Water is the main component of the human body. In fact, the body is composed of between 55 and 78 percent water, depending on body size. Adequate and regular water consumption has numerous health benefits. As an added plus, it has no calories, fat, carbohydrates or sugar.
The amount of water you consume everyday plays an important role in maintaining a healthy body. Experts recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water each day to maintain good health.
Furthermore, the Institute of Medicine has determined the adequate intake of total beverage per day (AI) to be about three liters or 13 cups for men and 2.2 liters or nine cups for women.
Water helps keep the body well hydrated, which is essential because almost every cell in the body needs water to function properly.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of drinking water.
1. Relieves Fatigue
If you often feel tired, there is a high chance that it could be due to inadequate consumption of water which makes the body function less efficiently. In fact, fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration.
When there is less water in the body, there is a drop of blood volume which causes the heart to work harder to pump oxygenated blood out in the bloodstream, and other major organs also work less efficiently. Thus, drinking adequate water can help your body function better and reduce fatigue.
2. Improves Mood
Research indicates that mild dehydration (even one or two percent lower hydration level of hydration than optimal) can negatively affect your mood and ability to think.
A small study conducted on 25 women and published in the Journal of Nutrition found that being dehydrated can take a toll on your mood and cognitive function. The color of your urine is a good indicator of your level of hydration. The lighter the color the better the level of hydration and vice versa.
3. Treats Headaches and Migraines
If you have a headache or migraine, the first thing that you can do to get some relief is drink plenty of water. Headaches and migraines are often caused by dehydration.
In a study published in the European Journal of Neurology, researchers found that increasing water intake helped reduce the total number of hours and intensity of headaches in the study participants.
4. Helps in Digestion and Constipation
Water also improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. This helps in digestion and prevents constipation. Inadequate water in the body often results in constipation as the colon pulls water from the stools to maintain hydration, thereby making them harder and difficult to pass.
Drinking sufficient water boosts your metabolism and helps the body properly break down food. This helps your digestive system work well and promotes regular bowel movements. Warm water, in particular, is good for digestive health.
5. Aids Weight Loss
In a clinical trial, scientists found that drinking two eight-ounce glasses of water prior to meals can help suppress appetite and hence support your weight loss efforts. When you drink water, it fills your stomach and reduces the tendency to eat more.
Plus, it helps increase the rate at which the body burns fat, and promotes the breakdown and elimination of fat cells.
Calorie-free water is also a great replacement for high-calorie drinks like alcohol, sugary fizzy drinks and sodas that often contribute to weight gain.
6. Flushes Out Toxins
Water is an excellent detoxifier as it helps flush out toxins from your body and get rid of waste primarily through sweat and urine.
It also promotes kidney function and reduces kidney stones by diluting the salts and minerals in urine that cause kidney stones.
Though you need to drink adequate amount of water throughout the day, experts warn against drinking too much water (although uncommon still, it is possible) as it may reduce your kidneys’ ability to filter out waste.
Thus, it is recommended to drink the amount of water your body requires. As the amount of water required by the body tends to differ from one person to another, it is usually suggested to drink to your thirst, and also include other fluids and foods with high water content in your diet.