The human body is made up of about 70% water. Water is essential to life and has some surprising benefits. Here are great reasons you should drink water instead of that carbonated beverage you might be sipping on.

1. Maintain fluid balance in the body.

Your body needs to maintain the correct balance between sodium and potassium in the body in order to function properly, and without drinking water, this would not be possible.

2. Help to control weight.

Sometimes when you feel hungry, you are actually thirsty. It is easier than you think to get the signals mixed up. Grab a glass of water if you are not sure if you are truly craving food. It is also a calorie free drink as opposed to the many empty, sugary calories in a soda, and you will lose weight in no time.

3. Increase energy.

Since water is used in almost all the processes in the body, when you are low on water, you are low on energy. Try drinking a glass of water if you are feeling sluggish instead of caffeine, which can actually dehydrate you further.

4. Prevent depression.

Low levels of water in the brain can cause depression since water is required for optimal functioning of the brain. So if you are feeling down, grab a bottle and drink up.

5. Glowing skin.

Dehydration can make your skin look deflated and wrinkled. Drinking water can help your skin look younger, brighter, and healthier. You can boost the effect of water by using a moisturizer to “lock” the water in.

6. Digestion.

Water keeps things flowing in your intestinal tract and kidneys. If you want to keep things regular, down some water.

7. Prevent acne.

Drinking a glass of hot lemon water in the morning has been shown to help reduce breakouts caused by bacteria.

8. Prevent sickness.

Since water helps to move things along, it aids in getting rid of toxins and helps to prevent bad bacteria from staying in the body, such as infections that could get you sick.

9. Keep muscles functioning.

Have you ever worked out while you were dehydrated? You may have noticed your muscles did not feel like moving. Drink water to keep your body moving throughout your fitness routines.

10. Keep you looking slim.

When the body is dehydrated, it compensates by retaining water, causing you to look bloated and puffy. The best way to reduce puffiness is by regularly drinking water.

Water needs:

Most people need about half of an ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. Active individuals need much more — as much as two thirds of an ounce per pound of body weight due to the increased muscle use (see number 9) and the amount lost through perspiration.

How to tell if you are dehydrated:

When your mouth is dry and you feel thirsty, you are often in the critical stages of thirst.  Before you actually feel thirst, there are some signs to look for:

  • Joint pain
  • Stomach pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue

It is best to hydrate throughout the day since you might not know when you are truly thirsty.

Ways to get more water into your life:

  • Start the day with a glass or mug (see number 7) of water.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. These staples provide “structured water,” which sources say is the best kind, as well as provide fiber.
  • Drink a glass of water with every meal.
  • Carry a reusable water bottle with you to help remind yourself to hydrate. Choose one that you will love carrying around — it is worth the extra buck or two for your health AND the environment.

Do not underestimate the power of water in helping you look and feel your best! Now go grab a cold one!

Love lemon water? Check out the 11 Benefits of Lemon Water You Didn’t Know About

Featured photo credit: 10 Great Reasons to Drink Watervia Flickr

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