10 Health Benefits of Drinking Water (And How to Know if You’re Drinking Enough)
Drink more water. This is one of our most repeated, most basic, and most necessary pieces of advice for our clients. We have helped our clients cure and improve everything from debilitating headaches to metabolic functioning simply by increasing their water intake. Endurance athletes have noted feeling and performing better, others have reported increased mood. Water is critical to our survival, our health, and our ability to carry out basic functions.
So how much water do we need? This can depend on a number of personal and environmental factors. It can also depend on diet. A Paleo diet typically includes a lot of water-rich foods, for example. Most of us have heard the “eight by eight” rule: drink eight eight ounce glasses of water a day. This rule is actually not backed by scientific evidence, but it is easy to remember. We have a somewhat different approach, and recommend that our clients drink half their body weight in ounces of water daily. Regardless of level of activity, diet, or other factors, we find this to be a good, healthy rule of thumb for everyone, and also easy to remember! Also, drink plain water. No, drinking 100 ounces of Diet Coke a day is not equivalent to 100 ounces of water.
How do you know if you’re not getting enough water? Our bodies are very clever. They let us know when something is amiss; the problem is we don’t always listen or pay attention. When in doubt, drink more. Pay attention to how your body is feeling. Are you thirsty? Is your urine a deep yellow? Is your mouth dry? These are all signs that you need more water. Below are 10 more common symptoms of mild dehydration.
10 Symptoms of Inadequate Water Intake
3) Dry skin/lips
6) Low blood pressure, resulting in dizziness
7) Decreased mental acuity
8) Mood changes
9) Difficulty losing weight
10) Muscle cramps
10 Health Benefits of Drinking Water
And now, the health benefits. We’ve discussed what inadequate water intake can do to our bodies and how it can effect us cognitively, emotionally and physically, but what can a healthy intake of water do to our bodies (and therefore our quality of life)? LOTS!
1) Increased Energy and endurance
2) Aids digestion and maintains regularity
3) Keeps skin hydrated and healthy
4) Promotes healthy immune system functioning
5) Relieves and prevents headaches
6) Removes waste and toxins from the body
7) Helps with focus and concentration
8) Promotes healthy mood
9) Aids weight loss by improving metabolic functioning
10) Keeps joints lubricated and prevents muscle cramps
So now that you have the information, it’s just a matter of filling up that water bottle or glass and drinking it down. If you’re not accustomed to drinking large amounts of water you may not like the taste. It’s okay, you will get used to it. Feel free to add a little lemon, lime, or even cucumber slices to dress it up a bit! I personally love water, but for those who don’t, just remember that your body needs it. Better to drink an extra few glasses now than feel awful, or worse yet, pay medical bills, later. When you pick up that glass remember these 10 Health Benefits to Drinking Water and enjoy doing something good – no, great! – for your body.