Most people know that water is an essential component to a healthy lifestyle. This is because water makes up 70 to 80 percent of the human body. Making sure you’re getting enough water into your body on a regular basis is essential to its proper functioning. On the other hand, when the body is dehydrated, dysfunctions in a variety of different ways within your body are likely to arise. Water is a necessary component to all bodily processes and it's imperative to replenish yourself with plenty of it to keep your body and mind functioning to their fullest potential.
So, how exactly does drinking water affect your health and wellbeing? Read on to learn 10 benefits to keeping yourself hydrated, and to motivate yourself to start chugging that essential healing fluid ASAP!
Water is absorbed by the tissues and cells, fueling the mitochondria to give each cell the energy it needs to function to its highest capacity. Dehydration is the number one trigger to daytime fatigue. So, next time you want to reach for that dehydrating energy drink (most caffeinated beverages) chug some water instead.
Dehydration can cause digestive disruptions such as constipation, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, and honestly, the list goes on. Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning will stimulate digestion and promote healthy bowel movements. Water also forms saliva which is the crucial first step of digesting foods, and helps cells to absorb nutrients.
3. Healthy joints
Water is a main component in synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints, allowing them to move smoothly and minimizing friction between the bones. Poor water intake can lead to joint pain due to unhealthy production of synovial fluid. Drinking enough water will also support the treatment and prevention of other joint conditions such as arthritis and degenerative disc disease.
4. Blood pressure regulation
When there isn’t enough water in the blood, it will be thicker, causing the heart to exert more force to pump it through the blood vessels. And because there is less water present, there will be less blood available overall, increasing both heart rate and blood pressure. Drinking enough water will also help to balance the sodium levels in the body.
5. Lowering blood sugar levels
Drinking plenty of water has an almost immediate effect on blood sugar levels, because it dilutes the sugar present in the bloodstream. Water intake is especially helpful at maintaining normal blood sugar levels after a high sugar or high carb meal. Low water intake will cause lower blood volume, and higher sugar concentration in the blood.
6. Urinary system health
One of the top complaints from people trying to drink more water is the constant need to use the bathroom. Although this can be annoying and sometimes inconvenient, you may want to consider how much more annoying and inconvenient it would be to deal with a urinary tract infection or a kidney stone! Flushing out the body with plenty of water prevents these kinds of issues. Dark or foul smelling urine is a sign of dehydration, and toxins hanging out in your bladder.
7. Immune system function
Optimal water intake helps to prevent and treat symptoms of bacterial and viral infections. Water helps maintain moisture in the mucous membranes, helping them to keep foreign substances from invading the body. Water is the best immune system booster, as it promotes oxygen and nutrient absorption as well as blood and lymphatic fluid flow.
8. Respiratory system
Without water, the airways would be dry and susceptible to the harsh elements. Water makes up about 80% of the lungs themselves, and is essential to the process of oxygen exchange. We need to keep the respiratory system properly hydrated to be able to breathe! Good hydration also helps to thin and expel mucous, preventing congestion.
9. Regulating body temperature
Water plays a critical role in maintaining a balanced temperature within the body. It both absorbs and transfers heat to different organs depending on where it is needed. When we sweat, our bodies are actively maintaining body temperature, and this water must be replaced by keeping hydrated.
10. Mental health
The mind is inevitably impacted by the body. When we take care of the health of our bodies, it will effect our mental health for the better. Maintaining hydration of the body leads to better cognitive function, less fatigue, stabilized moods, and longer attention span.
As you can see, water is essential to so many different bodily processes, and deserves to be at the top of our priority list everyday. For most adults, aiming to drink anywhere from three to five 16 ounce water bottles throughout the day will keep your cells and tissues optimally hydrated.