You’ve probably been told by someone — maybe a television show, website, or even a medical professional — that you should be drinking a lot of water each day. Some experts suggest individuals consume about two to three liters of water every day, which is roughly eight or nine glasses.
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But, why, exactly, is it so important to drink that much water? What benefit can it provide to drink so much water instead of other types of beverages, like coffee, tea, soda, or juice? Let’s take a closer look at the importance of drinking a substantive amount of water each and every day.
1. Fuel Up
We often reach for something caffeinated — like coffee, tea, or an energy drink of some kind — when we need a boost of energy, but the truth is that keeping hydrated with water can often be all we need to fuel up.
That’s because water plays an important role in fueling our muscles, giving them the hydration they need to perform in an optimal fashion during physical exercise. Ever been working out or playing a sport and experienced a painful or uncomfortable cramp? Chances are you didn’t drink enough water that day. Additionally, staying hydrated can help you avoid painful muscle tears and pulls.
2. Jumpstart Your Metabolism
The search for the secret to weight loss and maintaining a healthy body weight: for many people, it’s an obsession. The truth of the matter is that keeping trim often requires keeping your metabolism high, which is much easier said than done. A high metabolism can help an individual burn calories even when they’re not engaged in intense physical exercise.
And drinking a sufficient amount of water each day plays an important role in keeping that metabolism churning along. Research shows that consuming water can help give your metabolism a bump, helping you push through that workout and keep your body ripping through calories even when you’re at rest.
3. Good for the Skin
No one wants dry, flaky skin, and few people want to curl up with someone who might cover them with flakes of dandruff. But lots of people routinely deal with these kinds of skin issues, particularly during the long winter months, when many of us are stuck indoors and exposed to heating systems that can easily dry out the skin.
You can use moisturizers to bring some elasticity back to your epidermis, but you can also help return a lot of moisture to your skin by simply drinking water, and lots of it. By getting a sufficient amount of water in your system each day, you can help your skin appear and feel much healthier and youthful.
4. Beat Headaches
Many of us turn to caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, energy drinks, and soda to help give us a boost of energy during the long work day. But drinking these kinds of beverages all the time can lead to our dehydration, which can be felt in a few different ways.
One of the more irritating results of dehydration: headaches that can start as an annoyance but may eventually become quite painful and debilitating. To help overcome these dehydration-linked headaches, ensure you get a sufficient amount of water each and every day.
5. Mental Boost
Hydration is an important factor in establishing our energy levels for the day, which means it can play a huge role in determining our capability for physical activity. But it also represents a significant factor in determining our concentration levels and our ability to be productive in an intellectual capacity.
Without a sufficient supply of water, we can struggle to focus on tasks of just about any kind, let alone those that are more complex and require a high level of concentration. If you work in a mentally-demanding position, then it’s crucial that you stay hydrated throughout the day.
6. Immunity Protection
The tempestuous temperatures of spring and fall can have a significant impact on our immune systems, which is why so many people fall ill with ailments like bronchitis, influenza, and the common cold during these parts of the year.
But you can help your immune system out a lot by simply drinking a sufficient amount of water. Staying fully hydrated keeps all of your major organs, particularly the liver and kidneys, functioning as they should, helping us stave off threats to our health.
7. Boost Your Bones
As we age, our bones tend to weaken — it’s why older adults, and especially older women, often struggle with arthritis and pain in the hands, knees, hips, and feet. To help with this, many individuals turn to pain relievers and, in some more extreme cases, surgery.
In any case, you can do yourself a favor by staying hydrated at all times. Why? Because research shows that drinking a sufficient amount of water can help build stronger bones. It may not be enough to prevent a fracture, but it can help maximize the strength of your bones and give you a chance to overcome bone-related ailments.
8. Help Digestion
Like many other parts of your body, your digestive system — including the stomach and intestines — requires a regular supply of water to stay healthy and fully functional. Water helps keep the linings of your digestive system intact, reducing your chances of experiencing pain or discomfort as a result of eating certain types of food.
Additionally, water can help your body process your food better, giving you the energy you need to carry out physical tasks and the concentration required to focus on complicated procedures.
9. Stay Regular
There may be no better reason to drink lots of water each day than staying regular — in other words, ensuring you have satisfactory and complete bowel movements each and every day (or close to each day).
Hydration plays an important role in keeping food moving through your body, from chewing to digestion in the stomach, small intestine, and colon. Without enough water in your system, food is more likely to process slowly or even become stuck on its way through your body. So, if you have significant issues with constipation, try drinking more water and see how that affects your situation.
10. Help Your Mood
Staying hydrated helps give us the energy we need to complete important physical and mental tasks, from participating in sports, going to the gym, keeping tabs on the kids, to focusing on complex tasks at work. In this way, water helps us reach a variety of goals.
Being able to accomplish simple and more complicated tasks gives us confidence, which in turn can help us feel better about ourselves. And in a day and age when it seems like so much of the news is negative and pessimistic, it’s hard to understate the importance of maintaining a good mood.
11. Assist with Weight Loss
We’re often searching for ways to lose weight and that’s pretty understandable. After all, food is virtually everywhere in our society and rarely do we see healthy foods — like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — advertised in an appealing way. Instead, it’s often unhealthy fast food that we see in advertisements all around us, whether it’s in a television commercial, on the side of a bus, or in an ad on a website.
One easy way to give you a leg up in reaching your weight loss goals is to simply drink lots of water. For one, it will give you the energy you need to get physical exercise and burn calories. Second, it can help make you feel full, alleviating the feeling that you need to eat. In fact, try starting every meal with a full glass of water — you may just find you eat a lot less.
12. Recover Faster
You’ve probably heard the saying “everything in moderation, including moderation.” In essence, it’s okay to go wild once in a while — like over-indulging in unhealthy food or drink.
And that means your body will need to recover from time to time. Maybe you’ll feel a little sick to your stomach after eating too much at a restaurant buffet. Or maybe you’ve got that nasty hangover feeling after drinking too much of your favorite alcoholic beverage the night before. Drinking water can help flush out these toxins and get you back to feeling healthy and physically and mentally fit.