More than half of the human body consists of water, so it comes as no surprise that this fluid is essential for our existence.
In this article, we will discuss the various health and beauty benefits of drinking water you may not know about.
1. Water Enhances Physical Performance
Drinking water is essential when you want your organism to operate at its fullest potential. A study on the connection between hydration and physical performance conducted in 2007 highlighted that a deficit as small as 2% can impact the quality of one’s bodily functioning¹. This is especially prevalent in the presence of heat, a condition that aggravates fluid loss.
Moreover, another piece of research performed during the same year concluded that hypohydration impairs strength by 2%, power by 3%, and high-intensity endurance by as much as 10%². Thus, the best way to remain on top of your game throughout the course of any physical activity is to provide your system with optimal hydration.
2. Water Improves Brain Function
Another important mention of the list of health benefits of water has to do with cognition and brain function. Fluid loss is detrimental to this, as demonstrated by several studies. A 2012 analysis of 25 young women demonstrated that a depletion of 1.36% not only increased the frequency of headaches, but weakens concentration and worsens mood as well³.
The same was true in the case of male test subjects too. In this scenario, dehydration amounting to 1.59% of the total body mass led to diminished memory function, fatigue, and feelings of anxiety4. In addition to this, the concentration of the participants was also affected.
In conclusion, by maintaining an adequate hydration index, you are ensuring that your mind stays sharp and your mood remains positive.
3. Water Improves Kidney Health
One of the most obvious health benefits of drinking water has to do with the kidneys, and the excretory system as a whole. They are responsible with the flushing out of toxins and waste, especially blood urea nitrogen. What happens when you increase your water intake in this case is that your organism is regularly cleansed, which keeps it vigorous.
However, it is important to note at this point that water maintains pre-existing wellbeing and shouldn’t be seen as a treatment for kidney disease. A recent randomized clinical trial5 conducted in 2018 on a pool of 631 adult patients showed that increased and regularized fluid intake did not improve symptoms over the course of one year.
4. Water Helps with Digestive Wellbeing
Did you know that water is essential for a healthy bowel movement? However, the way in which it influences it is not what you’d expect. Research carried out in 2006 in Japan6 uncovered an important facet of this matter. As it turns out, this discussion is less about the importance of drinking water per se, and more about the fluids your body draws from foods.
Constipation is thus associated with the insufficient consumption of foods that contain water. A total of 26.2% of the 3,835 female Japanese dietetic students who partook in the study exhibited it. Therefore, improved digestion isn’t necessarily one of the health benefits of drinking water, but rather one of the benefits of being hydrated through dietary means.
5. Water Regulates Temperature
Body temperature is regulated in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus7, which analyzes our current situation and directs the organism to react accordingly. When the average of 37°C is surpassed due to one reason or another, our glands produce sweat that cools us off. Water is indispensable in this process, as it represents 99% of the contents of perspiration.
Thus, being properly hydrated is essential when it comes to maintaining an adequate body temperature and adapting to any external weather condition. What is more, drinking plenty of water can also be useful when battling a fever. While it might not cure the underlying condition, it will help take some of the heat off.
“Drinking 17 ounces (500 milliliters) of water increases your metabolic rate by 30% over the course of the next 40 minutes”
6. Water Helps with Weight Loss
If you’ve ever wondered what drinking water does to your body as far as its appearance is concerned, the number one positive outcome to consider is weight loss. A 2003 study8 uncovered that drinking 17 ounces (500 milliliters) of water increases your metabolic rate by 30% over the course of the next 40 minutes.
Thus, water consumption is a sure way to heighten the rate at which your body naturally burns calories. Timing is important as well. Drinking a couple of glasses right before mealtime9 won’t just enhance your metabolism, but also promote a sensation of satiety that reduces the overall ingested amount of food.
Drinking 17 ounces (500 milliliters) is also an effective course of action when paired with a hypocaloric diet with the purpose of weight loss. Research from 201010 attests that this approach improves outcomes by 44%. Thus, if you are looking for a way to enhance the results of your slimming regiment, consider upping your daily water intake.
7. Water Improves Skin Appearance
Does drinking water help your skin? Many would argue that the answer to this question is a firm ‘yes’. Models, singers, and actresses alike swear by it as part of their regimen. The team over at Marie Claire put this claim to the test. Seven women drank one gallon (3 and a half liters) of water per day for an entire week, then took note of their complexion’s progress or lack thereof.
Results were a mixed bag. The dominant answer indicated minor, but beneficial changes11. The benefits of drinking water for skin included diminished dryness, rosacea, and undereye puffiness. Two participants stated that they didn’t notice any difference at the end of the seven-day trial period, but they did acknowledge the overall benefits of drinking more water on a daily basis.
The conclusion is that drinking more water every day is indeed a way to aim for better skin in most cases. However, you shouldn’t expect miraculous effects to take place overnight. Instead, aim to adopt this beneficial behavior long-term.
The Bottom Line
So, why is drinking water good for you? While it is true that it isn’t the miraculous cure to all of life’s problems as some Hollywood starlets would have you believe, the perks of drinking water are undeniable. H2O enhances both physical and mental health, as well as beauty.
What benefits of drinking water have you noticed from your own personal experience?
- Murray B. 2007. Hydration and physical performance.
- Daniel A. Judelson, Carl M. Maresh, Jeffrey M. Anderson, Lawrence E. Armstrong, Douglas J. Casa, William J. Kraemer, Jeff S. Volek. 2012. Hydration and Muscular Performance.
- Armstrong LE, Ganio MS, Casa DJ, Lee EC, McDermott BP, Klau JF, Jimenez L, Le Bellego L, Chevillotte E, Lieberman HR. 2012. Mild dehydration affects mood in healthy young women.
- Ganio MS, Armstrong LE, Casa DJ, McDermott BP, Lee EC, Yamamoto LM, Marzano S, Lopez RM, Jimenez L, Le Bellego L, Chevillotte E, Lieberman HR. 2011. Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men.
- William F. Clark, MD; Jessica M. Sontrop, PhD; Shih-Han Huang, MD, PhD. 2018. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2680548
- K Murakami, S Sasaki, H Okubo, Y Takahashi, Y Hosoi, M Itabashi, and the Freshmen in Dietetic Courses Study II Group. 2006. Association between dietary fiber, water and magnesium intake and functional constipation among young Japanese women
- NCBI. 2009 (Updated 2016). How is body temperature regulated and what is fever? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279457/
- Boschmann M, Steiniger J, Hille U, Tank J, Adams F, Sharma AM, Klaus S, Luft FC, Jordan J. 2003. Water-induced thermogenesis.
- Davy BM, Dennis EA, Dengo AL, Wilson KL, Davy KP. 2008. Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults.
- Dennis EA1, Dengo AL, Comber DL, Flack KD, Savla J, Davy KP, Davy BM. 2010. Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults.
- Chloe Metzger. 2018. Will Drinking a Gallon of Water a Day Give You Perfect Skin? We Tested It Out.https://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/a28948/drinking-water-for-skin/