We’ve all heard that everyone should drink eight glasses of water per day – around 2 liters in total – but why is water so important?
Whilst there is little evidence that we all need exactly eight glasses per day, it’s certainly a good idea to stay hydrated.
As a rule, you should drink when you are thirsty.
Check the color of your urine; if it’s pale yellow, it’s a sign that you are drinking the right amount to meet your body’s needs.
Here are eight key benefits of drinking more water:
1. Drinking water improves your memory
The brain is approximately 85% water, so hydration is key to cognitive functioning.
Even mild dehydration can shorten your attention span and impair both short-term and long-term memory.
If you are chronically dehydrated, your brain cells may shrink, causing serious cognitive deficiencies.
This is especially important for elderly people, because brain shrinkage occurs anyway as we age.
2. Drinking water improves your energy levels
Do you feel fatigued and sluggish?
Water supports every major bodily function, so you will rapidly feel drained if you don’t replenish your body’s fluids throughout the day.
3. Drinking water improves your mood
Drinking plenty of water – 2.5 liters per day – boosts psychological wellbeing and helps you think more clearly, according to a study by French researchers.
It also staves off feelings of sleepiness.
Given that water helps you feel more energetic and promotes better physical health, it’s unsurprising that you’ll feel happier as a result.
4. Staying well-hydrated makes working out easier and more fun
Research shows that athletes can lose up to 10% of their body weight via sweat during training. However, losing just 2% of your body weight is enough to impair your performance.
Dehydration results in physical fatigue, lower endurance, and reduced motivation to work out.
Keep a bottle of water to hand when exercising, and be sure to have a couple of glasses afterwards.
5. Drinking water can prevent some types of headache
Headaches are caused by a variety of factors, but a common trigger is dehydration.
Therefore, by keeping your water intake consistent, you can reduce the risk of getting a headache.
Specifically, drinking two to four cups of water within two hours can relieve the pain.
6. Regular water intake helps improve your digestive functioning
If you suffer from constipation, drinking more water may alleviate your symptoms.
This is because water facilitates digestion, and helps the digestive tract produce softer stools that are easier to pass.
There is evidence that carbonated water in particular is a useful remedy.
7. Drinking water can help you lose weight
Drinking water can increase your metabolism for up to 1.5 hours.
Specifically, drinking half a liter will increase your metabolic rate by 24%, which could have a significant impact on your weight loss.
You will still need to eat at a calorie deficit to lose weight, but staying hydrated could give you an edge.
Water can also help you feel full, which in turn makes it easier to reduce the amount of food you eat.
Drinking 500ml of water immediately before every meal could boost your weight loss by up to 44%, according to a study with middle-aged adults.
8. Drinking water helps keep your skin healthy
Do you want clear, younger-looking skin? Drinking water can make a big difference.
Your skin is an organ.
Just like any other organ, it requires a steady supply of water to function at its best.
Some people report that their skin becomes fresher when they drink more water, and some acne sufferers claim that it improves their symptoms.
Note that the body transports water to all other major organs first, so your skin is the last to experience the benefits.
You need to drink lots of water on a consistent basis to see good results.
Make it easy to drink more water
Get a reusable water bottle that fits neatly into your bag, and take it with you wherever you go.
Take a few mouthfuls whenever you start to feel thirsty, and you’ll soon hit your water quota for the day.
Remember, you will need more water in hot weather or if you are exercising.
If you dislike the taste of plain water, add a few slices of fruit or sprigs of mint.