7 Benefits Of Drinking Enough Water (According to Science)
Considering our bodies are comprised of roughly 60 percent water, it is no surprise we need to stay adequately hydrated to function at our best.
You have probably heard the common recommendation to consume at least eight 8-ounce of water every day, but the optimal amount can vary from person to person.
A better recommendation is to consume at least half to one ounce of water for every pound. For example, a 150-pound individual should aim to drink at least 75 to 150 ounces of water a day. Exactly how much depends on activity level and whether or not you live in a hot climate.
Curious why you should drink this much water every day? Here are 7 science-backed health benefits of drinking enough water.
1. Maximize Your Physical Performance
Even the slightest bit of dehydration can have a negative impact on athletic performance, especially during high temperatures or high-intensity exercise.
Losing as little as 2 percent of your body’s water content can impair your physical abilities. Athletes, however, commonly lose up to 6 to 10 percent of their water weight through sweat.
The impacts of even slight dehydration include decreased motivation, heightened fatigue, and altered body temperature control. Exercise can also feel more difficult since muscles are approximately 80 percent water.
Optimal hydration prevents these negative side effects from appearing and may even decrease the oxidative stress the body is subjected to during high-intensity activities.
If you want to perform your best, especially in higher temperatures or high-intensity activities, the importance of adequate hydration cannot be stressed enough.
2. Hydration Has a Significant Impact on Energy Levels and Brain Function
Your brain is strongly influenced by hydration status and studies back this up. Mild dehydration (just 1 to 3 percent of body weight) can negatively impact a variety of the brain’s functions. Consider the following facts:
- One study found that young women who lost just 1.36 percent fluid during exercise experienced impaired concentration, mood, and increased headaches.
- A similar study following young men found that a 1.59 percent loss of fluid was detrimental to memory and raised feelings of fatigue and anxiety.
- A 1 to 3 percent fluid loss equates to roughly 1.5 to 4.5 pounds of lost bodyweight for a 150-pound individual. This can happen easier than one might think, even during normal daily activities.
- A range of other studies — all the way from younger children to the elderly — back up the findings that mild dehydration can negatively impact memory, brain performance, and mood.
3. Staying Hydrated May Help Prevent and Treat Headaches
Dehydration can put some individuals at risk of headaches and migraines:
- Studies show that in addition to helping prevent headaches, adequate hydration may actually help alleviate headaches in dehydrated individuals.
- One study of 18 people found that drinking enough water helped slightly reduce the duration and intensity of their headaches.
4. Drinking More Water May Help Keep You Regular
Constipation, a condition characterized by difficulty passing stool and infrequent bowel movements, is a fairly common problem.
Increasing the amount of water you drink is often recommended as a possible way to relieve constipation, and there is evidence supporting this protocol. It can be especially effective in individuals who do not normally drink enough water.
Low water consumption is a possible risk factor for constipation in both the elderly and children.
5. Drinking Water May Help With Kidney Stones
Urinary stones are clumps of mineral crystals in the urinary system that can be extremely painful. Kidney stones are the most common form.
Although limited, some evidence suggests that adequate water intake can help decrease the chance of reoccurring stones in susceptible individuals.
Since higher fluid intake raises the volume of urine the kidneys must process, the minerals get diluted and are less likely to crystallize into clumps.
Water may even help prevent stones from forming in the first place, but more research is needed to be certain.
6. Water Helps Prevent Hangovers
Since it acts as a diuretic, alcohol can make you lose more water than you consume. This can leave you dehydrated.
While dehydration is not the sole cause of hangovers, it does play a role and can result in unpleasant symptoms such as fatigue, dry mouth, thirst, and headache.
To reduce hangovers, try drinking at least one large glass of water in between any alcoholic drinks along with a large glass of water prior to going to bed.
7. Drinking More Water May Help You Lose More Weight
Are you trying to lose weight? Do not underestimate the power of water!
Water can help boost your metabolic rate and prevent you from mistaking thirst for hunger.
Two studies show that consuming just half a liter of water helped boost the metabolism by up to 30 percent for over an hour.
This could translate to burning almost 100 extra calories a day if you consume 2 liters of water every day.
To really boost water’s weight loss effects, consume a glass a half an hour before any meals. It helps fill you up so you end up consuming fewer calories.
One study found that individuals who drank half a liter of water prior to eating lost almost 50 percent more weight over a 12 week period.
Drinking cold water works even better as the body needs to expend energy (calories) to warm up the water to our body temperature.
Are You Drinking Enough Water?
It’s free, refreshing, and one of the easiest ways to help boost your weight efforts, support healthy brain function, stay energized, and more. Do you have any tricks for making sure you drink enough water every day? We’d love to hear them!