Water is a luxury that many people disregard, but there are a lot of people in the world with limited access to water. To be exact, according to water.org, 663 million people (1 in 10) lack access to safe water. Water is great for so many things such as keeping you hydrated, flushing out toxins from your body, increasing metabolic rate, and helping reduce risks of many diseases and ailments.
Now, what if you only drank water for a month and nothing else, what happens to your body? This means cutting out all beverages such as caffeine, teas, sugary and carbonated drinks, and replacing those with water! The results can only be beneficial.
4 Benefits Of Swapping All Beverages For Water
There is a direct link between drinking water and brain function, as 70% of your body is composed of water. Lack of water could cause symptoms such as loss of focus, memory, brain fatigue, headaches, and sleep issues.
Your brain is comprised of 85% of water and is the most important organ in your body, so it is important to keep your brain hydrated. Brain cells need two times more energy than other cells in the body and water provides this energy. Daily hydration helps you think and focus and can help prevent attention deficit disorder (3).
A 2016 study evaluated school children who were given extra water throughout the school day compared to those who were not. Researchers noted that the children who drank water throughout the day had increased visual attention (10).
There is also a clear link between drinking water and the detoxification of the body. Drinking water helps give nutrients to our cells, aids digestion, flushes our bodies of wastes and keeps our kidneys healthy. Without enough water flowing through your systems, you are allowing for waste buildup in your body which is very unhealthy for your overall well being. (11)
Kidneys are an important organ for the function of filtering waste. If the kidney does not receive the water it needs, these filtering functions cannot do its job, and in turn, can lead to rapid health deterioration.
A 2010 study demonstrates a link between decreased kidney function and low metabolic rates. Drinking water can help with weight loss because it helps stabilize your metabolic rate; water is a natural appetite suppressor. (10)
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As mentioned before, when the kidneys don’t get enough water they can’t function properly, therefore the liver then takes over the function of releasing toxins from the body. Now, the liver is responsible for metabolizing stored fat into usable forms of energy, but when the liver is doing the kidneys’ job, it isn’t metabolizing the fat. This then leads to more stored fat. In this way, dehydration can cause many problems in your system which can then lead to other health issues. The key is to keep your kidney hydrated so it and all the other organs in your body can function well (4).
Hair and Skin Benefits
Similar to the rest of our body, hair and skin health depends a lot on what you put in your body. Just like other cells, hair and skin cells require hydration to function properly. Proper hydration leaves your hair feeling strong and thicker, and leaves your skin feeling fresh, radiant and hydrated (6).
According to UW Health, dehydrated skin can lead to dry, tight and flaky skin, which can then lead to wrinkles. Water reaches all other organs before it reaches the skin, so it is important to take other measures to keep your skin hydrated along with drinking enough water, like applying moisturizers after you shower to lock in the moisture (7).
Water is the main source that keeps your organs running effectively and smoothly, so why not incorporate it into your daily diet more often? Try eliminating all other beverages for thirty days, including coffee, tea, juice, and soda and substitute those with water. You’ll see the improvement in your cognitive abilities, your metabolic rate and hair and skin health.
5 Reasons to Ditch All Beverages And Try The 30 Day Water Challenge
- Drinking soda causes obesity if consumed regularly. Sodas contain aspartame, an artificial sweetener. Aspartame can cause birth defects, brain cancer, and diabetes. (5) (8) (9)
- Fruit juice (flavored, sugary juice) can contain even more calories than soda, this is due to the amount of concentrated sugars incorporated in these drinks. (5)
- Milk and other dairy products cause digestive issues with those who are lactose intolerant or even just sensitive to dairy. Dairy is a common cause of gas bloating and skin problems. It’s also high in natural sugars.
- Caffeinated beverages like coffee and green tea can put stress on your adrenal glands. If you’re looking for a more natural way to feel energized, look here for ideas.
- Alcoholic beverages are often very high in calories, although many people don’t take into account exactly how much sugar they’re consuming when they drink. Alcohol also puts stress on your liver, which is the only organ that can metabolize alcohol in your body. Drinking is also infamously linked to weight gain, especially around the gut. While there are some benefits to certain alcoholic drinks, such as the resveratrol compound in red wine, it’s best to limit your alcohol intake.
Myths About Hydration
Before you ditch all beverages for water, you should first know exactly how much water to drink. Not knowing how to drink water might sound silly, but there are many myths surrounding hydration. These are the most common:
You Need To Drink 8 Glasses Of Water Per Day
This is the most common myth about hydration. (14) The amount of water that we need is different for every person according to their size, physical activity, and the way their body works. Larger people might need more than 8 glasses and smaller people will need less. If you exercise and sweat a lot or you’re generally a heavy sweater, you’ll need more water than a sedentary person.
You Can’t Overhydrate
Don’t push yourself to drink more water than you can handle. If you overhydrate, your kidneys might not be able to get rid of the excess water, which leads to hyponatremia, a condition that dilutes the sodium in your body and makes you sick. (12)
If You’re Not Thirsty, You Don’t Need Water
Sometimes thirst is very subtle to notice so you might think that you don’t need to drink water. Making water your go-to beverage will guarantee that you get enough water even when you don’t feel thirsty.
You Should Drink Water When You Wake Up
You can do that if you feel like it, but you don’t need to. Your body knows how to take care of itself when you sleep, so going several hours without water while you’re asleep will not dehydrate you.
The Color Of Your Urine Shows If You’re Dehydrated
While that’s generally true, you can’t rely on color alone because the food you eat or the supplements and medication you take might affect the color. Instead, use volume and frequency of going to the bathroom as signs that you need more water.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.
- Water Facts: Facts About the Global Water Shortage. (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://water.org/water-crisis/water-sanitation-facts/
- Bailey, C. (2013, November 28). Killer morning habit: Drink 16oz of water, right after you wake up. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://alifeofproductivity.com/killer-morning-habit-drink-water-right-after-you-wake-up/
- Hearn, M., & Hearn, N. (n.d.). Water and Brain Function — How to Improve Memory, Focus, and Concentration. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://www.waterbenefitshealth.com/water-and-brain.html
- Jamieson, A. (2014, February 26). Why Water is the Key to Detoxifying Your Body. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://www.vegkitchen.com/nutrition/water-detoxifying/
- Haan, S. (2010, October 05). The Sneaky Calories You’re Sipping On. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1556
- (2015, August 1). How Water Affects Your Hair. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://explainedhealth.com/how-water-affects-your-hair/
- UW Health. (n.d.). The Benefits of Drinking Water for Your Skin. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://www.uwhealth.org/madison-plastic-surgery/the-benefits-of-drinking-water-for-your-skin/26334
- Aspartame’s Hidden Dangers. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2017, from http://www.mercola.com/article/aspartame/hidden_dangers.htm
- Aspartame. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2017, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/aspartame.html
- Trinies, V., Chard, A. N., & Mateo, T. (2016, March 7). Effects of Water Provision and Hydration on Cognitive Function among Primary-School Pupils in Zambia: A Randomized Trial. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4780815/
- APEC Water. (n.d.). How does water help remove harmful toxins from your digestive tract? Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/water_health/health2/water-remove-harmful-toxins-from-digestive-tract.htm
- Adrogué, H. J. & Madias, N. E. (2000). Hyponatremia. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2000(342), 1581-1589. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm200005253422107
- Thomas, D. R., Cote, T. R., Lawhorne, L., Levenson, S. A., Rubenstein, L. Z., Smith, D. A., … & Morley, J. E. (2008). Understanding Clinical Dehydration and Its Treatment. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 9(5), 292-301. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1525861008001072
- Valtin, H. (2002). “Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.” Really? Is there scientific evidence for “8 × 8”? American Journal of Physiology, 283(5), R993-R1004. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from http://ajpregu.physiology.org/content/283/5/R993
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