There are many benefits of drinking water, from helping to accelerate weight loss to healthier and younger looking skin. Unfortunately, most people are not drinking enough every day, until recently, water was the 2nd most popular beverage in the US, behind sugary soft drinks. (1)
Water is one of the most important elements in the human body. It makes up about 60% of our bodies, more or less. Every single cell in your body needs water to function properly.
At Lose Weight by Eating, we LOVE water and all it’s health benefits. It’s why we have so many fruit infused water and detox water recipes, simply because it’s so good for you and everyone can afford it.
Here are some great reasons why you should be drinking plenty of this stuff.
The importance of water just can’t be stressed enough. A person can go for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. It plays a vital role in nearly every vital bodily function we have.
If your body doesn’t get enough water, it becomes dehydrated. When you’re dehydrated, you can’t function at your best and may be sluggish or have trouble concentrating, imagine what that’s doing to your organs, your skin, your brain!
When you’re dehydrated, your body also can’t flush out toxins or regulate itself as easily. By not flushing out these toxins you will be more susceptible to sickness, disease, weight gain and premature aging.
Below I’ve listed the top 10 health benefits of drinking water. If these don’t convince you to drink more water, try some of my yummy fruit infused water and let your taste buds convince you.
If you don’t drink enough water during physical activity, your performance can suffer. As little as a 2% loss of fluids can have a noticeable affect on your athletic abilities. (2)
So when you’re exercising and sweating, make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and make it easier for your body to perform at its best.
Sports drinks are packed with sodium, preservatives, fake sugars and artificial colors, all of which negatively affect weight loss. So keep it simple and opt for water, best of all most gyms have water fountains, free is better than $1.99 per sports drink!
And if that wasn’t awesome enough, drinking water before a meal can also help you feel more satisfied and eat less. (5)
So if your goal is to lose weight, drinking a 16 ounce (500 ml) glass of water before you eat is an easy habit that will pay off long term. If you find yourself snacking more often try drinking a large glass of water in lieu of snacking, often it will fill you up and ward off cravings.
Your brain is mostly made of water and is highly sensitive to dehydration. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration (1-3%) can have an adverse effect on memory and feelings of anxiety. (6)
In another study, loss of fluids after exercising negatively affected the mood and concentration of the study participants, and increased the amount of headaches subjects experienced. Yes you read that correctly, dehydration can cause headaches and migraines (more below)! (7)
A 1-3% loss of fluids in your body can happen with just normal everyday activities. So to keep your brain functioning at its best, make sure you drink plenty of water all day.
Studies have shown that drinking water can help prevent and treat headaches, especially the migraine type. (8)
So the next time you have a headache, try drinking a tall glass of cool water, it just might do the trick without having to take any medication. And be sure to drink up all day long to ward off those nasty headaches and migraines.
Many people suffer from constipation. It’s caused by many things, including medications, stress, poor diet, and not drinking enough water.
Drinking more water (especially carbonated water) is often prescribed as part of a treatment plan for constipation and has been shown in studies to be effective. (9)
So drink up and keep things moving…
Higher fluid intake increases the amount of urine that passes through your kidneys, helping to flush toxins from them and supporting normal kidney functions.
So if you’ve been treating your kidneys badly and have consumed too many bad things (like alcohol and salt), do them a favor and drink lots of water to give them a good detox flush.
Your skin contains a lot of water. It also acts like a barrier preventing fluid loss throughout your whole body.
When you’re dehydrated, your skin will look more dry and wrinkled. But once you take in the proper amount fluids, it will look its normal, beautiful self again. Skin moisturizers also help create a physical barrier as well to lock in moisture, but remember to treat from within as well with lots of water.
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it promotes the production of urine and causes excess fluid loss in your body. Hangovers are partly caused by the diuretic effect of alcohol, and the dehydration it causes.
To help alleviate the chances of a hangover when you’re drinking alcohol, try drinking a glass of water between each drink. Also, have at least one large glass of water before you go to bed.
If you do wake up with a hangover try drinking one of my restorative fruit infused drinks, if you have a bloated feeling hangover Cucumber Lemon Water will help you feel less bloated and get your headache and fuzziness in check.
If you have a nauseous hangover Mango Ginger Water will help easy your tummy while clearing any headaches and dizziness caused by dehydration.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and is responsible for helping to control the temperature of your body through sweating. Since your body creates a lot of heat through metabolic processes, it’s important that it’s able to regulate temperatures properly.
When you’re dehydrated, your skin isn’t able to produce as much sweat and you can become overheated. This can lead to symptoms as mild as red flushing or as serious as heat stroke.
So when you’re hot, make sure to drink lots of water to ensure your body can cool itself properly.
Bad breath (halitosis) is caused by bacteria lodged in the grooves of your tongue, teeth, and gums. This buildup of bacteria causes bad smelling things called volatile sulfur compounds.
When your mouth is dry (like when you first wake up in the morning), you lack the saliva to rinse these compounds out of your mouth.
Drinking water helps flush these bacterias and keeps your mouth from having a build up the bad smelling compounds.
So drink lots of water and keep your breath fresh!
There is no magic amount of water you should drink a day, since it depends on many factors like outside temperature, activity levels, and possible illnesses.
But as a rule of thumb, the Institute of Medicine recommends a minimum of three liters or 13 cups for men and 2.2 liters or nine cups for women a day. (12)
For many years, the “8 x 8” rule was recommended (8 glasses of 8 ounces of water a day), but there’s no solid scientific evidence to support that recommendation. But it makes an easy number to remember and isn’t a bad amount to aim for.
The 8 x 8 Rule supports my recommendation for a gallon of water (128 ounces) a day. That’s a good amount to support healthy weight loss, proper hydration and most important in our book, a gallon a day will raise your metabolism.
I’ve written a whole article on How Much Water Should I Drink a Day, including a section on how to drink more water.
I recommend reading up on all the benefits of drinking water, including using fruit infused water.
There are so many benefits of drinking water that it’s impossible to list in just one post.
Needless to say, if you want to be healthier and lose more weight, drinking water is one of the easiest things you can do.
If you don’t already drink a lot of water, start slow… aim for half a gallon a day (64 ounces) and add 10-20 additional ounces every couple of days, before you know it you will be up to a full gallon, you’ll feel better than ever, you will look amazing and your metabolism will be roaring, so weight loss and weight management won’t be such a chore.