Water. It’s one of the most basic sources of life on the planet. Without it, nothing can survive. Since more than half of our bodies are made up of water, it stands to reason we should prioritize making sure we replenish this important fluid! Besides the obvious of keeping us alive, water contributes significantly to our overall health in a number of different ways by…
1) Promoting healthy, clear skin
By increasing capillary blood flow1, staying well-hydrated helps your skin stay moisturized and young-looking. Water is also a natural remedy for wrinkles. One study showed2 a reduction of wrinkles in 1 in 5 women who started drinking 1.5 liters of water a day. (You can give your skin an extra boost with collagen powder or collagen pills.)
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2) Keeping other bodily fluids in balance
From saliva to blood to brain fluid, your body needs water to continue functioning properly. One important benefit is increasing your body’s ability to absorb and transport nutrients.
3) Controlling calories and aiding weight loss
While water itself won’t necessarily help you lose weight, it does help by making you feel full faster. Many people confuse the brain trigger of thirst for hunger, which results in eating a snack instead of re-hydrating. Choosing to only go with water also means you’re not drinking higher calorie beverage options. Water helps increase the speed your body is able to burn, break down, and eliminate fat3. There is also some research showing water can help boost your metabolism and suppress your appetite4.
4) Improving kidney function
Your kidneys are on the front lines of your body’s ability to expel toxins. Staying on top of getting adequate amounts of water allows your kidneys to work at peak function. Not getting enough water over time increases your risk of kidney stones.
5) Preventing headaches naturally
Many people suffer from chronic headaches and turn to pain relievers for relief. Headaches are often a signal for some other physical ailment, and serve as one of the primary indications your body will give that it needs more water. In one study5, participants were cured from their headaches within 30 minutes of drinking two glasses of water. So next time you find yourself suffering from a headache, drink 8 ounces of water before you reach for the ibuprofen!
6) Fighting fatigue
Another common health complaint is tiredness and exhaustion. Similar to headaches, fatigue is one of the first signals your body will send trying to communicate it’s getting dehydrated. Because our body is made up of so much water, when we don’t have enough in our system, things stop functioning properly. For instance, our blood is 83% water6. When we’re dehydrated, our brain stops getting proper blood flow which results in feelings of fatigue and even cognitive impairments such as lessened short term memory function.
7) Keeping bad breath at bay
It makes sense: water rinses food particles and bacteria out of your mouth. Without this important function, you’re likely to have far worse halitosis than if you drank water with and after your meal.
8) Protecting your joints and cartilage
The cartilage surrounding our bones is made up of 85% water. Staying hydrated keeps it healthy, allowing our bones to be well-lubricated.
9) Flushing toxins out of your body
Two of the main ways your body dispels toxins are through urine and sweat – both of which require water. Replenishing the liquid it takes for your body to perform these functions allows your body to do its job better. Especially in hot climates, it’s important to take into consideration the amount of water your body loses through sweat and increase your intake of water accordingly.
10) Regulating bowel health and function
Water is a critical part of healthy digestion. Warm water in particular can help your body break down food faster7, whereas cold water solidifies fats and oils you ate. If you suffer from constipation, dehydration could be the culprit8; as your body signals it needs more water, it may pull water from your intestines and stool, thus making it harder and more difficult to pass. If you're looking to further regulate your bowel health, digestive enzymes are a dietary supplement worth considering.
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