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.
What Are the Benefits of Drinking Water? Daily, Of Course.
When you do not drink enough water, consequences ensue. Headaches, dry skin, and digestive problems are just the tip of the iceberg, as more severe issues could also come up, involving your bladder and kidneys. As we said before, instead of trying to keep up with the 8×8 rule, you should focus on the quantity of liquid you consume depending on your body weight, age, and gender.
- Remember that you can always spice things up and engage in the challenge of drinking more water daily with a few easy tips, tricks, and ideas we have discussed on a previous occasion.
- In case you do not know this, humans cannot survive without water more than a week unscathed. While the consequences of water deprivation vary among individuals, science agrees that three days spent without drinking a drop of water can lead to health issues that are hard to recover from, although rehydration therapy has its fair share of success.
What we say here is that we all need to drink more water every day and also remember that are millions of people out there who do not have the privilege of enjoying quality, clean, and safe drinkable water. It puts things into perspective, we think. Now that we established the premise – water drinking is essential to our health and beauty – let’s dive deep into the benefits of drinking water!
1. Drinking More 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 drinking 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 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.
According to experts,
Studies with subjects ranging from children to older adults, have shown that mild dehydration can impair mood, memory, and brain performance.
Since we are speaking about brains and functioning, let us discuss two more… discrete but otherwise essential benefits of drinking water!
A. Drinking More Water in the Morning: Queen of Everything
Have you heard that you should drink 1-2 glasses of water each morning on an empty stomach and then feel like you can rule the world?
Drinking water in the morning comes with plenty of benefits, which I personally tested.
The experiment taught me some valuable lessons about the importance and benefits of drinking water every day, from the wake-up moment till going to bed. It is a small, but significant lifestyle change you can make with little effort but with amazing benefits.
Try drinking 2 glasses of water each morning for 2 weeks. If you feel better about yourself and the world, come back here and share your experience with us by pinpointing the benefits of drinking water that you enjoyed the most!
B. Drinking More Water Before Bed: Good or Bad?
Drinking water before bed is a rather tricky subject. You do not need science to know that if you drink water before you go to sleep, chances are you wake up in the middle of the night for some bathroom business. What we all should know, however, is that frequent waking, poor sleep, and the lack of an 8-hours straight sleeping session may lead to all sorts of health problems, heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure included.
- But (as there was a “but” coming) a study from 2014 found that people who increase their water intake daily also experience better moods, especially in the sleep/wake feelings department. In other words, you do not have to drink a gallon of water before you go to bed but have some water to enjoy a deeper state of relaxation, positivity, calm, and satisfaction.
C. Does Water Help a Hangover? Depends on What You Mean by “Help”
We have all been there: wake up in the morning with a dry mouth and displaying some of the most excruciating signs of dehydration: impossible thirst, muscle ache, the certainty that you have another head (which grew overnight), and two headaches at the same time. So, does water help a hangover? Sure, hydrate plenty during the day to cleanse, eliminate toxins, and pave your way back to feeling like a human being again.
- But (you saw this coming, didn’t you?) water helps with preventing hangovers! Alcohol leads to dehydration, it’s a fact. So play the mixing game, but not in the way you think: have a glass of water between drinks and at least one glass before going to
a comasleep, because, you know, drinking water before bed enhances the functions of your brain and mood.
In conclusion, by maintaining an adequate hydration index, you are ensuring that your mind stays sharp and your mood remains positive. In other words, set that alarm of yours to announce to you it’s time for another glass of water during the day, to resist better the meanders of work and life.
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 for 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 cleanses regularly, 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. As we said on our guide to drinking more water, you have plenty of choices when it comes to hydrating goodies.
To offer you a quick rundown, here are some water-rich foods you should introduce into your diet or eat more of in case you already eat them:
- Cucumber – made up of 96% water, cucumbers are the water-richest food in the world;
- Apples, and more.
As a piece of advice, you should not rely solely on eating watery foods and lowering the quantity of water you drink every day. Ideally, you should take up to 20% of your water intake from foods, and the rest… just drink water.
5. Water Regulates Temperature
Another installment on our list of benefits of drinking water regularly and plentifully is temperature regulation. 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 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. Drinking More 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. Here are some facts about drinking water to lose weight.
- 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 regimen, 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.
Other Benefits of Drinking Water You Should Know
Now that we discussed the major health benefits of drinking water, let’s have a quick rundown of the other water benefits you will enjoy if you keep up with the program and drink more water every day. If you want to spice things up a little, check out our guide on how to make alkaline water at home! While the benefits of drinking alkaline water are still under science’s scrutiny, there is no denial that alkaline water can improve both your looks and your health! So let’s see what water does and how can it help you stay in shape!
- It acts as a joint lubricant. Since your cartilage contains about 80% water, dehydration can lead to joint pain and muscle stiffness. On the other hand, drinking more water every day helps you maintain and enhance your mobility.
- By helping with the formation of saliva and mucus, water helps you eat and digest your food. Moreover, it also keeps your eyes, nose, and mouth from drying.
- It is the cushion for your brain, spinal cord, and other water-sensitive tissues. As we said, your brain cannot function without water, as prolonged dehydration can lead to memory and reasoning problems. Severe dehydration can also lead to hallucinations and brain swelling.
Benefits of Drinking Water: 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.
Use the comment section below to tell us how you keep up with the program and drink more water every day! Are you using a water drinking app that tracks the daily quantity? Are you a natural at this and just drink water throughout the day? Are you relying on your food to stay hydrated?
Tell us about the benefits of drinking water that you know of from your personal experience and let’s keep the conversation going!
- 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/