You may already be aware that you should drink plenty of water each day, but do you know why? Yes, it’s true that you cannot stay alive for very long without drinking water, but keeping well hydrated is also essential for general day-to-day health and well-being. The benefits of water are endless, and H20 is probably even more important than you already realize.
This article will give you scientific and academically based benefits of water. By the end of this article, you will learn some great reasons to stay hydrated.
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The Nutritional Value of Water
In terms of nutrition, plain water contains zero calories. This alone is a great reason to consume more of it.
Unlike almost every other consumable, water is not a source of carbohydrates, protein, or fat. Its only function is to hydrate you, and you can drink plenty of it without worrying about any weight gain.
Often, when you feel hungry, it’s actually your body telling you that you need more water. Instead of reaching for a candy bar, try a glass of water first, and you may find that the hunger soon subsides.
5 Scientific Benefits of Water
Water has so many benefits for your health that it would be impossible to list all of them in this article. However, here are 5 science-backed benefits that water has for your health and why you should always stay properly hydrated.
1. Keeps You at Peak Performance
Your physical performance can suffer if you don’t drink enough water. In fact, your physical performance can be severely impacted if you lose as little as 2% of your body’s water. The result of this can be things like fatigue, loss of body temperature control, less motivation, and lethargy. Exercise will feel a lot more difficult from a mental and physical perspective in this case.
On the other hand, studies show that a good level of hydration not only prevents the above from happening, but it may even reduce oxidative stress that comes with high intensity activities. This makes sense when you think about the fact that water makes up 80% of muscles. So, stay well hydrated to remain at peak physical condition.
2. Improve Brain Function
Your level of hydration has a big impact on your brain function. Studies show that even a modest level of dehydration of 1-2% (of reduced water in the body) can impair many brain functions. The fact that water can help you maintain focus and a good memory is just one of the many benefits of water.
This was highlighted in a study conducted with young women at the University of Connecticut. The research shows that women who had a fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise suffered from impaired concentration, poor mood, and had more headaches.
A similar study involving young men also shows that a fluid loss of 1.59% increases feelings of fatigue and anxiety, and reduces working memory.
3. Prevent and Treat Headaches
This follows from the previous point that shows how important water is to brain function. Dehydration is usually the root cause of migraines in many people. However, beyond preventing dehydration, new studies show that drinking water can be an effective way of treating and even preventing headaches from happening in the first place.
4. Deliver Nutrients to Your Body
Although pure water does not contain any nutrients itself, it can absorb some minerals and deliver them to your body, which is one of the best benefits of water. After a workout, water acts to help your muscles recover by delivering the right amount of nutrients at the right time. This is especially important at night as that’s when most of your muscle recovery happens.
Bottled mineral water can sometimes contain healthy minerals that your body needs like sodium, magnesium, and calcium. Just make sure you read the label to learn the exact mineral content of your bottled mineral water.
5. Regulates Body Temperature
Water is excellent at absorbing and transferring heat in your body. In fact, it is the primary way that the human body is able to regulate its temperature.
Water has a relatively high heat capacity, so the water in every cell of your body can work as a shield against sudden temperature changes.This is also the reason why professionals always recommend you drink plenty of water in hot climates.
How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day?
Now that you understand why you should drink more water, the next question is how much you need in order to receive the benefits of water. The Internet is full of uneducated responses regarding the amounts of water you need to keep your body functioning properly, and the most common response is the un-scientific 8 cups a day rule.
However, most scientists and health professionals agree that it’s much better to drink according to your gender, weight, level of physical activity, and climate. Read this article to know how much water you should be drinking each day: How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)
The simple rule of thumb is to drink when you feel thirsty. Your body has evolved complex mechanisms in your brain and body to send signals when your body needs more fluid intake. Learn to listen to your thirst, and you’ll be well on your way to drinking enough water.
How to Drink More Water
After working out how much water you should drink in a day, you might discover that you’re not drinking enough. If this is the case, you will need to find new ways to drink more water each day. For instance, you can eat water-rich fruits, like watermelons, and make new hydration habits, like drinking a cup of water before each meal or carrying a water bottle with you to work.
If you’ve been trying to develop healthy habits like this one but can’t get past your procrastination, check out Lifehack’s Fast-Track Class: No More Procrastination.
If you need help to get you to drink more water, you can also check out the 3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water.
You can even eat your water from these fruits and vegetables:
Water is essential to a properly functioning body. You should proactively try to keep yourself well hydrated in order to receive the many benefits of water.
Hydration is not the only benefit of water you will experience from maintaining a good level of daily water intake. Water can help you stay at a peak physical condition, maintain brain function, prevent headaches, and regulate your body temperature.
Make sure you drink enough water each day to enjoy all the amazing health benefits that water has to offer.
More on Good Hydration and Nutrition
- 14 Signs You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
- Why It’s Important To Drink More Water At Work
- 5 Important Things Most People Miss About Health and Nutrition
- How to Get Fit: The Ultimate Guide
Featured photo credit: Nigel Msipa via unsplash.com
|||^||Beverage Impacts on Health and Nutrition: The Nutritional Value of Bottled Water|
|||^||Sports Medicine: Hydration and Muscular Performance|
|||^||The British Journal of Nutrition: Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men|
|||^||The Journal of Nutrition: Dehydration Affects Mood In Healthy Young Women|
|||^||Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice: Increased water intake to reduce headache: learning from a critical appraisal|
|||^||Livestrong: Nutritional Value of Water|
|||^||Sciencing: How Does Water Stabilize Temperature?|
|||^||Skinny Ms: 21 Ways to Eat Your Water|