We’ve all heard that you need to drink at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of water every day to achieve proper hydration levels and internal homeostasis.
No one can pinpoint exactly where the “eight by eight” rule came from, but many people have followed that rule for years. Now science is saying that to get the health benefits of drinking water, you should be drinking your body weight in fluid ounces.
There are many conflicting views and stand points from a plethora of sources but one fact remains true: Drinking water is good for you.
More than half your body is comprised of it and almost three different quarters of our big, blue marble we call home is covered in it.
So, to kick off 2020 on a healthy note, here are eighteen benefits of drinking water.
Table of Contents
- 1. What goes out, must come in
- 2. Water, The Calorific Controller
- 3. Energized And Ready To Work
- 4. The Beauty of Water
- 5. Your Kidneys, The Bodies HEPA Filter
- 6. H2O, Number One For “Number Two”
- 7. Let’s Get Physical
- 8. Head And Shoulders Above Other Drinks
- 9. Feelings And Hydration
- 10. Headache Prevention
- 11. Hangover Helper
- 12. Infection Counter Terrorism
- 13. Internal Climate Control
- 14. Lubricated Joints Are Healthy Joints
- 15. Saliva Is Nothing To Spit At
- 16. Oxygen Waterways
- 17. Electrolytes Light Up Your Life
- 18. Under “Correct” Pressure
- Drinking The Best Water For Your Health
1. What goes out, must come in
The term “bodily fluid balance” may be new to you but what it means won’t be.
The bodily fluid balance is a simple principle that the water that comes out of us in various forms (urine, sweat, saliva, tears) must be replenished and replaced. The reason is that without replacement, you will suffer dehydration and that can lead to systemic organ failure, hormonal and metabolic imbalances, and even death.
When we are lacking in water in our system, there is a larger concentration of ions that accumulate in the extracellular compartment. This concentration begins to sap water from the intracellular compartment, causing a shrinkage if the cell.
That shrinkage is then detected by very fine sensors all over our body, a signal is sent to our brain and we realize we are thirsty.
Our bodies are very sensitive and carefully tuned instruments. Without the proper amount of water in the system, everything stops moving the way it should and begins to collapse and shut down.
The obvious health benefits of drinking water are clear as is the way to prevent poor fluidic levels in the body. For every drop that goes out, you must replenish your supply.
2. Water, The Calorific Controller
Whenever you are out and about these days, it is incredibly common to see people walking around with water bottles.
And not just when at the gym.
People going to work, school, gardening, people are catching on to the many health benefits of drinking water. Not all are doing it for hydration either.
Many people use it to help burn calories and regulate fullness. Drinking cold water is proven to shock the system and make it work harder.
One eight-ounce glass of cold water causes the person drinking it to burn seven calories as the body tries harder to assimilate it and raise its temperature. Water can also trick the hypothalamus into registering fullness, which of course can curb one’s desire to eat, thus lowering calorific intake.
3. Energized And Ready To Work
Our muscles are comprised largely of water. Almost entirely.
So its no surprise a big health benefit of drinking water is to revitalize our muscles. When we exert ourselves, we release the water and minerals in our bodies in the form of sweat.
When exerting yourself, you must drink at least a small amount of water every fifteen minutes or less to maintain proper hydration.
Not only will you feel better but you are putting more electrolytes into your system which are essential to our bodies’ many functions, but if you don’t drink enough water before and after physical exertion you become very susceptible to muscle cramping and locking.
If you’ve never experienced that sensation it is greatly discomforting. Just because you don’t feel dehydrated doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink more water.
4. The Beauty of Water
This health benefit from drinking water is one that not a lot of people might realize.
Drinking the recommended amount of water every day can increase the elasticity of the skin and improve the overall appearance. If the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, does not contain enough water the skin will be dry and rough.
The skin itself may crack and that can invite infection to form. Also, when the epidermis is full of water, it causes surface tension and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Beauty may only be skin deep but for most that is deep enough to matter.
5. Your Kidneys, The Bodies HEPA Filter
Our kidneys have one of the most important jobs in our body and they are like unsung heroes. They filter out the toxins and impurities in our system and pump it out in the form of urine.
According to the NIH, our kidneys filter one hundred and thirteen to one hundred and forty-four liters of blood every day. We may think they are just solid lumps but they are thousands of tiny, sponge-like cells called nephrons that work together.
The reason your kidneys need to be hydrated is that if there isn’t enough water in your system, the toxins can’t get carried away or even converted into urine and start to cause sedimentary blockages commonly referred to as kidney stones.
Kidney stones are often aired as being one of the most painful and uncomfortable feelings a human can experience. And in most cases, the person experiencing them has no choice but to let them pass.
So if you want to keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff continually going out, stay hydrated.
6. H2O, Number One For “Number Two”
Keeping hydrated means more than just staying alive. It means staying healthy.
A big part of staying healthy is the active removal of waste from our bodies. The kidneys do their part but our bowels and intestines have a pivotal role to play and without proper fluid levels things start to get bound up. Literally.
When our bodies pass a stool, food travels along the large intestine that soaks up water as it makes the stool.
When the colon muscles move too slowly, it soaks up more water than is needed. This causes the stool to harden and dry out causing a painful, discomforting blockage or constipation.
A healthy intake of water and fiber is the best way to regulate stool passage. And remember, if you are having less than two to three bowel movements a week, you are dehydrated.
7. Let’s Get Physical
We all know that drinking water helps us through hard, physical exertion. Did you also know that it can also help prevent sprains and injury?
A major health benefit to drinking water that is greatly appreciated by athletes especially, is that water is a natural lubricant for joints and muscles. So if you are well hydrated, you have more likelihood of withstanding trauma potentially causing an injury.
Also, water can act as a form of pain killer. Increased water in the system allows for faster transmission of electrolytes that carry natural pain killers like dopamine and serotonin which decrease swelling and can ease pain.
8. Head And Shoulders Above Other Drinks
The human brain is comprised of seventy-five percent water. That’s a lot of processes to perform every second for something that is only twenty-five percent solid.
Give your brain a break by drinking enough water so it doesn’t have to strain so much in the removal of toxins from your body. Another health benefit to drinking the best water you can get is the fewer toxins you take in, the less it has to regulate and remove.
When your brain has an easier time, you do as well because now that additional processing power can be put to better use. Low water intake and dehydration can lead to a lack of focus, less responsive motor skills and fatigue. So if it’s time to study, bring a big water bottle.
9. Feelings And Hydration
Your mood is, believe it or not, affected by your water intake.
Sleeplessness, confusion, even your drive, and motivation are all lowered when you are dehydrated or even just thirsty.
It’s even scientifically proven that when you are drinking water, actually ingesting it, your brain creates dopamine in response to the actual act of drinking water.
Even drinking a glass of water before going to bed can actually help you wake up in a better mood. And who doesn’t see a health benefit in waking up happy?
10. Headache Prevention
A headache can stop you dead in your tracks. It can ruin your day.
They can range from a slight pain behind the eyes to a blurring of vision, hypersensitivity to sound and even cause your heart to race. There is a very easy way to prevent most headaches, however.
Drink more water.
You can even get what’s known as a “water deprivation headache”. Your brain is a big muscle surrounded by water. When there isn’t enough water between your beautiful thinker and your skull, your brain rubs and touches against the sides and causes a mild inflammation.
This inflammation is the headache essentially. So, the more water you have in your system, the more of a buffer you have between the brain and skull.
If you want to know if dehydration is causing your headache or something its else, try this. Tilt your head forward. Now tilt it back. If the headache got worse, you need to hydrate because your brain is pushed against the skull and that can’t feel good.
11. Hangover Helper
Yesterday you decided to celebrate. What did you celebrate? A wedding? Passing some tests? Thursday? Whatever the reason for the festivity was, there was alcohol involved.
Maybe you were smart enough to consume large amounts of water before bed. If not, you have a hangover.
All sorts of diabolical, physiological things are happening and if it feels like your brain is swelling and shrinking. That’s because it is.
In response to dehydration caused by alcohol ingestion, your body goes to work trying to steal every drop of liquid it can from anywhere it can. It usually goes after the fluid surrounding the brain first.
When that is drained, the brain bumps against the skull frequently and causes that headache feeling. Also, because the brain is free-floating as normal, the receptors for motion don’t react as quickly which can cause nausea.
For every glass, shot or snifter you have, drink at least one glass of water before bed to neutralize your hangover. Usually.
12. Infection Counter Terrorism
A huge benefit of drinking water is the ability for it to help fight infection.
Not only does it help to increase the production of red blood cells but water also causes you to urinate more frequently, flushing out bacteria and toxins.
Besides, by fortifying the skin cells of the epidermis it causes fewer cracks and crevices therefor blocking infection. Infectious countermeasures. Just another health benefit of drinking water.
13. Internal Climate Control
Water can transfer heat incredibly efficiently. It can also absorb heat well. For this reason, the human body uses water to regulate internal temperature.
This ability, as well as the high temperature it can tolerate, makes it the perfect buffer for the body’s cells to resist sudden temperature changes. When you are sick your body uses blood, which is largely comprised of water, to move heat away from your limbs to the more vital organs to conserve heat and protect itself. For this reason, drinking enough water is vital to control your internal temperature.
14. Lubricated Joints Are Healthy Joints
If you have joint pain currently, drinking a bunch of water won’t make it go away. However, being properly hydrated does have a multitude of benefits from the perspective of a joint pain sufferer.
Synovial fluid is an egg-white looking substance that is the most viscous substance on the planet. Drinking water aids the synovial fluid in staying fluidic and viscous.
Water also moves much-needed nutrients to the joints. If it brings nutrients in, you are correct in assuming it takes out harmful toxins as well. Toxins that can degrade the joint and cause infection. And if you do suffer from joint pain, inflammation can be reduced by drinking water.
15. Saliva Is Nothing To Spit At
Saliva and mucus are essential protectors of the body and also helps deliver various enzymes through the body. It also is comprised of ninety-eight percent water. Saliva transports mucus as well as electrolytes, enzymes, and antibiotics.
Saliva also contains the vital enzyme called amylase which breaks down complex starches for digestion purposes. Digestion begins in the mouth and starts with saliva breaking down food immediately. So if you are dehydrated, you don’t have enough saliva and digestion will take more time and effort.
16. Oxygen Waterways
Oxygen is transported through our systems via the cardiovascular system. Blood itself is water with a vast amount of substances in it. Also, hemoglobin is a complex pigment that is transported along with red blood cells.
Oxyhemoglobin forms when four oxygen molecules bind to hemoglobin. The oxyhemoglobin is transported to individual cells in the body where the oxygen is then released. So a major health benefit to drinking water and staying hydrated is moving necessary oxygen through our bodies.
17. Electrolytes Light Up Your Life
The main electrolytes in your blood, namely potassium, chloride, and sodium help maintain nerve and muscle function.
Electrolytes are critical in the control of fluid levels. Taking drugs, as well as certain heart and blood conditions and being dehydrated have severely negative impacts on electrolyte production.
Poor electrolyte amounts result in many functions slowing including energy levels, mood, and organ function.
18. Under “Correct” Pressure
Blood pressure cannot be completely controlled by just drinking water. If you are looking to regulate your blood pressure an added health benefit to drinking water is that when the body is lacking water, it tries to use the sodium in your body to get what it needs.
By retaining sodium, you increase the strain on your system and increase blood pressure. Dehydration, in addition to its many other downsides, shuts down capillary beds. This puts more pressure on your veins and arteries or “pipes” and raises your blood pressure. So while it won’t clear high blood pressure, drinking water can help moderate it.
Drinking The Best Water For Your Health
Many people don’t drink enough water because they say they don’t like the taste. The taste you experience is your tongue contacting the multitude of impurities in everyday drinking water.
Chlorine, sodium, calcium and so many other chemicals and minerals make their way into our water and that’s the taste. These impurities cause our bodies to have to work harder to purify the blood.
We’ve explored how everything from the kidneys to the brain is affected and harmed by impurities in the water we drink. So while drinking the recommended amount of water every day is a great idea for living a long, healthy life, drinking good water is that much better.