Chances are you’ve set goals to consume more water because you’ve heard it’s good for you. And let us guess, you still haven’t hit your goal of drinking eight glasses per day. But trust us, if you knew just how good water is for you, it might actually help motivate you to load up on the H2O. Ahead, all the reasons you need to start seeing your glass(es) half empty.
Skin is in
Your skin is about 30% water — this is what gives you a plump look, contributes to elasticity, and the ability to heal itself. Your skin is an organ, and just like any other part of your body, your skin is made up of cells. And skin cells are made up of water, like any other cell in the body. If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, dehydration will result in dry, tight and flaky skin. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling. In a skin study, a sonogram measured that people with low water intake noticed drinking more water improved skin thickness and density. Additionally, a 2007 study on the effects of water consumption showed that drinking two cups increased blood flow to the skin. However, don’t rely solely on your water intake — be sure to implement a good skincare routine to see additional results.
Feel it in your gut
Drinking water during or after a meal is an effective way to aid digestion, because it breaks down food so your body can absorb the nutrients and prevent constipation. It also softens stool, making it easier to pass, benefitting your overall bowel health. Furthermore, adequate water intake enables your body to discharge excess waste found in the kidneys, liver and intestines, not just through defecation, but also urination and sweat.
It keeps things running smoothly
Keeping your body hydrated helps it retain higher levels of moisture, which acts as a lubricant that protects everything – from your bones and joints to your spinal cord and brain. Additionally, it keeps the issues in your body moist too, so Instead of reaching for eye drops this season, try consuming plenty of water. Drinking the recommended amount keeps your eyes, nose and mouth from getting dry and everything running smoothly.
When you’re dehydrated, your brain can temporarily shrink or contract from fluid loss (think of it as a dry sponge). When this happens, the brain pulls away from the skull, resulting in a dehydration headache. These can range from relatively mild pain to a severe, debilitating migraine. Once you’ve rehydrated, the brain returns to its normal state, relieving your headache.
Hydrated = happy
Dehydration can have a noticeable effect if you lose as little as 2% of your body’s water content. For perspective, it’s not uncommon for athletes to lose up to 6-10% of their water weight via sweat alone. In a study that monitored women, results showed that mild dehydration after exercise impaired moods, decreased concentration and increased the frequency of headaches. Another study monitored men and showed that fluid loss increased anxiety and fatigue and decreased memory retention.
If this isn’t motivation to drink more H2O, we don’t know what is. Grab a your favorite water bottle, keep it close by and don’t forget to fill it at least 8 times per day. Bottoms up!