You have probably heard that it is essential to drink plenty of water. It is one nutritional rule that almost everyone agrees on. However, not everyone understands why drinking water is crucial to maintaining health. These five science-backed reasons can help you better understand how your body uses water so you can make it a healthy part of every day.
1. Your Body Is Mostly Water
Well, maybe not mostly water, but the human body averages about 60% water by volume. That means it takes up more space than anything else. Plus, water is in every single cell of your body, so they are all affected when hydration levels dip.
In general, most adults should aim for about eight glasses of water each day. This is in addition to any fluids you get from foods. That amount can be substantial if you eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Remember that high temperatures and vigorous activity can increase your body’s need for water.
2. Proper Hydration Helps With Athletic Performance
The muscles and tissues that help regulate athletic performance require proper hydration to work at optimal levels. Without drinking enough water, you may notice some performance loss. There are a few reasons for this, primarily that water helps ensure a proper balance of nutrients and minerals in the body.
You don’t have to look any further than USANA Athletes to see how nutrition and hydration play a role in performance. These elite athletes rely on staying hydrated, eating right, and high-quality supplements to stay on top of their games.
3. Water May Help You Maintain a Healthy Weight
While no one will claim water is a miracle cure that will lead to overnight weight loss, it should be part of a healthy and balanced diet. Following such a diet may make it easier to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
There are several ways that water helps with weight management. First, drinking water before a meal can help reduce feelings of hunger. Drinking a glass along with your meals also helps slow down your eating, so you are better able to recognize early signs of satiety.
For some people, water can replace mindless eating. For example, if you are a stress or boredom eater, you may find that sipping on a bottle of water provides the same relief as snacking on potato chips or candy. Finally, because your metabolism relies on sufficient hydration to work efficiently, drinking water can help ensure proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.
4. Water Plays a Role in Most Bodily Functions
Speaking of metabolism and digestion, it is only fitting to mention that your body needs water to operate. If you remember how water is a major part of each cell in your body, you can start to understand why.
The immune system is one area where hydration levels are important. This is because much of the immune response starts in the gut, which is highly dependent on water. Additionally, proper hydration is necessary for nutrients to be carried throughout your body. A few of the other processes that water directly affects include:
- Heart function
- Muscle recovery
- Nutrient regulation
5. Lack of Water Can Lead To Brain Fog
It’s probably safe to say that no one really likes to walk around confused or forgetting things most of the time. Yet, dehydration can easily cause a state commonly called brain fog. It is characterized by short-term memory problems, irritability, confusion, and mood swings. Another feature is difficulty learning new things.
If you notice these symptoms suddenly, it is a good idea to evaluate how much fluids you’ve been drinking. This is especially true if you have ever had problems in this area before. There’s a pretty good chance you aren’t meeting your body’s needs and dehydration is creeping in. The best solution is to slowly replace water levels, being sure to include electrolytes to minimize any imbalances.
Your body is largely made up of water and needs this vital nutrient to survive. Science has shown that, among other things, drinking water can help boost immune function, support athletic performance, and assist with maintaining a healthy weight.