There’s no denying that water is important for all of us; the vast majority of life, if not all of it, needs water in some capacity to survive, even if it may not seem like it. Humans are no exception. What many people may not know, however, are the specifics of why water is so vital to our bodies, what water does to help us, and how it does so. If you’re curious to learn more about our needs for water, or you just need more motivation to get your eight glasses a day, consider the following points about water:
Because your skin is often exposed to the elements and general wear and tear of life, it is one part of your body that definitely benefits from hydration. If you drink significant amounts of water, you will be able to replenish the levels of collagen in your skin, and as an added bonus, you’ll add a sense of fullness to your face. These effects ultimately mean that water can lead to more firm skin, which in turn reduces the appearance of wrinkles and bags under the eyes. Water also clears up skin oils that otherwise lead to acne or zits.
Most people are aware that our bodies are mostly made up of water; water especially constitutes a significant portion of our major organs. Among these, the brain is the most significant taker of resources, and as command center of the body, it makes sense. You’ve heard that water makes up most of our body. 73% of our brains, give or take, is made up of water, which is undeniably crucial to its functions. Water is responsible for transmitting the oxygen our brains need to survive; keep in mind that 20% of our body’s oxygen intake goes straight to the brain.
You may think that water is wasted when it goes right through you, like when you drink a lot and end up peeing it out shortly after. The truth is, you are quite literally flushing your system. Excess water is removed from our bodies in a number of ways, depending on our needs. The digestive system, using kidneys, bladder, and the urinary tract, flushes out water. This water carries with it harmful substances that have found their way into the body. If you are drinking lots of water, then regular urination is generally a sign that things are going well.
It should not be a terrible surprise that plays key roles in the body’s immune system. For starters, water is significantly involved in the creation of blood, and white blood cells, essentially proving your body with security, and the means for that security to reach and eliminate threats. Water not only helps white blood cells to police the body, but it also improves the natural strength of the cells to begin with. Not only that, but water hydrates sensitive areas of your body, such as the eyes, nose, and mouth, to further protect them from potential contaminants, keeping them out.
As touched upon in the preceding point, water plays a key role in the digestive system. It helps organs like the kidneys and liver to filter out toxins from food, and also speeds along the process of breaking down food into usable nutrients. Water helps maintain digestive functions by breaking down food along with other digestive juices. It also helps the body better absorb nutrients. If you are constipated, it may be that you do not have enough water in your diet, given that water keeps bowel movements regular, and also lubricates the digestive tracts so that things move along.
Drinking more water can directly benefit your heart health by counteracting sodium. Sodium is a significant factor in heart disease and high blood pressure because it weakens the circulatory system and forces the heart to work harder. Your heart is also roughly 73% water, which means, like every other part of the body, it needs water to function efficiently. Some studies have indicated that people who a minimum of five glasses of water each day are 41% less likely to suffer from a heart attack. May as well push for eight glasses then, as that’s half the battle already, right?
You may be concerned about weight gain due to water retention, but the long-term benefits of drinking water outweigh short-term consequences. Water can help you lose weight directly and indirectly in a number of ways. First of all, it stimulates your metabolism. Also, water can make for better workouts. Beyond that, water can act as a suppressant of the appetite. Drinking one or two glasses of water before a meal will make you feel fuller and eat less. Furthermore, drinking more water by definition means to some extent, you’ll be drinking less of beverages that are high in calories.
There is one benefit you probably wouldn’t think about when it comes to drinking water; drinks can get quite expensive, particularly if you opt for fancy coffees in the morning, or otherwise splurge on high-end juices and other beverages. For a fraction of the cost, you could install a water filtration system and receive drinkable water straight from the tap. The cash that would end up going to expensive, beverages ends up staying in your pocket. It may not seem like much, especially combined with the up-front cost of a filter, but in time it will pay for itself.
Believe it or not, drinking more water can help in another way by improving your mood. If you increase your regular intake of water, you may find yourself inexplicably more satisfied and in a calmer state than you might be in other circumstances. Of course, the reverse is also true; less water is associated with negative moods and various ailments. These effects likely have to do with the way that water streamlines our bodies and helps them run smoothly. When they fail to do so, our body’s systems break down, and we feel the effects (sometimes subconsciously) and become upset.
Focusing on drinking more water is about building habits; if you’re looking to drink more water and less of everything else, it’s a matter of making a choice to do so, especially out at restaurants or at social gatherings. Still, it is easily possible to keep a balanced diet by drinking only water, as the nutrients you might find in other drinks can be found in food, spices, and various supplements. Drinking water regularly can do your body a world of good even beyond these benefits, though if you can’t commit to only water, try it briefly for a week.