Benefits of Hydration!



I sure learned a lot in researching the benefits of drinking water and how it affects our body!  Check out some of my fun facts here on the video portion of my blog:




Let's look again at those 8 Benefits of Drinking Enough Water:

1.  It increases brain power & energy:  
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.  In a study of young women, fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration, and increased the frequency of headaches.  Another similar study, this time in young men, showed that fluid loss of 1.59% was detrimental to working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue.  A 1-3% fluid loss equals about 1.5-4.5 lbs (0.5-2 kg) of body weight loss for a 150 lbs (68 kg) person. This can easily occur through normal daily activities, let alone during exercise or high heat. Many other studies, ranging from children to the elderly, have shown that mild dehydration can impair mood, memory and brain performance.  (www.pubmed.gov)

2.  Can help you lose weight:
This is due to the fact that water can increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate. In two studies on www.pubmed.gov, drinking half a liter (17 ounces) of water was shown to increase metabolism by 24-30% for up to 1.5 hours. 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.  It's been found that many times when we think we are hungry, we are actually just thirsty.  In one study, dieters who drank half a liter of water before meals lost 44% more weight, over a period of 12 weeks.

You should try to drink at least half your body weight in ounces each day.  So if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink at least 80 ounces (or 10 cups) of water each day.  To make this easier, try adding a citrus flavor essential oil to your water with added benefits.

3.  Flushes out toxins:
 Water consumption helps your body flush out waste through sweat and urination. This can also prevents kidney stones and protects you from urinary tract infections. Your body is able to detoxify through the use of its lungs, liver, and kidneys. But sometimes we give it more than it can handle (think poor food choices and environmental toxins). When our bodies are overloaded, our organs that are primarily made up of water need that extra help, and drinking plenty of water can provide that.

4.  Improves your complexion:
If  your body is composed of 60% water, then it's only logical that  dehydration will harm your skin. As UW Health points out, your skin is an organ. And water is important for organ function. "If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling."  Drinking water is great for your skin. It helps to moisturize it, keep it soft, and removes wrinkles.

5.  Maintains Regularity:
Constipation is a common problem for so many, characterized by infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stool.
As found in studies at PubMed, increasing fluid intake is often recommended as a part of the treatment protocol, and there is some evidence to back this up. Low water consumption appears to be a risk factor for constipation in both young and elderly individuals alike.  Carbonated water shows particularly promising results for constipation relief, although the reason is not entirely understood.  

6.  Boosts the Immune System:
One of the most common overlooked benefits of drinking water is a healthy immune system.  Drinking water has been directly related to a stronger immune system.  According to Fit Day, water strengthens your immune system in two ways: First, it carries oxygen to your body's cells, which results in properly functioning systems. And secondly, it flushes harmful toxins from your body so our body is not overtaxed.  

7.  Maximzes Physical Performance:
Our physical performance suffers when we do not stay hydrated.  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. This can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, increased fatigue and make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally.   In studies found on www.pubmed.gov, 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 and tend to sweat, then staying hydrated can help you perform at your absolute best.  Even if you don't exercise, but are in the heat where you are sweating, make sure you are staying hydrated.

8.  Reduces Headaches:
One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is headaches. Water is important for brain function. In addition to increasing brain power, drinking water also helps prevent and relieve headaches often caused by dehydration.
Medical News Today explains that a dehydration headache occurs when your body loses essential fluids to function properly. Dehydration can cause the brain to temporarily shrink from fluid loss. This mechanism causes the brain to pull away from the skull, causing pain and resulting in a dehydration headache.

There are so many benefits to staying hydrated.  So how do you know when enough water is enough? Every person is different and although there seems to be a common theme to drink half your body weight in ounces, instead you can look in the toilet. After urination, if you see a light lemonade shade, you’ve reached optimal hydration status. If you see only clear urine in the bowl, you can probably cut back your water intake a smidge. Darker yellows can be a sign it’s time to get sipping.  

It's incredibly rare, but it's possible to drink so much water you put your health at risk. If you drink enough to dilute your body's natural balance of salt, you can become too low in sodium, a condition known as hyponatremia.  Hyponatremia can also be caused by certain issues with the liver, kidney, heart, or pituitary gland, says integrative physician Taz Bhatia, MD, as well as by certain medications, like diuretics, antidepressants, and pain medications.  Again, it's important to know your body and watch the toilet!!

Since we are talking proper hydration,   CLICK HERE to get my favorite sources for clean, safe water!!