring to it. Just be careful not to add in too many extra calories. And no, pop does NOT replace water! In fact, drinking pop, tea or coffee can actually dehydrate you more because of the caffeine content in them. For me, I only allow myself one diet coke a day so it doesn’t take away from my desire to drink water.
Make drinking water fun by picking up a bottle or mug that you like. I have this one made by RTIC and it is awesome! It keeps your water cold all day and the ice doesn’t melt fast. That’s especially greaty on a hot summer day! I actually prefer cool or room temperature water as opposed to cold water so I just fill it up without any ice and it’s perfect!
One way to know if you’re getting enough water is if your urine is a light yellow color and you need to pee frequently.
I am making it a goal to start drinking more water. Especially after doing the research for this article. There are so many benefits and I want to take advantage of them all!
Now go drink your water!