I know you’ve heard this many times - “Drink more water!”. Yet, 99% of the people don’t heed this advice. Maybe if water was more expensive, people would pay more attention to consume enough of it on a daily basis. We are living in a dehydrated world of carbonated beverages, caffeine and alcohol.
I bet you don’t know how important is water for your health, figure and well-being. But drinking water is not just a trend, it’s essential! Everything your body does it does better with a healthy supply of water, every system in your body depends on water.
So here are 10 reasons why drinking water is good for you and why you should make drinking water part of your daily routine:
1. Get healthy skin.
Nothing will improve the appearance of your skin better than consuming enough water. It’s a pity women spend so much money on skin products, while neglecting the cheapest and most effective one - water. Water is the single most important element for cellular integrity. Drinking water moisturizes your skin from the inside out. Water is also essential to maintaining elasticity and suppleness and helps prevent dryness. The real fountain of youth can be found in a glass of water.
2. Flush toxins.
Water helps remove toxins from the body, in particular from the digestive tract. Our kidney system is unique in its filtering capabilities and totally dependent upon water in order for it to work. Daily fluid intake is essential to its efficient operation, particularly because there is some decrease in function with age. Water helps get rid of excess nitrogen, urea, and ketones, so it is particularly important when following a high protein diet. You need even more water to help your kidneys do their work if you're eating big to gain weight.
3. Reduce your risk of heart attack.
Researchers at Loma Linda University in California studied more than 20,000 healthy men and women and found that people who drink more than five glasses of water a day were less likely to die from a heart attack or heart disease than those who drank fewer than two glasses a day.
4. Cushion and lube your joints and muscles.
Water makes up a large part of the fluid that lubricates and cushions your joints and muscles. And although not the only element associated with muscle cramps, athletes have long recognized that even mild dehydration can produce cramps. So drinking water before, during and after exercise can also help reduce muscle cramping and premature fatigue.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, adequate fluid replacement helps to maintain hydration therefore optimizing and enhancing performance of those participating in regular exercise. They suggest flavored waters to promote hydration and to increase palatability. Products such as Gatorade's Propel Fitness Water are, therefore, terrific substitutes for plain water to increase fluid intake and meet the optimum consumption of water per day, thus enhancing performance and lessening the possibility of dehydration.
5. Get energized and be alert.
On average, most adults lose about 10 cups of fluid a day through sweating, exhaling, urinating, and bowel movements. Even minor dehydration can cause impaired concentration, headaches, irritability and fatigue.
Water is also essential for proper circulation in the body. The levels of oxygen in the bloodstream are greater when the body is well hydrated. The more oxygen the body has readily available the more fat it will burn for energy without the presence of oxygen the body cannot utilize stored fat for energy efficiently. Not only will the body burn more fat when well hydrated but because there are increased oxygen levels you will also have more energy.
Drinking more water everyday will help your think more clearly. Research has repeatedly shown that staying hydrated is necessary for the human brain, which is 85 percent water, to function at optimal levels. That is why many school systems throughout the country now encourage students to keep a bottle of water at their desks and to drink it throughout the day.
6. Stay regular.
Water helps prevent constipation by adding fluid to the colon and bulk to stools. Something as simple as fluid plays a major role in preventing constipation. Not only does the liquid encourage bowel movement, but it also softens the stools.
Water is essential for proper digestion, nutrient absorption and chemical reactions. The carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream. But no less important is the ability of water to transport waste material out of our bodies.
7. Reduce your risk of disease and infection.
Consistent failure to drink enough water can lead to Chronic Cellular Dehydration. This condition where the body’s cell are never quite hydrated enough leave them in a weakened state, vulnerable to attack from disease. It weakens the body’s overall immune system and leads to chemical, nutritional and pH imbalances that can cause a host of diseases.
When you don't have enough water in your body, your cells start to draw water from the bloodstream. Your heart has to work harder because your blood gets sludgy, and your body starts to redirect blood away from less vital areas. Dehydration can set in even before you start to feel thirsty. This is a great strain on the body because it impairs the kidneys in their vital function of purifying the blood and helping the body get rid of toxins.
Also Michaud and coworkers found that the incidence of cancer in the urinary bladder was reduced significantly by a high fluid intake in a ten-year study involving nearly 48,000 men. The top 20% of subjects who participated in the study drank 2500 ml per day or more, while the bottom 20% drank 1200 ml or less. The authors concluded that within this range, the risk of bladder cancer decreased by 7% for every 240 ml of fluid added.
8. Regulate your body temperature.
Water regulates the body’s cooling system. Sports drinks are useful when consumed after or during vigorous and prolonged exercise in high heat. But most experts agree that water works better than carbohydrates or sugared beverages for moderate exercise. For instance, if you drink 12 ounces of plain water, your body will absorb 8 ounces of it within 15 minutes. If you drink 12 ounces of a 10% sugar solution, less than 1 ounce will be absorbed in the same period. The typical soft drink is a 10 to 12% sugar solution.
Water is the nutrient your body needs the most. Between 55 and 75 percent of adult body weight is water, and it is critical in regulating all body organs and temperature.
9. Burn more fat and build more muscle.
It has been shown that dehydration decreases protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is what builds muscle. It is an energy costly process. When you suppress protein synthesis, fewer calories end up building proteins and more calories end up in your fat stores. It’s elementary: calories have two possible fates - they either get burned, or they get stored. When more of the calories you eat get burned, less will get stored.
Increased water consumption can help you control weight by preventing you from confusing hunger with thirst. Water will also keep your body systems, including metabolism and digestion, working properly and give you the energy (and hydration) necessary for exercise.
10. Get well.
The traditional prescription to ?drink plenty of fluids? when you’re sick still holds strong. Water can help control a fever, replace lost fluids, and thin out mucus. Water plays a vital role in nearly every bodily function. Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
Water is the substance of life. Life can not exist without water. We must constantly be adding fresh water to our body in order to keep it properly hydrated. Water can be a miracle cure for many common ailments such as headaches, fatigue, joint pain, and much more.
Be sure to drink even more fluid whenever you increase your physical activity, when eating a high fiber diet, during hot weather, at high altitudes, in low humidity locations, and when you’re sick, especially if you have a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. The best way to figure out if you're drinking enough water is to look at your urine. It should be a very light shade of yellow. Drink up if it's darker. Let your thirst guide you, also. You might not need eight glasses to feel hydrated on a mild day. You could crave nine or 10 if it's hot or you're exercising. Bottom line? Your body is 90 percent water and needs it for digestion, healthy skin, blood circulation, temperature control and lots of other reasons.
It is important to know that the body can only absorb 4 ounces of water every 10 minutes, so like many things in life, it is important to be proactive with drinking water. Aim to drink one glass of pure water every hour you are awake. And make the process enjoyable. Many people complain that they don’t like the taste of water, or that it is boring to drink! Try these tips for making drinking water an enjoyable process:
- Add fresh mint leaves, slices of strawberry, apple, lemon, or lime to a pitcher of water. Serve chilled. Keep a pitcher of “fruit water” in the refrigerator so you always have great-tasting water available.
- Try Glaceu Fruit Water, which is distilled water with added fruit essence, without added sugar or artificial sweeteners. It is available at most health food stores. It comes in a variety of fabulous flavors including, watermelon, honeydew melon, raspberry/lime, and strawberry/banana.
- Drink herbal teas. Herbal teas have a variety of healing properties and come in a multitude of flavors. Try green tea, yerba matte, chai, chamomile, mint, raspberry leaf, and cinnamon/apple. In the summer time you can serve them over ice. In winter, drink them hot. Yogi Tea is one of my favorite brands.
- Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to water. Warm water with the juice of 1 lemon taken in the morning on an empty stomach is a great liver detoxifier, and has been shown to aid in weight loss.
By the way the eHow wiki has an interesting entry on how to drink more water everyday. They offer 7 steps for increasing your water intake, along with several useful tips.
Drink your water! Stay well hydrated! Stay healthy!