10 reasons why you should drink more water
Your body is made up of around 60% water. A lot of people are dehydrated without even knowing it and this brings with it a whole load of negative effects. If you are thirsty it means your body needs water to make up for stores it has lost, either through perspiration, respiration or urination.
Most of your body cannot function optimally if there is no readily available source of water. You can tell you are well hydrated if the colour of your urine is clear most of the time – dehydrated people tend to have dark yellow and pungent pee. For this reason, it is a good idea to have a dispenser or other water source nearby at all times.
How much water you need per day depends on lots of factors such as how active you are, the temperature around you, your general health condition, the size of your body and your gender. On average however it is recommended that all human beings consume between 2 and 3 litres of water per day, in order for their bodies to function correctly. If you exercise intensely on a regular basis, you need to consume more than this to make up for liquid lost through sweat.
Drinking water brings with it a lot of health benefits. Here are some important reasons to consume more water:
1. Without water, you will die
Most people would be able to live for only 2 – 3 days tops if they did not consume water. It is necessary for all of your body functions, from keeping your brain healthy, maintaining your heart rate and detoxifying cells. It is also required for the creation of saliva, digestive juices and blood. You could probably go for a month or more without food, but lack of water would certainly kill you.
2. Keeps you slim
Water has no calories, so compared to all other beverages it is the best thing to drink if you are trying to get rid of some excess weight. You should replace all soft and sugary drinks with it. Have a glass of water before eating – this will help you feel fuller faster and could mean you end up eating less.
Additionally, try consume icy cold water as this will raise your metabolism – your body needs to use energy to warm the water to body temperature and in doing so burns calories, some of them coming from fat.
You can find some very effective weight loss tips here.
3. Healthier looking skin
Your skin is your body’s largest organ and contains a lot of water. While water may not be able to completely get rid of fine lines and wrinkles, it can certainly improve the appearance of your skin. Dehydrated skin makes wrinkles appear deeper and hence more visible.
By drinking fresh water your skin cells plump up, making them look smoother and younger. Additionally, water improves the flow of blood to the surface of your skin, keeping it looking radiant and clean. So if you suffer from skin related ailments, start drinking more water!
4. Improved muscle performance
Your muscles also contain a large amount of water and need to be well hydrated in order to perform well. If you have ever consumed too much alcohol one night (the best way to ease a hangover is to drink lots of water by the way!) you may notice some of your muscles ache the next day, even if you may have not exercised them recently.
This is because your body has drawn water from them to make up for fluid you lost when you went to the bathroom. Drinking more water will keep your muscles well hydrated and this could help you perform better whilst in the gym or when you do any other type of strenuous exercise. It also keeps joints well hydrated, reducing the risk of injury.
5. Makes you feel more energised
I am sure you have had days when you have slept more than enough but still end up waking up feeling groggy. A reason for this could be because your body is dehydrated and this leads to fatigue – consuming anywhere from one glass to a litre of water straight after waking up will most likely make you feel much better.
Additional to this, when you are hydrated your blood is thinner (than when you are dehydrated) meaning your heart has to work less to pump it around your body. As a result it can better transport oxygen and other nutrients to cells.
6. Keeps you regular
Water is needed to help your digestive system stay in check and together with fiber it keeps things flowing smoothly. When you are dehydrated your colon will absorb water from stools which makes them hard and much more difficult to pass. If you constantly suffer from constipation, not drinking enough pure water may be the reason!
You require water to help your body detoxify and get rid of any waste produced from chemical processes that are constantly going on. As long as you are drinking enough fluid, your kidneys will do their job and purify your blood, getting rid of toxins present in it.
These are then transported to the bladder and excreted via the urine. Not drinking enough water can result in kidney stones because there is not enough water to get rid of urea based salts.
8. Fights bad breath
You obviously need to brush and floss for good oral hygiene and pleasant breath. However, lack of fluid in your mouth could be a cause of bad breath, which we all know is not what anyone wants. Drinking some water can help wash away food particles stuck inbetween your teeth as well as odour causing bacteria at the back of your tongue. After every meal aim to brush (if possible) and then sip on a glass of water for minty fresh breath.
9. Control stress
The majority of your brain is made up of water and it needs a constant supply of it in order to remain healthy. If the water content of the brain drops by just a small percentage it can have drastic effects on your mood and stress levels. The next time you feel cranky, grab a glass of water – it might just do the trick.
10. Its cheaper and healthier
Water is usually cheaper and is definitely healthier than a lot of packaged drinks. If you are able to drink directly from the tap (although you should consider using a water filter), then it is essentially free! So start saving some money and improve your health by drinking more water on a daily basis!
How to consume more water everyday
You may be finding it difficult to get enough water so hopefully some of the tips below can help you:
1. Make it taste better
If you simply don’t like the taste of plain water then you can improve on it by adding a squeeze of lime or lemon, honey, watermelon slices or some mint. This will make it more palatable, making it more pleasant to consume.
2. Eat more fruits and vegetables
Celery, watermelon and lettuce are comprised mainly of water, so eating them helps to increase your overall daily water intake. You will obviously still need to drink a fair amount of water but eating some of it will make things easier. Additionally, you can also eat things like soups and popsicles, both of which are water rich.
3. Use a marked bottle
Aim to drink some water every hour of the day. So for example in a 24 hour period, you will be awake for around 16 of them. Grab a 2 litre bottle of water and mark out 16 equal segments (you could fill the bottle with 125ml of water for each and then mark the water level with a felt tip pen).
Then set a reminder (e.g. on your phone) to ring every hour, so that you know its time to drink from the bottle until you reach the top of the next mark.
If you have a water dispenser you can also aim to drink a glass of water from it at regular intervals.
4. Eat foods that make you thirsty
Eating spicy foods will have you reaching for a glass of icy water, so try including more foods with a slight kick in your diet when you can.
Hopefully this article has helped you realise just how important water is. Try consume at least 2 litres on a daily basis and you will quickly begin to notice the many health benefits it brings!