It’s common to hear that water is essential for your health. But why?
This substance makes up a majority of your body weight and is involved in many important functions, including: flushing out waste from your body, regulating body temperature, and helping your brain function. But what else does it do?
It helps create saliva
Water is a main component of saliva. Saliva also includes small amounts of electrolytes, mucus, and enzymes. It’s essential for breaking down solid food and keeping your mouth healthy. Your body generally produces enough saliva with regular fluid intake. However, your saliva production may decrease as a result of age or certain medications or therapies. (If your mouth is drier than usual and increasing your water intake isn’t helping, see your doctor.)
It 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 keeps your body cool, but your body temperature will rise if you don’t replenish the water you lose. That’s because your body loses electrolytes and plasma when it’s dehydrated. If you’re sweating more than usual, make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
It 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.
It helps maximize physical performance
Drinking plenty of water during physical activity is essential. Athletes may perspire up to 6 to 10 percent of body weight during physical activity. Hydration also affects your strength, power, and endurance. You may be more susceptible to the effects of dehydration if you’re participating in endurance training or high-intensity sports.
Negative effects of exercise in the heat without enough water can include serious medical conditions, like decreased blood pressure and hyperthermia. Extreme dehydration can cause seizures and even death.
It aids in digestion
Contrary to what some believe, experts confirm drinking water before, during, and after a meal will help your body break down the food you eat more easily. This will help you digest food more effectively and get the most out of your meals. Research shows the body adapts to changes in the consistency of food and stomach contents, whether more solid or more liquid.
It helps with nutrient absorption
In addition to helping with food breakdown, water also helps dissolve vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from your food. It then delivers these vitamin components to the rest of your body for use.
It helps you lose weight
Studies have linked body fat and weight loss with drinking water in both overweight men and women. Drinking more water while dieting and exercising may help you lose those extra pounds.
It 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.
It helps boost energy
Drinking water may activate your metabolism. A boost in metabolism has been associated with a positive impact on energy level. One study found that drinking 500 milliliters of water boosted the metabolic rate by 30 percentin both men and women.
It aids in cognitive function
Proper hydration is key to staying in tip-top cognitive shape. ResearchTrusted Source indicates that not drinking enough water can negatively impact your focus, alertness, and short-term memory.
It helps improve mood
Not getting enough water can also affect your mood. Dehydration may result in fatigue and confusion as well as anxiety.
It helps keep skin bright
Adequate water intake will help keep your skin hydrated and may promote collagen production. However, water intake alone isn’t enough to reduce the effects of aging. This process is also connected to your genes and overall sun protection.
It prevents overall dehydration
Dehydration is the result of your body not having enough water. And because water is imperative to so many bodily functions, dehydration can be very dangerous.
Make sure you drink enough water to make up for what’s lost through sweat, urination, and bowel movements to avoid dehydration.
Being attentive to the amount of water you drink each day is important for optimal health. Most people drink when they’re thirsty, which helps regulate daily water intake.
According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, general water intake (from all beverages and foods) that meet most people’s needs are about 15.5 cups of water (125 ounces) each day for men and about 11.5 cups (91 ounces) daily for women. People get about 20 percent of their daily water intake from food. The rest is dependent on drinking water and water-based beverages. So, ideally men would consume about 100 ounces (3.0 liters) of water from beverages, and women, about 73 ounces (2.12 liters) from beverages.
You’ll have to increase your water intake if you’re exercising or living in a hotter region to avoid dehydration.
Water is important to nearly every part of your body. Not only will hitting your daily recommended intake help you maintain your current state of being, it may even improve your overall health.
Here are some ideas for how you can be sure you drink enough: