Hydration is one of the most important ways to maintain your health. As the building block of life, water comprises about 60% of your body: it’s essential to each and every cell. Most experts suggest we drink at least 64oz of water daily to reap its benefits.
Here are 10 health benefits of staying hydrated!
Maximized Cardiovascular Health
Since dehydration lowers your blood volume, it makes your heart work harder for any physical or mental task. Hydration alleviates the stress on your heart, making tasks like exercise and walking up stairs considerably easier for your heart and – consequently – your entire body.
Dry Mouth Prevention
Of course, water plays a huge role in keeping your lips moist and your mouth from feeling dry. But did you know there are many health implications of dry mouth, besides the annoyance and discomfort? Some of these negative implications can include bad breath and increased risk of cavities.
Water has the ability to cleanse toxins from your body, primarily because your kidneys use water to filter waste and turn it into urine. Severe dehydration can even result in kidney failure, which can be deadly. So, you see, water and your kidneys collaborate to play one of the most essential roles in your body.
Your body will remain at a more optimal body temperature if you’re hydrated. Your body releases heat when blood vessels expand close to the skin’s surface, which is also why your face gets red during hard exercise. Dehydration makes it more difficult for blood vessels to widen, so your body feels hotter than usual.
Scientists from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands found that constant hydration – about seven glasses of water per day – improved the quality of life of patients suffering from severe migraines and headaches.
Decreased Desire for Empty Calories
Water has a tendency to make you feel fuller, so you’re less likely to indulge in empty calories that can contribute to weight gain and heart disease. Plus, the hunger cue is the same as the thirst cue. More often than not, you could simply be confusing your thirst for hunger.
It’s the Healthiest Drink Option
When eating out, the drink choices are often high-sugar soft drinks or alcohol. Even compared to low-fat alternatives, water is always the healthiest option available. Bonus: it’s free!
Proper hydration can make your skin less dry, can decrease the appearance of wrinkles, and has also been shown to reduce acne. To ensure that you’re receiving all the benefits of hydration, specifically in regard to improved skin, make sure your water is properly filtered with a water purification system. Hard water has been shown, in particular, to cause skin problems like acne.
Normal Bowel Movement
Hydration prevents constipation by loosening up stools. Dehydration results in the colon taking water from stools to maintain hydration, which then causes constipation. Hydration and fiber are the two most important elements in maintaining normal bowel function.
Tufts University researchers found that proper hydration can lead to elevated moods. In their study, athletes who didn’t properly hydrate felt more confused, angry, depressed, tense and fatigued compared to athletes who were hydrated. The study concluded that less-than-optimal fluid balance can produce negative effects on your mood.
Contributing Author: Kate Wilson is a freelance health and wellness writer for several green lifestyle organizations. In her free time she enjoys camping (the good old-fashioned way!) and trail running. Basically, if you’re ever looking for her, head to the nearest patch of woods and you’re sure to find her soon enough. Kate is also an organic foodie evangelist, constantly sharing her food facts and wisdom with all within earshot. For more, follow her at @kateowilson or JetFeeds.com.