Water. It’s important.
We’ve all heard about the eight-glasses-a-day thing, but did you know that’s actually just a myth? Scientists aren’t even sure how that myth started!
However, don’t put down your water bottle just yet. The University of Rochester suggests that a healthy woman drink nine glasses of liquids, while a healthy man drinks 13. These liquids don’t have to be water. (So yes, your three cups of coffee in the morning count!)
But if the majority of those liquids are water, you’d be doing your body a favor: there are many benefits of drinking water…even when you’re not thirsty.
You might have heard that water is important, but do you know why it’s important? These reasons to keep H2O by your side might change your tune about hydration to better both your body and your mind!
5 Benefits of Drinking Water
1. Check out the numbers
First of all, we can just look at the numbers. According to Duke University, you can die after only five to seven days of no water—but you can go weeks without food. You feel thirsty when your body’s water content is reduced by only one percent, making you officially dehydrated.
By five percent, your muscle strength and endurance decline and you become overheated and tired. This should give perspective on just how much your body relies on H2O, and why you should keep it on you at all times.
Related: The Dangers of Diet Soda
2. Keeps you at the top of your game
Are you an athlete or a serious gym-goer? If so, water should be your best friend. Even slight dehydration—in fact, as little as 2% decrease in your body’s water content—can lower your performance. Your endurance and overall motivation will decrease, you’ll feel more fatigued, your body will find it more difficult to deal with heat, and you’ll physically feel like you’re putting more effort in than you are.
If you’re having a harder time playing your sport or working out, it could be a sign that you need to get more water in your body—especially if you’re sweating bullets.
3. Keeps your brain sharp
Feeling a little foggy? Drink some water. According to a study published in Nutrition Reviews, participants who were just slightly dehydrated took a longer time for subjects to answer questions correctly. The results found that slight dehydration can decrease alertness, reaction time, short-term memory, and attention, and can increase fatigue. Try perking yourself up by sipping on a water bottle throughout the day.
4. Keeps you happy
According to a study done by the USDA, water can help keep a smile on your face. Researchers split a group of subjects approximately 20 years old into two groups. One group worked out without water, while the other worked out with water. At the end of the test, their mood was assessed. The researchers found that a lack of hydration was associated with fatigue, confusion, and an overall negative mood.
Even if you’re not a gym rat, the level of dehydration experienced among these participants was at approximately the same level as many experience daily without working out. So if you’ve been in a bit of a bad mood recently, try keeping hydrated to raise your spirits.
5. Stops you from overeating
Do you keep getting the munchies? Drink some H2O water. According to registered dietician Amy Margulies, the sensation of being thirsty is often confused for that of being hungry. It’s quite common for people to grab a snack instead of a glass of water—and since your body is dehydrated, not hungry, eating won’t satisfy you, which may lead you to eat more. There’s a reason why one of the biggest diet rules is to drink plenty of water.
But how do I drink more water?
It can be difficult to get yourself to drink H2O, especially if you’re on the go all the time. Buying yourself a sturdy, BPA-free reusable water bottle for an economical, simple solution. Fill it up in the morning and try to finish drinking it by at least mid-day—then fill it right back up again. Another trick is to fill up a freezable water bottle, put it in your freezer overnight, and then bring it with you so that it stays cold all throughout the day.
Do you struggle to drink water because you’re not fond of the taste? Add a bit of natural flavoring, such as a few drops of lemon or lime juice, for a healthy and delicious kick.
It can be difficult to remember to drink water every day, but don’t put it on the back burner, because the benefits of drinking water are many! Water is absolutely necessary for your body to function, keeps you from getting physically and mentally drained, keeps you in a good mood, and it stops you from overeating. Keep a bottle of H2O with you at all times, even if you need a bit of flavoring to give it a kick. Get hydrated!
Sammy Nickalls is the Content Manager at Inspiyr.com. She is an avid health nut and a lover of all things avocado.
Photo by Oslo in the Summertime