Healthy Living: Benefits Of Drinking More Water
We're constantly being told how important it is to drink water throughout the day, but few of us actually know why water is such a fundamental part of a nutritious daily diet and healthy lifestyle. For many years, nutritionists have been recommending we all get at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water every day, with some ramping that number up to a minimum of 13 glasses per day. While there are always going to be differences in opinion when it comes to how much water we should all be drinking, it can't be denied that we need water, and that most of us should probably be adding a few cups to our daily routine. If you think you're probably not drinking enough water, it might be the solution you need to improve your overall health. Keep reading to find out how.
1. Improves Digestion
Most of us know that the human body is over 50% water, but we rarely consider how important this connection is in terms of how much water we consume. Every system in the body requires water to function properly, including the digestive process. Water helps distribute the nutrients we consume, making the vitamins and minerals we get through food available throughout our body. It also helps us digest certain fibers, softens stool and breaks down food more efficiently.
2. Relieves Headaches
When headaches or migraines start to creep up on us, the first thing we attribute them to is stress or sickness. We reach for painkillers, usually washing them down with water, without considering the fact that we might just be dehydrated. Dehydration is one of the most frequent causes of common headaches, and can often be prevented by establishing a regular water intake schedule. Another major cause of headaches, fatigue, can be remedied by drinking water as well.
3. Filters Out Toxins
Our bodies get plugged up and infiltrated by toxins every day. It's just part of the natural process of ingesting food, liquids and oxygen. Not everything that goes in our body can be used, and the more unhealthy the things we put in our body, the more work our bodies have to do to push the leftover toxins out. That's where water comes in. It lubricates everything from our digestive tract to our liver to our kidneys, allowing organs that dispel these toxins to do their jobs efficiently.
4. Keeps You Energized
Water is crucial to every cell in our bodies. When these cells aren't getting enough water, they lose their ability to function at their peak level, resulting in symptoms like fatigue. This is most noticeable when exercising, which is why it's recommended to drink water before working out as well as at regular intervals during physical activity to replace what's consistently being lost in sweat. Water is constantly being used by the body, so you need to replenish those cells to stay energized.
5. Prevents Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are basically deposits of minerals that can form in the kidneys and urinary tract. While there are many different potential causes for kidney stones, there are also many ways that doctors and researchers have identified to help prevent kidney stones. And one of the best ways to prevent them happens to be drinking the right amount of water. This is particularly crucial for those of us who exercise frequently and lose most of our water through daily physical activity.
6. Assists Weight Loss
Drinking more water isn't going to help you start shedding pounds if you're interested in losing weight, but it does have an impact on weight loss. Some studies have concluded that the mere act of drinking water gets your metabolism going, resulting in more calories burned while you're body is at rest. Studies have also shown that there's a link between drinking water before meals and regulating the appetite to decrease the potential of overeating. In reality, drinking water won't have a direct, measurable connection to weight loss, but because it's such an important part of our daily health, effecting everything from digestion to energy levels, its value as a regular part of any everyday routine cannot be overstated.
So How Much Should You Drink?
Many people find it difficult to work 8 to 13 cups of water into their daily schedule (more if you're exercising and need to replenish). However, this number isn't strictly what you're sipping from your insulated water bottles throughout the day. It also counts the water you're getting from all the foods and beverages you consume. Fruits, vegetables, yogurt, soup; practically everything has water in it that helps trim down your overall number. But that makes it difficult to know how much water you need to drink in addition to the water you get from food. The simple truth is that you won't know, so try to keep water around, make it your go-to beverage, always quench your thirst and drink water with as many meals as you can to make sure you're staying on schedule.