Drinking Water: Benefits You Can Get & Tricks You Should Try
Want the most natural and affordable secret to a healthy life? Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. And drinking water is one of the most effective and straightforward ways to do that. Without water, your body would stop working correctly. Water makes up to 90% of your body weight, and 80% of your brain tissues. In fact, a person can’t survive for more than a few days without it. Why? Your body has many vital functions, and water is one of the most essential elements to keep it functioning. This article helps you explore some health benefits you can get by drinking water.
If you already know how important getting hydrated is but find the routine of drinking water dull or repetitive, this article is for you. You’ll be amazed at the many tips and tricks you can do to make drinking water feel less of a chore and something enjoyable you can do.
Health Benefits of Drinking Water
Keeping yourself hydrated is critical for maintaining your overall health and well-being. Still, most people don’t seem to realize its importance. As hinted by H.H Mitchell, 73% of water makes up the brain and the heart. 83% of water makes up the lungs, 64% of the skin. Water makes up 79% of the kidneys and muscles, and even 31% of the bones.
Every day, people must take on a certain level of water to survive. However, there is no universal amount of water that a person must consume. The amount of water one must take according to your age, gender, and even your location. Generally, though, adults need to consume around 2-3 liters every day.
Suppose you’re consuming less than the average required amount of water. In that case, you may need to understand how it affects your overall health so you can put it in your running list of priorities.
Here’s a list of the health benefits you can get by drinking water:
Helps maximize your physical performance.
If you don’t keep yourself hydrated, it can affect your physical performance and cause it to suffer. Staying hydrated is all the more critical when you are under intense exercise or subjected to high heat.
Even if you lose as little as 2% water, dehydration will have an apparent effect on your body. Dehydration may lead to changed body temperature control, increased fatigue, and reduced motivation. Dehydration will also make any physical activity or exercise you engage in much more difficult, mentally, and physically. However, you can prevent this from happening with optimal hydration.
The next time you do an intense exercise, keep yourself hydrated. You’ll surely notice your body performing at its absolute best.
Affects your brain function and energy levels.
This conclusion should not come off as a surprise since approximately 73% of your brain is composed of water. It means that your hydration status has a strong influence on your brain function.
Multiple studies have shown that mild dehydration harms your brain functions. One study conducted in young women showed that even a small level of fluid loss amounting to 1-3% of body weight after a physical exercise proved to impair both concentration and mood and increased the recurrence of headache.
The same study was also conducted in young men. The researchers found that around 1.6% of fluid loss proved to have detrimental effects on feelings of anxiety, fatigue, and even working memory. Studies conducted on children and adults also yield the same results about dehydration on the impairment of memory, mood, and overall brain performance.
May help relieve constipation.
Simply put, being constipated means having infrequent and unusual bowel movements and includes having difficulty passing stool. When you are having constipation problems, increasing your fluid intake is often recommended for its treatment. Why? Having low water consumption shows to be one of the constipation’s risk factors, hence keeping yourself hydrated with mineral water may help relieve you of this pain.
Several studies show that drinking mineral water rich in magnesium and sodium improves bowel movement frequency and consistency.
May help you with a hangover.
Having a hangover means experiencing different symptoms as a result of excessive alcohol intake. You may ask how a hangover and fluid intake may be possibly related. Alcohol is diuretic, which makes you lose a substantial amount of water than you take in, possibly leading to dehydration.
Don’t get me wrong, dehydration is not the leading cause of hangovers. However, dehydration can cause various symptoms like dry mouth, fatigue, headache, and thirst.
One way to reduce your hangover is to drink a glass of water between drinks and consume a glass of water before dozing off.
Want to experience the health benefits of the water you haven’t been drinking much? It is important to know the times you need to drink water the most.
Rules You Should Live By
Here are the times your body needs water the most:
Before every meal
Drinking water before every meal can help you feel fuller, which makes you feel you don’t need to take in too much food. Besides, when you hydrate, your stomach also works to prepare for the food you are about to eat. Water functions to wake up your taste buds and acts to moisturize your stomach lining so that acidic or brittle food won’t be uncomfortable to take in.
Drinking a glass of water also clearly moistens your mouth and clears away taste from your earlier food in anticipation of a next meal.
Before and after a workout
You may need to take your water bottle with you during and after your workouts to protect yourself from dehydration
Keeping yourself hydrated is vital to protect yourself against heatstroke in hot temperatures and against frostbite in cold temperatures. Your body’s circulation functions as your protector to both extreme temperatures, and it needs water to do its role effectively.
When you are following an intense exercise, you may need to drink more water to replace the fluids you lost through sweat. However, the amount of water you need depends on several factors: your weight, health, and temperature conditions.
After exposure from bacteria and germs
When you’re around sick people, you should drink more water than usual to help eliminate germs, viruses, and other harmful bacteria that your body may have gotten. If you’re well-hydrated, bacteria and other harmful invaders don’t see your system as the perfect place to settle and multiply in.
When you feel ill
Can you hear your mom saying this advice? Well, mothers know best, after all. When you’re sick, you should drink plenty of fluids, including water.
In general, drinking eight glasses of water a day is a good and reasonable goal for most. But remember that the other fluids you take in like juice, tea, and soup are included in your total fluid intake.
When you feel tired
If you feel the need to rest for a nap but just can’t take one, try to have a glass of water instead. You might just be dehydrated more than you are sleepy. In fact, fatigue is one of the indicators that you are dehydrated.
Water moves quickly through your body to reach your brain and give you a little boost, even if you didn’t get that sleep you need or at least thought you badly needed.
I know that drinking more water may somewhat seem boring, repetitive, or even torturous. But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can add some challenges, tricks, and rules to this daily routine to spice things up.
How to Make Drinking Water Easier and More Fun
Here are some tricks to help you make sipping water less of a chore and something enjoyable for you to do:
Add a little flavor
Add a bit of flavor and excitement to your water by soaking in fresh fruit (e.g., lemon, grapefruit, strawberries), veggie slices (celery, cucumber, ginger), and herbs (basil, lavender, mint). The longer you soak your added flavors, the more tasty and exciting each sip will be! You can also play around with different combinations according to your own taste and preference.
Drink a glass after a bathroom break.
Challenge yourself by linking drinking water and your bathroom break. Try to make it a habit to stop by the kitchen or a glass or two of water after every bathroom break. It’s one way to build the habit of drinking drinking water as part of your regular daily routine.
And, well, since you will already be getting up, you can just maximize the time by stopping by your water cooler to fill up your glass, bottle, and stomach with water. If you get used to this routine, it makes up for a good cycle: The more you’ll have to go to the bathroom, the more water you drink, which means the more you have to go to the bathroom, so on and so forth. At its core, this practice will be the right kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.
Eat water-rich foods.
If you’re up for a sneaky way to increase your daily water intake, you can basically eat your H2O. That’s right! You can just eat fruits and vegetables rich in water like cucumber (96% water), grapefruit (91% water), watermelon (92% water), and zucchini (95% water).
Stick to the one-to-one rule in drinking alcohol.
If you want to lessen your chances of getting a hangover the next day, when you drink alcohol, try to stick with the one-to-one rule: have one glass of water for every cocktail you drink. This is an excellent way to keep hydrated while drinking and lessen the harsh effects of getting a hangover.
Use a marked water bottle.
If you’re like me, there’s something very encouraging about tracking and seeing the progress I’m making with whatever goal I set. You can also do this with a marked water bottle to see your progress for your daily water intake goals! It’s more fun and visual way to see you achieve your goal. If you still don’t have a water bottle, try to purchase one with bottle marks to keep you encouraged to reach your water goals each day!
Keep your water bottles filled up in your bags, in your car, around the house, or at work.
If you’re anything like me, you may also be doing one of the most wasteful things in life by forgetting to fill your water bottle at home and end up buying one at work or at school. What’s more, you see a big refillable bottle as a waste of purchase, so you end up buying the small one to consume for the day unless there’s free water refill at work or school. So if you’re anything like me, this reminder is for us. Before going out, make it a habit to fill water bottles in most trafficked places like your bag, your car, etc. After all, there can never be a wrong place to keep a water bottle full!
Make a rule that you’ll bring a water bottle every time you work out and finish the whole thing.
This workout rule is worthy to note again and again: stay hydrated during and after every workout. So there must be one thing you shouldn’t forget when heading to the gym– your water bottle.
After every workout, try to make it a habit to finish a water bottle to make up for the fluid loss throughout your entire workout. This is a great way to make a habit. You’ll be hitting two birds with one stone– getting a physical activity done and achieving your water goals!
Reward yourself for hitting your goals.
Lastly, and most importantly, reward yourself for your accomplishment. Don’t just make drinking water your entire rule. Make a leeway rule for yourself. If you achieve your water goal every day for the entire week, get yourself that fancy cake you’ve been dying to try, a binge that TV series you’ve been wanting to finish. If you have something you look forward to achieving a goal, it will just want to make you keep hitting that goal!
Of course, hydration and the health benefits that come with it are already a reward. Still, even a reward could use supplemental help from other kinds of rewards every now and then.