I don’t know how many people still need to be convinced on this subject, but there are enough people out there that don’t understand the necessity of water consumption that I feel it needs to be addressed. Yesterday, in fact, I listened to another friend complain about headaches and low energy. After asking about hydration they informed me that they don’t like water and maybe drink one seltzer water per day. While seltzer water technically is complete substitute for normal water, having 12 oz of water per day will pretty much make your body hate you.
Here are the benefits your body receives from drinking more water.
Better skin: Dehydration leads to less skin elasticity. Your skin will look and feel worse. Drinking lots of water and staying hydrated keeps the skin looking healthy and makes you a better looking version of yourself.
Better cardiovascular health: The less water you drink, the lower your blood volume, and the harder your heart has to work to pump blood. Staying hydrated keeps your heart and cardiovascular system functioning smoothly.
Better muscle/joint function: When properly hydrated, water in your muscular cells help to keep muscles functioning optimally by providing the proper nutrients and eliminating waste. Water also lubricates your joints. Dehydration obviously will hurt these processes.
Less headaches: If you’re having a lot of headaches and realize that you’re also constantly dehydrated, let me scare you with some knowledge. Dehydration headaches are caused when the brain temporarily shrinks because of dehydration. At this point your brain is literally pulling away from the skull, causing pain that leads to the dehydration headache. The brain is pretty important. Having it undergo this stressful process just because you won’t drink enough water is insanity.
Better cleansing of the body: Your kidneys need water to function properly, and by function properly I mean remove waste from the body. Dehydration makes this process less than optimal, and severe hydration can cause toxins to build up in the body.
Higher energy: I’ve mentioned a couple times above how drinking enough water makes different process function optimally and effectively. When your body is functioning at a solid capacity, you have more energy. Makes sense right? Ever wonder why people recommend drinking a glass of water immediately in the morning? One of the reasons is because you aren’t drinking water in your sleep, so you wake up dehydrated. A quick glass of water can help eliminate your morning grogginess and give you that first boost of energy for the day.
Better brain function: Studies show that even mild dehydration can effect the brain’s function. This hurts our ability to concentrate and focus, and even messes with our memory. Imagine trying to study for a test while dehydrated. You factually will not retain information as well, or even be able to buckle down and focus as efficiently, if you are not drinking enough water.
Better metabolism: Drinking water boosts your metabolism. That both increases your energy and also can help you lose or maintain weight. This is also due to water making your body feel fuller. If you drink water before eating, you will feel fuller quicker, and can limit overeating.
Honestly, I don’t love the taste of water. It’s boring and I do not enjoy drinking it unless I’m working out or have gone a while without it on a hot day. However, I also feel how amazing it is for my body. I have more energy, am sharper of mind, and generally feel better when I’m drinking enough water. If you are willing to ignore all of the benefits above because you don’t like the taste of water, then my only conclusion is that you love feeling bad and hate your body.
So how much should we drink? I’ve heard a lot of the “8 glasses of 8 oz per day” recommendation. Others will say 1/2 to 1 oz of water per pound of body weight. It’s tough to give an exact amount because you have to factor in each individuals weight, what they eat, how active they are, and other factors. Drinking a ton of water while not eating enough sodium, for example, can drop sodium levels and lead to other issues. I am not a scientist so I’m not going to be able to come up with a formulate that determines the idea amount of water to drink based on body weight, age, sex, etc. I probably drink around a gallon or so of water per day, maybe anywhere from 128 – 160 oz of water. I’ll start the day filling my 32 oz water bottle and drinking it on the way to work. I constantly fill a 12 oz glass up at work, and I drink a lot of water during the gym. I’ll have another 32 oz within an hour before bed.
It’s amazing how easily I can now tell if I’m not drinking enough water. I’ve become used to my body functioning at optimal levels, so if I’m not staying hydrated I can feel the difference. That is why I get legitimately heated when people tell me they aren’t drinking water. Every single time someone tells me they are tired, not feeling well, getting headaches, etc., my first question is and will always be about their hydration. Most of the time hydration is an issue, which means their problem could potentially be solved by simply drinking more water.
So drink water. And if you refuse to, please don’t tell me. Because I will haunt your dreams.