Drink more water!
Seriously, go drink more water right now.
1. Drinking Water Helps Maintain Balance of your Body Fluids. Your body is composed of at least 60% water! The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. You need these things to survive!
2. Water Can Help Control Calories. People drink lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn't have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help. Duh.
Food with high water content tends to look larger, its higher volume requires more chewing, and it is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel full. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans. Yummy!
3. Water Helps Energize Muscles. Cells that don't maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. Womp. "When muscle cells don't have adequate fluids, they don't work as well and performance can suffer," says a doctor. Drinking enough fluids is important when being active. Recommended that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid about two hours before activities.
4. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good. We like happy skin, okay? Your skin [typically] contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss.
"Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration," a Doc says. "But once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluids."
You can also help "lock" moisture into your skin by using a natural moisturizer or oil, which creates a physical barrier to keep moisture in. I love pumpkin, coconut, and rose hip for moisturizing.
5. Water Helps Your Kidneys. Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine, explains Guest. "Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate," he says. So, drink your water or poison your self!
When you're getting enough fluids, urine flows freely, is light in color and free of odor. When your body is not getting enough fluids, urine concentration, color, and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions. If you chronically drink too little, you may be at higher risk for kidney stones, especially in warm climates. Just drink your dang water!
6. Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function. I;'s nice to poo with ease - you have a choice to almost always make it easy. Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation. When you don't get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration -- and the result is constipation. "Adequate fluid and fiber is the perfect combination, because the fluid pumps up the fiber and acts like a broom," says Koelemay.
5 Tips to Help You Drink More
If you think you need to be drinking more, here are some tips to increase your fluid intake and reap the benefits of drinking water like you mean it:
Have a full glass of water with every snack and meal.
Choose low sugar beverages and flavored water as your non-water go-tos
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
Set an alarm on your phone or download a water drinking app.
How much water do you need?
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.
What about the advice to drink 8 glasses a day?
We have all heard the advice to drink eight glasses of water a day. It's a reasonable goal.
Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than eight glasses a day might be enough. But other people might need more.
You need to modify your total fluid intake based on several factors:
Exercise. If you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It's important to drink water before, during and after a workout.
Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional fluid. Dehydration also can occur at high altitudes.
Overall health. Your body loses fluids when you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Drink more water or follow a doctor's recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Other conditions that might require increased fluid intake include bladder infections and urinary tract stones.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, you may need additional fluids to stay hydrated.