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Health & Wellness

Importance of Drinking Enough Water

The human body is made up of about 60 percent water, and that water needs to be replenished constantly to support not just good health, but life. Humans can go for several weeks without food if necessary, but if anyone tries to go without water even for a few days, they will die. 1

Water serves several purposes in the body: it acts as a lubricant for joints, absorbs shock for the brain and spine, supports the digestion of food, helps flush out waste products, makes up neurotransmitters and hormones, and plays an important role in building new cells and repairing old ones. If you do not replace the water in your bodies when it is lost through sweat, excretion, and breathing, then those essential functions cannot be carried out.

man drinking water out of glass


Dehydration Should Not Be Ignored


If someone does not get enough water, they will start to suffer from a condition known as dehydration. 2 Early signs of dehydration aren't too bad. You might experience a dry mouth, feeling a bit tired, and experience a headache or muscle cramps. As it gets worse, however, you will become confused, stop sweating, develop a rapid heartbeat, and become very unwell. Severe dehydration can be fatal. 3

Most people are not likely to experience severe dehydration if they live in the developed world. Drinking water is readily available, and there is water in most of the foods that you eat as well. This means that while some people may not get an optimum amount of water, most people will be getting enough to support day-to-day life.

Even mild dehydration can cause some problems, however. It can negatively impact skin health, and it can also impair moods and reduce productivity. People who are chronically dehydrated may experience emotional challenges. 4

glass of water


Recommended Water Intakes Are Not Always Accurate


The challenge that health care professionals face is that there are not really accurate measures for what a healthy water intake looks like. Even the U.S., government recommendations are just averages that are based on weak metrics. 5 They are useful, but they are not exact, and they don't take into account gender, age, diet, or activity level.

Some people get a lot of their daily required water from food (fruits and vegetables are a good source of water), but others do not. Those who are not physically active will require less water than those who are.

The average adult in the U.S. drinks 39oz of water per day. 6 Any additional water that they take in comes from other beverages, which may contain a significant amount of calories. Given the fact that worldwide obesity has tripled since 1975, and that there are so many more liquid calories available now, the importance of drinking plain water deserves emphasis. 7

Benefits of Drinking Water


woman looking in fridge


Reduces Hunger


Some people find that they feel hungry when their stomach is empty. Drinking water helps them stop that hungry feeling so that they do not feel tempted to snack between meals. The water fills their stomach temporarily and can have a cooling effect on the body.

Decreases Fatigue


Drinking water can improve concentration and reduce fatigue, perking you up long-term. 8 While tea, coffee, and soda are stimulants and can help boost concentration in the short term, they also have a diuretic effect, so they may leave you feeling more thirsty. Water provides a better boost for many people.

woman looking at healthy skin


Promotes Healthy Skin


Because water is essential for tissue repair, drinking plenty of it can help improve the health of your skin, as well as your hair. One sign of dehydration is sunken, dry, shriveled skin. Mild dehydration may not cause this, but it could cause your skin to look dry and dull.

Drinking an extra glass of water each day could give you the complexion that you have been wishing for. Bonus points if you swap out a sugary or alcoholic beverage for water since that will have even more health benefits.

Conclusion


Today, people depend on water for so much more than just drinking, including washing, food preparation, and maintaining gardens. Those are superfluous uses, though. The water in food and drink is the water that is the most important because it keeps people alive. If you ever find yourself feeling constantly tired, sore or foggy headed, try drinking a little more water before you turn to other remedies. 9

You don't have to force yourself to drink huge amounts of water to a schedule if you don't want to. The old recommendations to guzzle huge amounts of water are overly simplistic. There are benefits to swapping out energy drinks and sugary lattes for water, though. You'll save money, save calories, and likely have a lot more energy too. So, try to add a bit more water to your day-to-day routine and see how it makes you feel.

Photo credits: fizkes/shutterstock.com, Andrey_Popov/shutterstock.com, SubbotinaAnna/shutterstock.com, sebra/shutterstock.com, SedovaY/shutterstock.com

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