15 Benefits of Drinking Water and How Much You Need to Drink
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or improve your health, chances are you’ve been scouring the internet for weeks trying to find some practical tips that work. But almost everywhere you turn, you get the same advice: “drink adequate amounts of water every day!”
It’s easy to overlook this recommendation since water is a tasteless and odorless liquid that doesn’t excite our taste buds as most sugar-sweetened beverages do. However, it has certain ‘magical’ healing powers that can work wonders for your health – as long as you make a habit of drinking enough of it every day.
Water comprises about 60 percent of our body weight and allows our internal organs and systems to perform at their best. It’s also involved in many vital bodily functions. Sugary drinks, on the other hand, usually contain loads of sugar and carbs and tend to pull water from the body instead of hydrating it.
The high sugar content in these “liquid candies” can worsen dehydration, increase the risk of obesity, and lead to diabetes and other adverse health complications. Thankfully though, consuming adequate amounts of clean drinking water every day prevents us from experiencing those and other drastic physiological effects, such as constipation, severe dehydration, loss of appetite, nausea, difficulty concentrating, and other not-so-pleasant consequences.
Today, we’ll be explaining how drinking enough water can benefit your health, but let’s start by figuring out how much you need to drink each day.
How much water should you drink per day?
Your daily recommended water intake depends on various factors, such as your age, weight, sex, level of physical activity, and the climate in which you live. According to the Institute of Medicine, women should aim to consume 2.7 liters (or 91 ounces) of fluids daily, and men should drink 3.7 liters (or 125 ounces). But since about 80 percent of the water we drink comes from fluids and about 20 percent comes from foods, you should aim for about 9 cups (or 72 ounces) if you’re a female and 12½ cups (or 100 ounces) if you’re a male.
As for kids, the same factors apply (age, sex, etc.), but their daily recommended intake differs. WebMD suggests that, as a general rule, toddlers should drink 2 to 4 cups of H2O every day, children ages 4 – 8 years should drink 5 cups, and 8 to 11 cups for those 14 and over. But if your kids are actively involved in sports or take part in physical exercise, they’ll need more water. Before and after play or workout, give them about two or three more cups, and during breaks, get them to take six to eight big gulps.
How does water benefit your health?
We’d hate to sound like a broken record, but drinking water is crucial for your improving your health. From warding off diseases to stopping or reducing belly bloating, getting enough of it is one of the best ways to help your body function properly and protect it from an onslaught of harmful diseases, illnesses, and ailments.
Here are 15 reasons why our body needs water:
1. It regulates body temperature
Water has a unique capacity to regulate the body’s internal temperature in response to the external temperature. The liquid has a relatively high heat capacity, meaning it can absorb a lot of heat before its temperature rises. This property allows the water in every cell of the human body to act as a buffer against sudden temperature changes.
Blood, which is made mostly of water, moves heat away from extremities and toward the vital organs when it needs to conserve heat. The blood flows toward the skin’s surface when it needs to release excess heat, for instance, during physical activity, and in hot environments.
This excess heat causes the water stored in the middle layers of the skin to come to the skin’s surface as sweat. As the sweat evaporates, it cools the body and keeps its temperature in a healthy range. But if you don’t replenish the water you lose, you will likely become dehydrated, and your body temperature will rise. And when you are dehydrated, your body loses electrolytes and plasma.
2. It helps fight off diseases and illnesses
Water acts as a natural immune system booster. It helps the body ward off a host of diseases and illnesses. The healing powers of water allow it to resist certain medical conditions, including kidney stones, exercise-induced asthma, urinary tract infection, hypertension, and others.
The most common cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough water. Since water dissolves the substances that form the stones in the urine, getting the right amount of water per day helps treat the condition. Also, the more water you drink, the more you will urinate. This frequent urination will help flush out harmful bacteria from your bladder and eliminate excess salt from the body to relieve hypertension.
3. It improves brain function
Proper hydration is key to improving brain function. Since your brain is about 75 percent water, drinking it helps you in several ways, including:
- Improving concentration and cognition
- Maintaining memory function
- Helping to balance your mood and emotions
- Preventing and relieving headaches
- Reducing stress
- Increasing blood flow and deliver nutrients and oxygen to your brain
When your brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, you’ll be able to think quicker, be more focused, and experience greater clarity and creativity. Also, when the brain is fully hydrated, the exchange of nutrients and toxins will be much more efficient, thus ensuring concentration and mental alertness.
4. It prevents dehydration
Dehydration occurs when more water and fluids leave the body than they enter it. Although we continuously lose water throughout the day as we breathe, sweat, urinate, and defecate, we can replenish the water in our body by drinking fluids.
Proper hydration is essential at all times, especially in warm weather and during intense physical activity. Severe dehydration can result in several dreadful complications, such as kidney failure, seizures, swelling in the brain, and more.
Besides, when your body becomes dehydrated, it loses electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Too little of these electrolytes in the body can be disastrous. So, ensure that you drink enough water to make up for what’s lost through sweating, urination, and bowel movements to avoid dehydration. And also replace electrolytes with low-calorie beverages like coconut water and diary or fruits, such as bananas, watermelon, and avocado.
5. It improves digestion
Drinking water before or after meals will help your body break down the food you eat a lot faster, so your body can absorb the nutrients quicker. Better digestion means that you can avoid belly-bloating after meals. You can also get the most out of your meals as the water helps dissolve vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from your food.
6. It helps maximize physical performance
Without proper hydration, our physical performance takes a hit. Not drinking enough water can lead to altered body temperature control, increased fatigue, reduced motivation, and can make your workouts feel much more challenging – physically and mentally.
Nevertheless, optimal hydration can prevent this from happening and may reduce the oxidative stress that shows its face during high-intensity workouts. So, if you sweat a lot during your physical activity or intense exercise, staying hydrated with clean drinking water can help keep you performing at your absolute best.
7. It flushes waste from the body
Staying hydrated is a highly effective way to purge our bodies of toxins and waste. Toxins are unused junk that’s leftover in our bodies, which we remove through urine and stool. However, enough water is needed for that to happen. If not, your kidneys will have to have overtime to filter them out. This increased stress on the kidneys and the continuous buildup of toxins inside the body can be fatal. This can negatively affect your liver, kidneys, and bowel function – all of which play an all-important role in achieving optimal health and weight loss.
8. It delivers blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body
Drinking enough water is an excellent way to combat circulation issues. Water helps circulation by increasing blood flow and keeping oxygen and nutrients flowing through the body. Better circulation in the body usually has a positive impact on your overall health.
9. It lubricates and cushions the joints
Proper hydration helps lubricate and cushion your joints, spinal cord, and tissues. The cartilage found in the joints and the disk of the spine contains about 80 percent water. Long-term dehydration can restrict joint movement and reduce the joints’ shock-absorbing ability, which often leads to joint pain. However, when you make a habit of drinking enough water every day, you can enjoy physical activity and lessen the discomfort caused by joint illnesses and conditions like arthritis.
10. It helps form saliva and mucus
Water makes up about 85 percent of saliva. Saliva also includes small amounts of many essential substances, including electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds, and various enzymes.
Saliva is usually produced in the mouth and helps to break down solid food and keep your mouth healthy. Your body generally produces enough saliva with regular fluid intake. Still, saliva production may decrease because of age, certain medical conditions or therapies, or dehydration. If your mouth feels drier than usual, you should increase your water intake. Otherwise, call your doctor immediately.
In contrast, mucus is made from 98 percent of water and generally contains one percent salt and one percent biopolymers. Mucus (what we call boogers) is a runny and slimy gel-like substance, but it’s our body’s silent defender. It serves an essential role in keeping certain parts and surfaces in the body moist and healthy to trap foreign materials like infection agents.
Without enough water, the mucus won’t be able to move about freely, coat surfaces as it should, and capture harmful foreign invaders. Consequently, dry mucus could cause dry mouth, itchy eyes, or severe lung damage.
11. It helps boost energy
Dehydration often leads to fatigue because it impacts the flow of oxygen to the brain and causes your heart to work harder to pump oxygen to all of your bodily organs. This increased stress on the heart can make you more tired and less alert. Luckily, by staying hydrated, you can stay energized. Besides, research shows that an increase in water consumption may activate your metabolism. A boost in metabolism is linked to increased energy levels. According to Healthline, a study found that drinking 500 milliliters of water boosted the metabolic rate by 30 percent in both men and women for over an hour.
12. It can help you lose weight
Drinking water helps boost your metabolism. Also, when consumed before meals, it acts as an appetite suppressor by creating a sense of fullness. In turn, you burn more calories while better controlling your meal portions to prevent overeating. Drinking water also helps your body to stop retaining water, which enables you to reduce water weight. Together, all of these benefits may just help you lose extra pounds while dieting and exercising.
13. It improves your skin
Water helps cleanse and plump up your skin so that it looks brighter, healthier, and more youthful. When you don’t drink enough water, the collagen protein in the skin can crack and bind together, causing wrinkles and fine lines to become visible. We rely on water to:
- replenish our skin tissues
- moisturize our skin
- increase our skin’s elasticity
- flush out impurities and improves blood flow and circulation
When you choose not to drink enough water, expect your skin to look duller, drier, and less youthful. And don’t even think about getting that bright and radiant glow on your skin.
14. It may relieve constipation
Drinking plenty of water can help prevent and relieve constipation, especially in people who generally do not drink enough water. Constipation is a common problem. It is typically described as having fewer than three bowel movements a week due to difficulty passing stool or infrequent bowel movements. Staying hydrated can be a crucial part of your plan to cure constipation. Increasing water content inside the gut can soften the stools and stimulate bowel movements.
15. It helps decrease headaches
Severe dehydration often leads to headaches, which can cause a lot of pain and discomfort in the long run. Drinking adequate amounts of water can relieve headaches, allowing you to feel better and be more comfortable in your everyday life.
How to make sure that your drinking water is safe to drink
Drinking water is an excellent way to improve your health. However, if you want to receive the full benefits, you need to ensure that it is free of contaminants before drinking it. No need to worry, though, there are many different ways to achieve this.
An easy way to check the quality of your water is to contact your local water provider and request a copy of their annual water quality report. This document is the first line of defense in knowing what’s going on with the water inside your home. It highlights everything concerning the quality of your drinking water from the source to the contaminants found over a year. It also informs you about potential health effects that may occur as a result of the possible presence of contaminants in your water supply.
Another reliable method for checking the quality and safety of tap water is to use a home water testing kit. These devices test for a broad range of water contaminants, so you can know what’s in your water and put strict measures in place to resolve any contamination problems.
But if you need your water to be tested more thoroughly for increased accuracy, you can send a water sample from your tap to a local private laboratory. Should you choose this method, we must note that it can be more expensive than the other methods listed above and can be more time-consuming.
What if my drinking water contains pollutants and impurities?
If your drinking water has been tested for contaminants and returned positive results, do not drink it. It’s better not to find out what happens when you drink contaminated water. Before anything else, act swiftly to find a solution to eliminate the contaminants. The best way to achieve this is to purchase and install a decent-quality water filtration system.
There are various types of water filtration systems being sold on the market. Two of the most common types are: whole-house water filters and reverse osmosis water filters. Whole-house filters like our Springwell CF1 whole-house filtration system, remove all kinds of contaminants from water and treat all the water entering your home. The CF1, in particular, is highly efficient. It uses the different filter media, filters, and technologies to target and remove 99.9% of contaminants that lurk in tap water.
If you want to treat the water at specific taps in your home, then our SWRO-Nickel and SWRO-Bronze under-counter systems are the perfect solutions. Both systems use reverse osmosis to eliminate contaminants, such as lead, copper, fluoride, arsenic, aluminum, chlorine, chloramine, herbicides, pesticides, and many other pollutants, from water. Also, they can fit perfectly under almost any size sink and provide 75 gallons of treated water to your home every day.
Contact us today to learn more about the Springwell CF1 whole-house system, the SWRO-Nickel, and SWRO-Bronze under-counter systems, or any of our other premium products. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about each model so that you can make the correct buying decision based on your budget, your situation, and your specific needs.
Water is essential for human health. And the fact that it makes up about 60 percent of the body should give you a good idea about how much we need it to survive and maintain or improve our health. Water is a miracle-working liquid for sure, but keep in mind that you’re going to have to test it before drinking it if you want to receive all the incredible benefits, and install a good-quality water filtration system if necessary.