Living on a planet that is made up of 71% water might cause you to believe there is no urgent need to drink what is generally all around us. However, drinking water is essential for our body to function normally.
As ubiquitous water is, there is no reason for you to completely ignore it when it comes to your daily diet. Drinking water comes with its own benefits, which we will be discussing down below.
We will also be tackling some tips on how you can increase your daily water intake as well as some of the consequences of waiting for you if your body fails to receive the proper amount of water.
Benefits of Drinking Water
Each person will have a different recommended daily water intake. However, one sign that your body is not getting enough water would be with the urine clarity. There are two popular methods when it comes to determining your proper daily water intake. You can either take your body weight (pounds) and divide it in two, the number you get is the proper water intake in ounces you should drink daily. You can also follow the much simpler 8 glasses (8 ounces each) of water a day.
Simply put, drinking enough water so that your body can operate properly is vital. Let us go through some of the benefits of drinking water if you need more reasons to do so.
1. Increases Energy and Lowers Fatigue
The human brain is made up of mostly water and as such will need proper rehydration. Doing so will help improve your focus and concentration. It can also help you become more alert. Drinking water can also help reduce fatigue while energizing your whole body as well.
2. Helps in Weight Loss
Water has 0% calories. This alone makes it a highly recommended drink for those who want to lose weight. Not only does it contain zero calories, it can also act as a natural appetite suppressant. Drinking a glass of water before a meal can make you feel full which then reduces your overall food intake.
3. It is an Anti-Oxidant
Drinking water regularly can help cleanse one’s body through perspiration and urination. Water helps the body flush out unwanted and harmful toxins which in turn can help you prevent health issues such as Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) and kidney stones.
4. Helps Maintain Regular Bowel Movement
Water helps the body’s digestive tract break down food faster and more efficiently. It can also help prevent constipation from occurring.
5. Improves the Complexion of the Skin
The skin needs its moisture and what better way to ensure your skin gets its daily dose of moisture than by drinking water. Drinking water helps improve your skin’s elasticity which then prevents wrinkles from developing. You won’t even need to purchase expensive skin care products.
6. Immunity Booster
Compare a person who drinks water daily and is physically active to one who engorges in junk food and soda. Who do you think is far more susceptible to flu and other ailments? Water can also act to boost your body’s immune system which significantly lowers ailments from the common cold to cancer.
7. Headache Remedy
One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is a headache. You can reduce the risk of experiencing this by simply drinking water. Water can also help relieve and prevent back pains which is another common symptom of dehydration.
8. Prevents Joint Pain
Your body is like a machine and needs to be well lubricated to function smoothly. One of the best ways to ensure all your joints are properly lubricated is by keeping your body hydrated by drinking water. You can avoid experiencing cramps and sprains by simply drinking the appropriate amount of water every day.
9. Helps Improve Mood
Basically, if your body is functioning at optimum capacity then your mood will also be affected positively. Being in a good mood is just another benefit of the trickle-down effect of drinking water.
10. Saves you Cash
Water is basically free and even filtered water is exceptionally cheaper than sodas and expensive lattes at your local café. You can even just boil tap water if you want.
How to Drink More Water
I can completely understand if you find drinking water not too enticing when compared to drinking juice or soda. But the fact of the matter is that the benefits of drinking water should not be overlooked. To help you in this little conundrum of yours, I will give you several tips that you can apply in order to increase your daily water intake.
1. Add some natural flavors.
Feel like water is just to plain? Try mixing in some flavors. I’m not talking about artificial flavorings that you can buy at the store, I’m talking about mixing in real fruits. Place orange or lemon slices into your water-filled bottle and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours. An added benefit here is that lemon slices can also act as an anti-oxidant. In fact, lemon water is one of the best in terms of providing weight loss elements.
2. Add something spicy to your meal.
This one is a really simple technique. Eating something with a bit of chutzpah will have you clamoring for a glass of ice-cold water multiple times during the meal. Peppers are also known for helping boost the body’s metabolism which is another easy technique you can use to help you in losing weight.
3. Using your Smartphone.
That might seem confusing at first but hear me out. There is an app available for both iOS and Android smartphones that tracks and alerts you to how much and when you need to drink water. If you think of it as a game wherein you need to reach certain milestones, then drinking water becomes a whole lot easier. You can also simply set alarms daily for when you need to drink a glass of water.
4. Bring a tumbler with you at all times.
Here is a tip I can suggest to you that I personally find helpful. Leaving the house and getting stuck in traffic can be quite infuriating, which is why it is nice to always have a tumbler filled with water at all times. I also have a tumbler at my work desk at all times. It helps keep me feeling full while also helping me focus on my work. You should also apply this when going to the gym and bring something a bit larger than your usual tumbler.
5. Make a habit of opting for a glass of water in restaurants.
Not only will this help you ensure your calorie intake won’t go overboard, it will also help save you some cash. Almost every restaurant uses a filtration unit with their faucet nowadays so ask for that instead of bottled water.
6. Go for water-rich food.
Water-rich vegetables and fruit can be a great alternative if you are simply tired of drinking water and want to change things up for a bit. You can eat cucumbers, watermelon, and celery which are known to contain high amounts of water. If you want something more delectable then go for soup with a light broth to whet your appetite while also taking in a decent amount of water.
7. Incorporate it into evening habits.
Out in the night drinking with some friends? Remember to ask for a glass of water as well. You can also make a habit of drinking one extra glass of water before sleeping. Have a glass beside your bed at the ready.
Consequences If You Don’t Drink Enough Water
As simple as drinking water is, there are also serious repercussions if you tend to ignore this vital element of the human body. If you find yourself regularly experiencing some of the symptoms below then there is a high chance your body is not getting enough water. Below are some of the negative side effects of not drinking enough water.
1. Feeling fatigued.
Our body needs to be regularly hydrated. Failing to do so will leave our blood thicker which would then cause the heart to exert more energy to pump oxygen and nutrients throughout out our entire circulatory system. This overall affects our energy levels and will leave us huffing and puffing after just a few minutes of physical activity. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration.
2. Digestive system problems.
While fiber is the primary nutrient when it comes to making sure our digestive system is functioning properly, not drinking enough water can still lead to constipation. Water helps to soften the stool which makes it easier to pass through the system. There are also some studies being made at the moment that connects dehydration to stomach ulcers.
3. Eye irritations.
Dehydration not only causes your body to feel tired, it can also cause some problems with your eyes. Lack of proper moisture will affect your eyes as the protective film around it is comprised of water and salt. Eliminating the water out of the equation will only leave the salt which will cause your eyes to become extremely itchy and leave you with a bloodshot eye which is not a pleasant experience to have for the entirety of the day.
4. Higher risk of developing kidney stones.
This is one of the most common and most serious consequences of not drinking enough water. Kidney stones normally go through the body without any problems. That is unless you are severely and constantly dehydrated. This will cause the kidney stones to grow bigger and increase the risk of blocking the urinary tract. Not only is this painful, it is also extremely dangerous if left unattended. Worst case scenario here includes renal failure which can lead to more severe and fatal ailments.
5. Cause of bad breath.
Drinking water helps your mouth manage bad bacteria by flushing it down alongside maintaining saliva flow. Not drinking enough water causes your mouth’s saliva production to slow down which leaves the bacteria in your mouth to expand. You can put two and two together and figure out what happens next.
6. Joint problems.
As we have stated earlier in this article, water helps lubricate your joints. Lack of water means your joints become brittle with the cartilage stiffening up. This can further lead to problems like arthritis down the line if left unchecked.
A migraine can arise when your overall body weight suddenly dips down by 2%. You may also feel lethargic with a difficulty in maintaining a steady focus. Try re-hydrating yourself by drinking water at a steady pace.
8. Higher cholesterol levels.
When dehydrated, your body will make up for the loss of moisture by producing more cholesterol as an alternative to making sure that cell membranes remain moist in order to accomplish their functions. Obviously, high cholesterol is not something you would want as it can cause some life-threatening ailments.
As you can see, the consequences of not drinking enough water range from mild to serious health concerns. Follow the tips I listed above if you find yourself having difficulty remembering to drink the proper amount of water daily. Water is definitely the source of all life so make sure you drink plenty of water every day to make sure your body remains in tip-top shape.