Water makes up a majority of your body weight and is involved in many important functions. While it isn’t always obvious to us, water does a lot of things to keep our body up to par.
Water helps create saliva. Saliva is essential for breaking down solid food and keeping your mouth healthy. Saliva decreases with age and with certain medications.
Water regulates your body temperature. Staying hydrated is crucial to maintaining your body temperature. Your body loses water through sweat during physical activity and in hot environments. Your sweat works to keep your body cool, but your body temperature will rise if you don’t replenish the water you lose.
Water protects your tissues, spinal cord, and joints. Water consumption helps lubricate and cushion your joints, spinal cord, and tissues. This will help you enjoy physical activity and lessen discomfort caused by conditions like arthritis.
Water helps excrete waste. Your body uses water to sweat, urinate, and have bowel movements. Sweat regulates body temperature when you’re exercising or in warm temperatures. You also need enough water in your system to avoid constipation. Your kidneys are important for filtering out waste through urination. Adequate water intake helps your kidneys work more efficiently and helps to prevent kidney stones.
Water helps maximize physical performance. Drinking plenty of water during physical activity is essential. Hydration also affects your strength, power and endurance. Extreme dehydration can cause seizures and even death.
Water aids in digestion. Drinking water before, during, and after a meal can help your body break down the food you eat more easily. This helps digest food more effectively and get the most out of your meals.
Water helps with nutrient absorption. In addition to helping with food breakdown, water also helps dissolve vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from your food.
Water helps you lose weight. Studies have linked body fat and weight loss with drinking water to being overweight. Drinking more water along with a healthy diet and exercising may just help you lose extra pounds.
Water improves blood oxygen circulation. Water carries helpful nutrients and oxygen to your entire body. Reaching your daily water intake will improve your circulation and have a positive impact on your overall health.
Water helps boost energy. Drinking water may activate your metabolism. A boost in metabolism has been associated with a positive impact on energy levels.
It aids in cognitive function. Proper hydration is key to keeping your brain healthy. Not drinking enough water can negatively impact your focus, alertness and short-term memory.
Water helps your skin. Adequate water intake will help keep your skin hydrated and may promote collagen production.
Water prevents overall dehydration. Dehydration is the result of your body not having enough water. Because water is imperative to so many bodily functions, dehydration can be very dangerous. Severe dehydration can cause a number of complications.
According to the Mayo Clinic, women should aim for 11.5 cups of water per day, and men should go for 15.5 cups each day. These goals include fluids we might get from foods as well. You’ve probably heard the advice to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day. This is a good goal to reach for, and you can increase your goal from there if you’re exercising or living in warmer conditions where you sweat often.
TIPS FOR DRINKING MORE WATER
- Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. You never know when you will need a drink and you’re more likely to drink it if you have it in front of you.
- Keep track of your intake to make sure you are getting enough.
- If you have trouble drinking water, add a lemon or an orange to it. Maybe add mint or basil. Keep it at a temperature that is more appealing to you (i.e. iced in the summer, warm with lemon in the winter, etc.)