There shouldn’t be any need to convince people to drink more water. After all, if you go more than a few days without drinking it you’ll die. Personally, I don’t need any more convincing to make sure that I drink more than enough water every day. However, this seems to not be the case for most people.
The average American drinks less than half of the recommended 8 cups of water per day, and this doesn’t even take into account body mass and exercise, two factors that play a huge role in how much water you should consume. This makes it very clear that people are not very convinced that they need to drink water, which is why I am going to tell you 10 benefits of water that you didn’t know about, and another 5 benefits that you need to be reminded of. Let’s start off with the benefits that you’ve likely never heard of.
10 Benefits of Water That You Didn’t Know About
- Keeps your skin looking good. Your skin contains a large amount of water and it also acts as a barrier to prevent the loss of fluids. When you are dehydrated your skin can become dry and wrinkled, making sure that you drink enough water will prevent this from happening.
- Prevents constipation. Being properly hydrated is necessary for waste to flow through your gastrointestinal tract. Water assists in “pumping” the waste through your intestines, acting as a sort of broom. If you are not hydrated enough your colon will absorb water from the stool, making it dry and causing constipation.
- Prevents cancer. It seems far-fetched, but research shows that staying adequately hydrated can reduce your risk of developing colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50% and also, possibly, breast cancer.
- Decreases joint pain. Water helps reduce joint pain by keeping the cartilage found in your joints soft and malleable. This is also the same way that some joint pain easing supplements work, by assisting cartilage in absorbing water.
- Improves mood. According to research, being dehydrated can affect your mood by making you feel grumpy and confused. Drinking more water can help you think clearer and be a bit more positive.
- Flushes out chemicals. Not staying hydrated can cause a build up of chemicals in the blood, especially when one is exercising intensely. Sweating vigorously and expending energy without hydrating properly results in a loss of electrolytes. This can lead to an increase in something called plasma osmolality, which is the concentration of chemical particles found in your blood.
- Improves heart health. Have you ever felt your heart flutter when going upright from a prone position? This occurs because of a displacement of blood volume, and drinking 300-500 ml of water can prevent this from happening. Water can also reduce heart rate and increase blood pressure in people with low blood pressure, but will not harm those with high blood pressure.
- Treats chronic diseases. There have been possible links between consuming water and preventing a variety of chronic diseases including urinary tract infections, cerebral infarction (ischemic stroke), blood clots in the vein, coronary heart disease and more.
- Prevents delirium in elderly. Dehydration is one of the main risk factors for delirium in the elderly. Recent research shows that dehydration leaves the elderly predisposed to becoming delirious. Researchers believe that this may be due to the fact that the elderly are less sensitive to feelings of thirst and have an overall reduced fluid intake.
- Improves short-term memory. Researchers have found that moderate to mild levels of dehydration can impair performance on tasks that require the use of short-term memory.
5 Benefits of Water That You Needed to be Reminded of
- Promotes thermoregulation. Being properly hydrated is necessary for the body to control its internal temperature, which it does by sweating when in hot environments or performing vigorous physical activity.
- Increases physical performance. During exerting physical activity, the body can lose approximately 6-10% of body weight through sweat loss, which can lead to dehydration. Researchers have seen physical performance suffer after losing as little as 2% of body weight through sweat. Making sure to drink enough water during exercise can prevent this.
- Improves kidney health. The kidney regulates water balance and blood pressure and is also responsible for removing waste from the body (urinating), and it needs water to do this properly. The kidneys also require water to properly filtrate waste from the blood. Not drinking enough water has also been associated with an increased risk of developing kidney stones.
- Prevents headaches. Dehydration can lead to the development of a headache. Although scientists have not been fully able to explain how this happens, various studies have shown those with dehydration-induced headaches having relief just 30 minutes after drinking water.
- Assists in weight loss. A lot of the time our body confuses thirst for hunger. This means that sometimes when you feel hungry, drinking water will suppress that feeling, allowing you to resist the temptation to binge-eat.
How to Drink More Water
Although the recommended amount daily water intake is 8 cups, there are a variety of factors that could mean the amount of water that is right for you can either be more or less. However, it is usually more.
Find out your weight. It is important to be familiar with your weight if you want to accurately calculate how much water you need to drink on a daily basis. The amount of water you will need to drink every day is going to be based off of how much you weigh. After all, a 200-pound man wouldn’t drink the same amount of water as a 100-pound woman, right?
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Your weight divided in half. Cut your weight in half to find out how much water you should drink on a daily basis. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds: 1/2 = 75 ounces. This means that a person who weighs 150 pounds should drink 75 ounces of water every day.
Exercise. Another factor that affects how much water you should drink every day is how much you exercise. This is important because when you perform physically strenuous activities you sweat and expel water in the process, which means you need to compensate for the amount you lost. On average, you need to add 16 ounces of water to your recommended amount for every 30 minutes of exercise. This means that if you’ve worked out for an hour today you’ll need to add 32 ounces of water to your recommended daily amount.
Now, using this method of calculation you may have found that you need to drink way over the recommended 8 cups of water per day. This can be hard for a lot of people, as water isn’t exactly the most appetizing beverage, so here are some methods to help you increase your water intake.
- Fill up a container that can hold exactly 8 cups of water and drink it throughout the day. This way you will know that you got the necessary amount of water if your container is empty by the end of the day.
- Add slices of lemons, limes or cucumbers to add a nice, refreshing flavor to your water
- Put post-it notes in your kitchen or by your sinks to remind you to drink water
- Place rubber bands around your water bottle or draw marks along it to measure how much water you are drinking throughout the day
- Eat foods that have high water content (Watermelon, tomatoes, grapes, grapefruit, raspberries, cucumber, cabbage etc.)
- Make sure to always have a glass of water with every meal
- Dilute other beverages with water or ice
Let us know if this helped you drink more water, or if you have any of your own methods that you use, in the comments.
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