(Besides Quenching Thirst!)
If there’s one health recommendation that everyone seems to know, it would be to drink plenty of water. Since our bodies need proper hydration to function, not drinking enough of it prevents us from functioning optimally. But do you really need eight glasses per day to get all the benefits of drinking water?
Today, the National Academy of Medicine recommends letting thirst guide your water consumption habits, but sets an even higher total recommended daily water intake: 3.7 liters (15 cups) for the average adult male and 2.7 liters (11 cups) for the average adult female. When considering total water intake, all forms of common beverages, including such as water, coffee, tea and juice, help with hydration.
10 Benefits of Drinking Water
Drinking water quenches thirst, as you already know. But it does a body good in more ways than you may realize. Check out some of the top benefits of drinking water.
- Removes Toxins
Drinking water helps to get rid of waste through urination and sweating, which also helps to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and kidney stones.
- Increases Energy
Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. Good hydration can fight fatigue and increase your energy levels.
- Stimulates Brain Function
Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert.
- Promotes Weight Control
Water simply helps you feel full, and as a result, you’ll consume fewer calories throughout the day.
- Improves Skin
Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration. Adhering to the recommended daily water intake helps moisturize your skin, keeping it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth.
- Maintains Regularity
In addition to weight control, water is essential to digest your food and prevents constipation. When you don’t have enough fluids, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain water levels, and the result is constipation.
- Boosts Immune System
One of the best benefits of drinking water is that you’re less likely to get sick when you’re properly hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu, diabetes, and other conditions like heart attacks.
- Eases Headaches
A natural headache remedy, water helps relieve and prevent migraines, muscle aches and back pain, often caused by dehydration.
- Prevents Injury
Proper hydration helps keep joints lubricated and muscles more elastic so joint pain is less likely.
- Elevates Mood
Studies show that the greater the water consumption, the better your mood. Tension, depression and confusion decreases when the recommended daily water intake is met. It makes sense that when the body is functioning at its best, you’re more likely to feel better and be happy!
Tips to Maintain Hydration
It may seem unrealistic to have 11-15 cups of water per day, but if you’re mindful about getting the recommended daily water intake, it’s easy. Here are a few tips:
- Have a drink with every snack and meal.
- Choose beverages you enjoy, which makes it easier to drink more often.
- Keep a bottle of water with you at all times, including in the car and at work.
- Eat more fruit and vegetables, which have a high water content (20% water intake comes from food).
Choose beverages that are low in calories for weight control.