Chances are you’ve been told at some point in your life that you should drink more water and that drinking water is good for you. It is within good reason. A person continuously loses water and electrolytes throughout the day through breathing, sweating, urination and bowel movements, and when more water leaves your body’s cells than enters, dehydration occurs.
Studies show that headaches tend to last longer when a person is dehydrated, and that a lack of fluids may trigger migraines more easily among those who are prone to them. Dehydration can negatively impact concentration, cause problems with short-term memory and contribute to moodiness and anxious feelings. It can also often be mistaken for hunger.
There are many benefits to drinking water. Here are a few:
1. Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids.
A person’s body is composed of approximately 60% water, which aids in digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
2. Water Helps Energize Muscles.
When cells do not maintain a balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, muscle fatigue can occur. During exercise, it is recommended to drink fluids early and at regular intervals to replace what has been lost through sweat.
3. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good.
Skin consists of a significant amount of water and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. Dehydration can make a person’s skin look drier and more wrinkled.
4. Water Helps Kidneys.
When your body is not getting enough fluids, the kidneys reserve extra amounts for bodily functions. If a person consistently does not drink enough water, there is a higher risk for kidney stones.
5. Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function. Adequate hydration keeps things moving within your gastrointestinal tract.
If you think you should be drinking more water, here are some tips to up your intake:
- Have a large glass of water first thing when you wake up.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high-water content will help with hydration.
- Drink some water each time after you urinate through the day.
- Keep a bottle of water in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
- Add fruits or vegetables to your water to enhance the flavor (if you are not fond of the taste of water).
By Gina Pellrine, LMSW