Guest post by Olivia Duffus
Did you know that you should be drinking anywhere from half to all of your body weight in ounces of water each day? For someone who weighs 200 pounds, that would be 100-200 ounces of water, every day.
Your body is made up of 60% water... not iced coffee. If more than half of your body is made up of water, it’s no surprise that drinking water is important. Our bodies need water to function well.
But what are the real benefits of drinking enough water every day?
I’m so glad you asked! Let’s dive right in to 6 reasons why you should drink more water.
Why should you drink more water?
1. Your body needs it.
You’ve probably heard that you can survive up to weeks without food, but only a week or less without water.
Why is water so vital to our health?
Water helps regulate your body’s temperature, and it keeps important body tissues moist. It also aids in digestion, especially when it comes to breaking down fibers. When you aren’t hydrated, you are more likely to become constipated or have irregular bowel movements.
Water also helps your kidney function properly, allowing your kidney to remove toxins and waste from your body.
Additionally, 70% of your brain is made of water. When you don’t drink enough water, your brain has to work harder to function well and think clearly. Dehydration can lead to trouble focusing and remembering, and drinking water can help your brain focus and keep your senses sharp.
2. Drinking water promotes weight loss.
If the fact that your body needs it isn’t reason enough to drink more water, consider these ways that water promotes healthy weight loss:
- Drinking water before meals can help you eat less by making you feel full.
- Sometimes our bodies mistake thirst for hunger. Next time you think you’re hungry between meals, reach for a glass of water before you reach for a snack.
- Drinking water boosts your metabolism and helps you burn fat, whereas dehydration can lower your metabolism by 3%.
- Drinking enough water actually helps your body retain less water, leading to less pounds of water weight.
3. Drinking water promotes healthier skin.
Your skin is made up of cells, and those cells are made of water. Drinking enough water ensures that those skin cells are functioning properly.
Additionally, hydrated skin is elastic and less prone to wrinkling, which helps to slow down signs of aging. Drinking water also keeps your skin healthy by getting rid of toxins that can lead to acne.
Drinking more water may not produce changes in your skin overnight, but consistently drinking enough water every day will keep your skin happy and healthy in the long run.
4. Drinking water reduces sugar cravings.
Did you know that the American Heart Association recommends that men and women have only 37 and 25 grams of added sugar a day, respectively? One 12oz can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar. That’s more than the recommended amount of sugar in just one can of soda.
Sugar is addicting. The more you have, the more you want. Water doesn’t seem as satisfying when your body is used to iced coffee or your favorite soda. And just as eating more sugar leaves you craving more sugar, eating less sugar reduces those cravings. The more you drink water, the less you will crave those sugary drinks.
It won’t happen overnight, but eventually you will find yourself craving a cold glass of water to quench your thirst.
This isn’t to say that you’ll never want a swig of that sugary soda, but you’ll see that water really does satisfy your thirst more.
Consequently, you’ll be doing your body a huge favor by feeding it less sugar. In time, this can also contribute to healthy weight loss.
5. Drinking enough water reduces fatigue.
Feeling sluggish? Fatigue is a common side effect of dehydration.
If you’re not in the habit of drinking water every day, or drinking enough water every day, you’ll likely feel tired throughout your day. Instead of relying on energy drinks or that third cup of coffee to keep you going, try adding more water to your diet.
If you’re not sure that your fatigue is a result of dehydration, pay attention to the color of your urine. If it’s mostly clear, your body is well-hydrated, and your fatigue is likely due to something else. If it’s not clear, there’s a good chance that your body is dehydrated.
Get your body the water it needs, and keep an eye on the color of your urine. If you’re still feeling sluggish after it’s mostly clear, it might be time to check out what else could be causing your fatigue.
If you feel more energized after a few days, your body is probably thanking you for watering it. Don’t forget to drink enough water every day, not just when you feel fatigued.
6. Drinking more water protects your teeth.
Drinking water keeps your saliva levels high, and saliva works wonders to protect your teeth. The bicarbonate, calcium, and phosphate elements in saliva neutralize plaque acids that cause tooth decay, and they also repair early stages of tooth decay.
If you aren’t drinking enough water, you’re probably not producing enough saliva, which can lead to dry mouth, tooth decay, and more.
Water keeps your teeth clean by washing away any leftover food or sugar. As we mentioned before, drinking water can also take the place of unhealthy, sugary drinks, leading to less cavities and healthier teeth.
How to start drinking more water:
- Carry a water bottle around with you during the day.
- Add fruit to your water for more flavor. If you get tired of plain water, mix things up with fresh fruit or mint leaves. Read about the specific benefits of lemon water.
- Set a reminder on your phone. Until drinking water becomes a habit, daily reminders are the perfect way to keep you on track.
- Challenge a friend to drink more water with you. Setting goals with a friend provides great accountability on those days when you really don’t want to drink another glass of water.
Drinking water (and drinking enough of it) is one of the best ways to take care of your body.
So what are you waiting for? Grab that water bottle and starting drinking!
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