When you were young, you might remember your parents, teachers, or coaches telling you to drink eight glasses of water a day because it is good for you. However, they probably didn’t go into further detail about why it is so important.
If you don’t have a complete understanding of how water impacts your health, you may feel less inclined to make it a priority to drink it. In a study of 1,000 people, 77% said they don’t consume enough water throughout the workday. If you have a full-time job, then this means people are dehydrated throughout most of the week. Dehydration can lead to serious health problems.
So what exactly is it about H2O that makes it a vital part of human existence? To learn more about the importance of staying hydrated, keep reading this guide.
The Benefits of Drinking Water
In terms of physical wellness, water can boost your metabolism because you use energy to heat it to body temperature. Thus, causing it to process food and drinks faster.
For those looking to decrease their caloric intake, water is the best drink because it doesn’t contain any. Additionally, the more water you drink, the less likely you’ll find yourself reaching for sugary beverages or unhealthy snacks.
Water also prevents you from cramping up while you are exercising. If you fail to hydrate before physical activity and you have a muscle spasm, try to find water with electrolytes in it. Studies show that they do a better job of reducing cramps.
Additionally, drinking a glass of water isn’t the only way you can contribute to your intake. Eating water-rich fruits and vegetables helps too. Cucumbers and celery have the highest concentration of water at 95%. If you’re looking for something sweeter, watermelon has a 91% concentration.
More importantly, though, water helps flush the toxins out of your body, which is why you should drink lots of fluids when you are sick. It also helps rehydrate your body after you’ve had a fever and break up the phlegm in your nose. Heating your water and adding some lemon and honey gives this drink more flavor and helps soothe your throat too.
How Other Beverages Affect Hydration
Of course, it’s completely normal to indulge in other beverages as well. Many people consume caffeine in the morning, either through coffee or tea. While scientists consider these drinks diuretics, they’ve recently discovered that they aren’t dehydrating. If you choose to consume caffeinated beverages, you should still drink the same amount of water your doctor recommends.
Some people also get their caffeine from diet sodas. While you might lean towards drinking them because they have don’t have any calories or sugar like regular sodas do, this doesn’t necessarily make them the healthier option.
According to Penn Medicine, these beverages link to other health problems like type-2 diabetes and weight gain. While enjoying diet drinks once in a while isn’t bad, you could see negatives impacts when consuming them every day.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
The notion that everyone should drink eight glasses of water a day isn’t wrong, per se, but it isn’t the most accurate suggestion out there. Many variables factor into this amount, including your size, sex, how much you exercise, health issues, pregnancy, etc. However, it’s best to ask your doctor about the specific amount of ounces you should consume.
There is such thing as drinking too much water; it’s called hyponatremia. When you overhydrate, the water dilutes any salt or electrolytes in your body, affecting your kidney’s function. You have to an immense amount of water in a short amount of time for this to occur, but you must avoid doing so because it could lead to serious health problems.
According to the University of Virginia’s Department of Medicine’s chairman, there isn’t a perfect time of the day to drink water. Rather, follow your senses and consume it whenever you feel thirsty.
Moreso, check the color of urine to see if you are properly hydrated. It should be clear or light yellow. Anything darker indicates that you need water.
How to Stay Hydrated
Even with the best intentions, it’s not uncommon for people to forget to drink water throughout the day. Unfortunately, people often have a tough time telling when they are thirsty, which is why you should come up with a system or routine so that the action becomes habitual.
Carrying a reusable water bottle whenever you leave the house is a strategic way to make sure you stay hydrated when you’re somewhere you don’t have access to water. If you are willing to splurge a bit, there are water bottles now that have markers on them that tell you how much you should have consumed by a specific time of the day.
Keep a water tracker in your planner or notebook so you can check off the ounces you’ve consumed throughout the day. Utilize your smartphone by setting alerts throughout the day, reminding you to down a couple more ounces.
Live a Healthier Lifestyle by Understanding the Importance of Staying Hydrated
While you may have always known that drinking water was critical, now you know the details about why you should stay on top of your water consumption. From increasing your metabolism to helping you lose weight, water has so many health benefits. Find a way to get your daily intake and start drinking more today.
With information on the importance of staying hydrated under your belt, why not read more about nutrition and other wellness topics. Check out our website for a variety of articles informing you about how you can live a healthy lifestyle.