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Benefits of Water: Science Proved 5 Great Reasons to Stay Hydrated

Benefits of Water: Science Proved 5 Great Reasons to Stay Hydrated

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.

This article will give you scientific and academically based benefits of water. By the end of this article, you will learn great reasons to stay hydrated.

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.[1] Its only function is to hydrate you and you can drink plenty of it without worrying about any weight gain.

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 solid scientifically and academically backed benefits that water has for your health and why you should always stay properly hydrated.

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1. Drinking water 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 water in your body. The result of this can be things like fatigue, loss of body temperature control, less motivation and performing exercise will feel a lot more difficult from a mental and physical perspective.

On the other hand, studies show that a good level of hydration not only prevents the above from happening, 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.[2] So stay well hydrated to remain at peak physical condition.

2. Water is good for 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.[3]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 many more headaches.[4]

A similar study involving young men also shows that a fluid loss of 1.59% increases feelings of fatigue, anxiety and reduces working memory.

3. Drinking water may help to prevent and treat headaches

This follows on 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, new studies show that drinking water can be an effective way of treating and even preventing headaches from happening in the first place.[5]

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4. Water delivers nutrients to your body

Although pure water does not contain any nutrients itself, it can absorb some minerals and deliver it to your body.[6] For instance, 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. Water helps your body regulate 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 and it means the water in every cell of your body can work as a shield against sudden temperature changes.[7]This is also the reason why professionals always recommend you drink plenty of water in hot climates or environments.

How much water to drink in a day?

Now that you understand why you should drink more water, the next question is how much? The Internet is full of bogus responses to this and the most common response is the un-scientific 8 cups a day rule.

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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)

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.

If you need help to get you to drink more water, check out these articles:

You can even eat your water from these fruits:[8]

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    Conclusion

    Water is essential to a properly functioning body. You should proactively try to keep yourself well hydrated.

    Hydration is not the only benefit 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.

    Featured photo credit: MrWaterGeek.com via mrwatergeek.com

    Reference

    [1] Beverage Impacts on Health and Nutrition: The Nutritional Value of Bottled Water
    [2] Sports Medicine: Hydration and Muscular Performance
    [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men
    [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health:: Dehydration Affects Mood In Healthy Young Women
    [5] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Increased water intake to reduce headache: learning from a critical appraisal
    [6] Livestrong: Nutritional Value of Water
    [7] Sciencing: How Does Water Stabilize Temperature?
    [8] Skinny Ms: 21 Ways to Eat Your Water

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    Luke George

    Health Author

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    Last Updated on November 11, 2019

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

    To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

    Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

    1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

    Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

    Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

    To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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    2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

    Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

    If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

    Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

    3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

    Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

    Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

    4. Feed Your Brain

    Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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    This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

    Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

    Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

    5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

    According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

    Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

    Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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    6. Write it Down

    If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

    It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

    You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

    7. Listen to Music

    Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

    8. Visual Concepts

    In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

    Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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    Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

    9. Teach Someone Else

    Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

    Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

    10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

    Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

    So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

    Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

    More About Boosting Memory

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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