How Does Water Affect Your Body?
You know we need to drink more water, but do you know exactly why you should drink more water? There are many benefits to drinking water, but here are 11 essential functions water facilitates in your body.
1. Water Maintains the Balance of Your Body Fluids
Did you know that your body is mostly water? About 60% of your body is made up of water, and healthy circulation, digestion, saliva, absorption, the transportation of nutrients, and the maintenance of body temperature is dependent on how much water is in your body. Your brain tells the rest of your body how much water you have and need, and will tell it how much to urinate out and how much to keep for reserves. When you become low on fluids, your brain will trigger your body’s thirst. Always listen to your body when you become thirsty.
2. Water Energizes Muscles
The cells in your body need their fluids and electrolytes, otherwise they shrivel, which can lead to muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue will cause your muscles to not function as well and your performance can suffer.
When you workout, it’s important to drink enough fluids before and after physical activity. According to the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines, you should drink about 17 ounces (about one bottle) of fluid approximately two hours before exercise. You should also drink fluids regularly during workouts, and keeping them steady throughout your exercising to replace the fluids lost from sweating.
3. Water Keeps Your Skin Looking Good
Your skin is an organ, and it needs water just like the rest of your body. Drinking water helps your skin look fresh and less wrinkled. Using a moisturizer such as SkinMedica’s HA5 will also help lock in moisture, which contains hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a natural, “water-loving” substance found in the skin—acting as your body’s natural hydrator. HA5 holds in moisture, keeping skin healthy, resilient, and supple.
4. Water Helps Your Kidneys
One of the main functions of water and fluids is to transport the waste in your cells out of your body through your kidneys. When you get enough fluids, your urine should flow freely, be light in color, and not have a smell. When you have not had enough water, your urine will be dark and have an odor to it. If you constantly are not getting enough water, you may become at risk for kidney stones, especially in the warmer Redding climate.
5. Water Makes You Less Cranky
According to researchers, dehydration can have a negative effect on your mood, making you grumpy and confused. When you drink enough water, you can think clearer and become happier. Even just mild hydration can negatively impact moods.
6. Water Can Prevent Cancer
Staying hydrated can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45% by diluting the concentration of cancer-causing agents. Water can help prevent bladder, colon, and possibly breast cancer.
7. Water Prevents Headaches
Dehydration can cause headaches and even trigger migraines. You can get relief from your headache by drinking water, but you’ll have to consume two to four cups of water for headache relief soon after the headache hits. It will take about 30 minutes for the headache to go away. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help prevent those headaches.
8. Water Gives You Energy
Feeling tired is one of the first signs your body experiences when it is dehydrated. Next time you’re a bit sleepy, try drinking a couple of glasses of water. If you become too dehydrated, it can cause an imbalance in the sodium and potassium in your body, which helps with your muscles and heart function.
9. Water Protects Your Joints and Cartilage
Water keeps your cartilage and joints soft and hydrated. If you take glucosamine it is very important to keep your water intake up. Glucosamine reduces joint pain by aiding your cartilage in absorbing water. Cartilage is about 85% water. Water also protects our spinal cords and tissues, which keeps them healthy from the inside.
10. Water Takes the Edge Off Your Hangovers
Alcohol actually dehydrates your body, which can lead to hangovers. If you drink a glass of water with every alcoholic drink, you can reduce your hangover the next day. Before going to bed after a night of drinking, drink 16 to 20 ounces of water. This will help ensure you’re properly hydrated and ready to go the next morning!
11. Water Helps You Think More Clearly
When you’re dehydrated, the tissue in your brain begins to shrink. Water transports oxygen to your brain, allowing it to communicate messages the rest of your body needs. If we don’t drink enough water, our brains have to work harder just to perform at the same level as if we were hydrated.
Quick rules of thumb for drinking water:
- A good rule of thumb is to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water (if you weigh 140lbs, drink 70oz of water each day).
- Carry a bottle everywhere with you as a reminder to keep drinking.
- Eat raw fruits and vegetables – they are dense in water. You can get water from food, not just from beverages.
- Drink water and other fluids until you urinate frequently and with light color.
- Have a beverage (but NOT soda) with every meal.
Water plays an important role in your body’s functioning, so keep a bottle nearby and sip throughout the day!