Water, Water Everywhere So Drink and Drink and Drink

beautiful woman drinks water from a glass and shows delicious

We know we are supposed to drink plenty of water.  Unless you live under a rock that is a basic.  Most of us also know that our bodies are around 60% water, give or take.

It is commonly recommened that we drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule). Did you also know that water is the SECOND most popular beverage in the US?  Can you guess the first? It is soft drinks!  Can you imagine.  Sugary soda is a HUGE health hazard upping the risk of obesity, stroke, and other heart problems.

Although there is little science behind this specific rule, staying hydrated is important.

Here are 7 evidence-based health benefits of drinking plenty of water.

1. Water Helps to Maximize Physical Performance – MUSCLE FUEL

If we do not stay hydrated, physical performance can suffer.

This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat.

Dehydration can have a noticeable effect if you lose as little as 2% of your body’s water content. However, it is not uncommon for athletes to lose up to 6-10% of their water weight via sweat.

This can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, increased fatigue and make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally.

Optimal hydration has been shown to prevent this from happening, and may even reduce the oxidative stress that occurs during high intensity exercise. This is not surprising when you consider that muscle is about 80% water.

So, if you exercise intensely and tend to sweat, then staying hydrated can help you perform at your absolute best.

2. Hydration Has a Major Effect on Energy Levels and Brain Function

Your brain is strongly influenced by hydration status.

Studies show that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function.

3. Drinking Water May Help to Prevent and Treat Headaches

 

Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraines in some individuals.

Several studies have shown that water can relieve headaches in those who are dehydrated.

However, this appears to depend on the type of headache.

One study of 18 people found that water had no effect on the frequency of headaches, but did reduce the intensity and duration somewhat.

4. Drinking More Water May Help Relieve Constipation

Constipation is a common problem, characterized by infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stool.

Increasing fluid intake is often recommended as a part of the treatment protocol, and there is some evidence to back this up.

5. Drinking Water May Help Treat Kidney Stones

Increased water intake appears to decrease the risk of kidney stone formation. More research is needed in this area.

6. Water Helps Prevent Hangovers

 

A hangover refers to the unpleasant symptoms experienced after drinking alcohol.

Alcohol is a diutetic, so it makes you lose more water than you take in. This can lead to dehydration.

Although dehydration is not the main cause of hangovers, it can cause symptoms like thirst, fatigue, headache and dry mouth.

A good way to reduce a hangover is to drink a glass of water between drinks, and to have at least one big glass of water before going to bed.

 

7. Drinking More Water Can Help With Weight Loss

 

Drinking plenty of water can help you lose weight.

This is due to the fact that water can increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate.

In two studies, drinking half a liter (17 ounces) of water was shown to increase metabolism by 24-30% for up to 1.5 hour.

This means that drinking 2 liters of water every day can increase your total energy expenditure by up to 96 calories per day.

The timing is important too, and drinking water half an hour before meals is the most effective. It can make you feel more full, so that you eat fewer calories.

In one study, dieters who drank half a liter of water before meals lost 44% more weight, over a period of 12 weeks.

It is actually best to drink water cold, because then the body will use additional energy (calories) to heat the water to body temperature.

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