The age-old advice to drink eight glasses of water may not apply to everyone, but it is a great starting place for determining how much water you need on most days. Unfortunately, studies show that about two in five adults do not drink enough water to meet current recommendations. So if you routinely find yourself drinking less than four glasses a day, consider these 10 reasons to start sipping a little more often.
Water Helps Your Body Regulate Its Temperature
Many people do not realize that water is a crucial component in the body’s temperature regulation system. Drinking enough water can maintain important systems in your body. You can also try an electrolyte supplement after a long workout or on very hot days.
It Provides a Cushion for the Brain and Spine
Dehydration can negatively impact joint health since water provides a natural cushion between bones, including the bones of your spine. It also helps support the brain by maintaining a spinal fluid barrier. One review found that dehydration can negatively impact cognition among healthy young adults. That could equate to increased temporary confusion, short-term memory problems, or mood changes.
Water Helps Produce Mucus and Saliva
Mucus and saliva play essential parts in overall health. They keep eyes and delicate tissue — like inside your mouth, eyes, and nose — moist and clean, which makes it harder for germs to penetrate. Saliva also works to prevent dry mouth and to aid digestive processes.
It Helps You Maintain Energy Levels
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of fatigue. The next time you are dragging to get through the day, try drinking some cool water before grabbing an energy drink. It may be just what your body needs to restore energy levels.
Water Has Zero Calories
If you are working to maintain a healthy weight, you will be happy to know that water contains no calories or sugar. It is an excellent alternative to sugary drinks and won’t have you drinking your entire calorie budget.
Proper Hydration Supports Healthy Joints
The cartilage that helps enable joint mobility is up to 80 percent water. That is why hydration can help support healthy joints. On the other hand, dehydration temporarily reduces their ability to absorb shocks associated with vigorous activity.
Water Keeps Your Digestive System Running Smoothly
Fiber may come to mind first when you think of keeping your digestive system running smoothly, but water is equally important. It lubricates the intestines and ensures that stool is soft enough to pass through comfortably. Lack of water may also contribute to heartburn.
It Aids the Kidneys in Flushing Toxins
The kidneys are incredibly efficient at removing toxins and byproducts from the body. However, they must have water to perform their job. Additionally, consistent dehydration may contribute to painful kidney stones.
Water makes Nutrients Accessible to Your Body
Many vitamins and minerals are water-soluble. These are usually absorbed by the body through the small intestine, with any excess getting flushed out in your urine. If you do not drink enough water, it affects hydration in the intestine, and you may experience nutritional deficiencies even if you regularly take supplements.
It Helps Prevent Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramps can be incredibly painful, so anything that can help you avoid them can be seen as a positive. People use a variety of folk remedies to relieve these cramps, but they may be overlooking one of the most straightforward solutions: drinking water. Staying hydrated can lower your chance of suffering from muscle cramps associated with dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
Water is an essential nutrient that you need to maintain proper body function. It is involved with everything from temperature regulation to digestion and vitamin absorption. Aim to drink at least eight glasses a day to maintain hydration levels and support overall health.