Going to make some changes? 2020 is in the past now it's time for a new and improved you, right? The top five new years resolutions from 2019 were:
Now, here's a DYK. Drinking adequate water daily can check the boxes on all five of those resolutions. Check it out. Drinking more water will help you lose weight and eat healthier by limiting how many calories you ingest. You'll save money by using much more inexpensive tap water. With all the added energy you'll have from all the water you drink, you'll be able to move your muscles easier, and since you're going to be using the bathroom all day, you'll have time to read more (screens or paperback!)
Drinking water is a ridiculous shortcut to living better. But, why does it help? According to the Nutrition Information Center, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. That means they aren't living their best life! Dehydration causes fatigue, headache, irritability, and loads of other symptoms. Let's look at how water can help.
Benefit 1) Relieve Fatigue/Gain More Energy
Mild dehydration has negative effects on mood and energy levels. About 2/3 of the human body is water, so dehydration affects most of the body's functions. In studies, lack of proper levels of water intake have been related with an increase in fatigue, anger, confusion, as well as other mood problems and a decrease in energy levels.
A few years ago, I underwent a 48 hour water strike to see first-hand what would happen to my body without proper water. The results were eye-opening. You can read in more detail in a previous post, but, in other words, you need to be well hydrated for cells to work properly, keep your heart ticking in a beneficial way, and for all your other organs to work properly. If they're not given the right juice to flow, they don't work at optimal levels, creating stress on the system, necessitating drawing of energy that could be used for other things, like staying awake.
Benefit 2) Reduces Headaches
Anytime I complain to my wife that I've got a headache, the first question she asks is "When's the last time you drank some water? You may be dehydrated." And, inevitably, as I drink my glass next to the kitchen sink, I'd feel the pain slide away like magic.
It could be a placebo, as symptoms of dehydration usually go away only after several hours of proper hydration. However, there's something to drinking more water and headache relief. Dehydration headaches may be caused by the brain temporarily contracting or shrinking due to the fluid loss. This action of the brain pulling away from the skull can potentially cause the pain of a dehydration headache. The volume of plasma in the blood vessels of the brain may also decrease since plasma has a high water component.
Whatever the science, dehydration headaches are the real deal and maintaining your hydration levels can make a huge difference on your ol' noggin.
Benefit 3) Digestions Improves
I'm going to get a little gross here, but bare with me. Drinking enough water improves your body's ability to break down food, giving you an advantage in digestion. With enough water in your system, constipation will be a thing of the past and moreover, so will gas and bloating as everything will become more streamlined in your bowels.
When the body doesn't have enough water, your colon will absorb fluids from digested food as a way to help hydrate. This leads to...let's just say it leads to a hard time in the bathroom. So remember, the more water you drink, the smoother your poop.
Benefit 4) Helps Save Money
This only works if you're not spending your money on bottled water at the store. As the old saying goes, water companies aren't in the water business, they're in the plastic bottle business. We even did a blog post on how to avoid going back to the disposable bottle.
Staying out of that business is the first step towards helping your wallet. Don't bother with anything other than good ol' tap water. It's a brilliant system that gets us clean water super-duper cheaply. No hassle with disposable bottles. No overpriced "artesian" water that are only gimmicks. Seriously, just stick with water from your tap and your favorite reusable bottle. It'll go far. But did you know that tap water is, for the most part, completely safe? Chemicals, such as chlorine, ozone, and hydrogen peroxide, are used to disinfect water when it is treated. Trace amounts can remain, varying from city to city, but are inconsequential to human bodies. Also, lead and bacteria can also be picked up from older pipes, however, there isn't much cause for concern at these minuscule levels (even if you up your water intake to the appropriate amount).
Benefit 5) Reduces Dead Skin
Did you know that your skin is your body's largest organ? It is, and like all parts of your body, your skin is made up of cells. Skin cells, just like any other cell in your body is made up of water. And, as we've covered, your body will not function at proper levels without proper hydration.
If your skin is not getting enough water, it will show you in the form of dry skin.
As water is lost in your body, you need to replace it. And, as you drink more water to replenish what is lost, all the other organs in your body will get first dibs on that delicious moisture first before the skin, so, the more water ingested, the more likely your skin will see it.
To be fair, the science is mixed on the benefits of water intake and skin health, however, it really can't hurt to drink more water and test for yourself. Try 8 good glasses of water for a few weeks, and see what changes occur to your skin.