Why should you focus on drinking enough water?

Drinking water regularly can help you to lose weight, think better, be in a better mood, prevent disease, and more.

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 Woman Drinking Mineral Water From Glass In Kitchen

Adequate water intake helps ensure that our bodies are hydrated, contributing to a host of benefits.

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Do you drink enough water each day?

If not, your overall health may be taking a toll.

And why is drinking water important?

Drinking water regularly can help you to lose weight, think better, be in a better mood, prevent disease, and more.

Why our bodies need water

How much of the human body is water? It might surprise you to learn that water makes up about 60% of our body weight.

The benefits of drinking water are many: It’s vital for almost every function in the body. Water acts as a building block, a solvent for chemical reactions, and a transport material for nutrients and waste.

Water also helps maintain blood volume and allows proper circulation, helps regulate our body temperature, and acts as a shock absorber for our joints and our brain. It also helps lubricate the linings of our inner organs and maintains healthy kidney function.

Water your body: 6 benefits

Staying hydrated will help you to:

1. Improve physical performance. During physical activity, our bodies use up a lot of water. Staying hydrated before, during, and after exercise helps to protect your body from harm, and helps you to perform better. Proper hydration can reduce fatigue, improve endurance, lower your maximum heart rate, and more. It can also help you to be less sore after exercise.

2. Help you to lose weight. Increasing your water intake may help you achieve better results. Studies show that people who are on diets lose more weight when they also increase their water intake. In one study, people on weight loss diets who drank 500 milliliters of water before each of their three daily meals for 12 weeks lost 4.6 more pounds on average than people who did not drink the additional water.

3. Boost your mood. People who drink more water also tend to have better moods. One study found that when people who regularly drank less than 1.2 liters of water per day increased their intake to 2.5 liters per day, the participants experienced significantly less confusion, bewilderment, fatigue and sleepiness. On the other hand, for people who regularly drank two to four liters of water per day who were then restricted to one liter per day, the reduced water intake led to negative effects on mood, including decreased contentedness, calmness and positive emotions.

4. Boost your brainpower. Several studies have shown that people drinking water during cognitive tasks performed much better than those people who did not drink water during the tasks. These results have been found in both adults and children. Studies suggest that even mild dehydration can impair cognitive function in the short-term.

5. Prevent headaches. Water deprivation is a very common cause of headache. In most cases, rehydrating can provide relief from a headache. For some people, dehydration can also trigger a migraine, so be sure to keep your water intake regular if you are prone to getting migraines or headaches.

6. Protect against disease. Proper hydration may be a useful tool in preventing a variety of health conditions and diseases. Staying hydrated may protect against kidney stones, constipation, asthma, urinary tract infections, coronary heart disease, and even possibly some cancers.

How much water should you drink a day?

The amount of water you need to drink will depend on several factors, including your age, gender, activity level, and more.

However, here’s a good general guideline when it comes to recommended daily water intake: Women should drink at least 2.21 liters per day and men should drink three liters per day.

Increase your daily water intake as you increase your activity level. Be sure to drink filtered water to avoid toxins that may be found in tap water.

As you age, you will likely feel less thirsty and thus be prone to drinking less fluid. However, hydration is as important as ever in old age, so be sure to keep water on hand and drink regularly throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Keep track of your water intake by measuring your progress with a cup or water bottle placed in a spot you will see throughout the day. Set goals for yourself at time points throughout the day to make sure you are drinking enough.

Environmental Nutrition is the award-winning independent newsletter written by nutrition experts.

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