Health Benefits of Drinking Water

Drinking water and staying hydrated is the first rule of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We all know that water is essential, but do you know why? Interestingly, our bodies can last weeks without food but only a few days without water. This is because our body is composed of up to 60% water1. Our brain and hearts are composed of 73% water, our lungs are about 83% water, the skin is roughly 64% water, the muscles and kidneys are 79% water, and our bones contain 31% water2. Water helps us regulate our body temperature, moisten tissue such as the eyes, nose and mouth, protects our organs, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, cushions the joints, flushes out waste, and dissolves minerals to make them accessible to the body3.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Water has a profound impact on how you look and feel throughout the day. The following are a few side effects of dehydration:

  1. Headaches. However, within 30min of drinking water you should experience relief4.
  2. Dull Skin. Dehydration can cause the skin to be less elastic and be more prone to blemishes. Proper hydration has been shown to be important for the health of your skin, specifically from an aging perspective5.
  3. Fatigue. Dehydration causes your energy levels to plummet and you can experience brain fog and fatigue6
  4. Weight Gain. When our body is thirsty it sends signals for us to eat. Studies show that increased daily water intake reduces caloric intake, thus making it easier to manage weight gain7.
  5. Bad Breath. Saliva contains high levels of oxygen which helps eliminate the bacteria that causes bad breath8. You produce less saliva when dehydrated resulting in bad breath9.

How Much Water Should You Drink in a Day

The daily suggested intake of water is 6-8 cups of per day10. To ensure you are getting the required amount of water, drink fluids gradually throughout the day. This can be easily done if you have a glass at each meal, socially, with medicine, and before or after bed.

You should consult with your health professional because it is possible to drink too much water if you have certain health conditions. Examples are conditions such as thyroid disease, or individuals suffering from kidney, liver or heart problems should be cautious on the amount of water they consume11.

  1. The Water in You: Water and the Human Body. Usgs.gov. Published 2019. Accessed December 22, 2020. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/water-you-water-and-human-body?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects
  2. Mitchell HH, Hamilton TS, Steggerda FR, Bean HW. THE CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF THE ADULT HUMAN BODY AND ITS BEARING ON THE BIOCHEMISTRY OF GROWTH. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 1945;158(3):625-637. Accessed December 22, 2020. https://www.jbc.org/content/158/3/625.short
  3. Liska D, Mah E, Brisbois T, Barrios PL, Baker LB, Spriet LL. Narrative Review of Hydration and Selected Health Outcomes in the General Population. Nutrients. 2019;11(1):70. doi:10.3390/nu11010070
  4. Blau JN, Kell CA, Sperling JM. Water-Deprivation Headache: A New Headache With Two Variants. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. 2004;44(1):79-83. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4610.2004.04014.x
  5. Rodrigues L, Palma L, Tavares Marques L, Bujan Varela J. Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. Published online August 2015:413. doi:10.2147/ccid.s86822
  6. Davina. water Archives – La Pachamama – The Path to Health and Vitality – Naturally. La Pachamama – The Path to Health and Vitality – Naturally. Published 2016. Accessed December 22, 2020. https://www.lapachamamanaturalhealth.com.au/tag/water/
  7. Armstrong LE. Challenges of linking chronic dehydration and fluid consumption to health outcomes. Nutrition Reviews. 2012;70:S121-S127. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2012.00539.
  8. Armstrong LE. Challenges of linking chronic dehydration and fluid consumption to health outcomes. Nutrition Reviews. 2012;70:S121-S127. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2012.00539.
  9. ROSENBERG M. The Science of Bad Breath. Scientific American. 2002;286(4):72-79. Accessed December 22, 2020. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26059644?seq=1
  10. Armstrong L, Johnson E. Water Intake, Water Balance, and the Elusive Daily Water Requirement. Nutrients. 2018;10(12):1928. doi:10.3390/nu10121928
  11. Harvard Health Publishing. How much water should you drink? – Harvard Health. Harvard Health. Published March 25, 2020. Accessed December 22, 2020. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-water-should-you-drink

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