A healthy lifestyle begins by maximizing your nutrition in a way that helps you feel better both mentally, emotionally and physically. Of course, the diet and the foods you eat are important, but drinking water and staying hydrated is equally important, although it is true that there are foods that can also help.
Our bodies are composed of up to 60% water. If you expose your body to physical exercise or if you are pregnant, it is important that you keep a “full tank”. It is recommended that you drink 2 liters of water a day (equivalent to eight 250 ml glasses).
11 benefits of drinking water for your health
1. Improves physical performance
A loss of fluid of only 2% of your body weight (approx. 1 to 1½ liters of water), reduces the performance by up to 20%.
Sweat is necessary during physical work to cool the body, but it also draws fluids from the body.
An Australian study by a group of male athletes shows that the better fluid balance athletes have, the better they can maintain their carbohydrate deposits in the muscles.
Eliminates the headaches
Try to drink water when you have a headache, as it can be caused by fluid deficiency.
If you take painkillers, drink plenty of water, since many painkillers are hard for the stomach lining and, therefore, headaches can turn into abdominal pain. A large amount of water helps dilute and spread the medicine through the stomach.
The hangover is mostly due to dehydration, so drink plenty of water before going to bed to mitigate its effects, as much as possible.
3. Avoids colds
The mucous membranes of the mouth, throat, and nose are well provided with antibodies that fight viruses and bacteria that you inhale or ingest through food and drinks.
If you don’t drink enough water, the mucous membranes dry out and become susceptible to infections that can cause colds, throat swelling and cough.
4. Helps to lose weight
Sending hunger signals to the stomach can also be caused by thirst, so a glass of water can help calm your hunger. In fact, drinking cold water every day can help you lose weight in the long term.
A scientific study shows that 4 liters of cold water per day can cause a weight loss of approx. 1/2 kg per month. This is not only because water fills the stomach, so the feeling of hunger is reduced, but also because the body spends approx. 125 calories heating the cold water to body temperature.
5. Improves mood
Even slight dehydration can lead to feelings of ill-being, so drinking water can help you feel happier and have a better mental state.
6. Avoids constipation
Drinking water helps your body make better use of dietary fiber in food to help prevent constipation.
The fibers in food need water to function in your intestine.
Some fibers dissolve in water to form a gelatinous mass that improves digestion, others cannot be dissolved, but still, aspirate fluid as they pass through your colon.
7. Get prettier skin and hair
Drinking water is as important to the skin as lotions and moisturizers.
Skin cells, if well supplied with water, keep your skin soft, moist and beautiful.
During a more demanding physical activity, sweat also stimulates the oil-producing glands in the hair follicles to secrete oil, and this helps ensure that the hair does not dry out but retains moisture.
8. Improves your brain activity
A very common cause of fatigue is a fluid deficiency. Dehydration has an effect on its ability to concentrate, coordinate and react time.
If you feel lethargic and deconcentrated, drink a glass of water or two, most likely it will help.
9. Prevents kidney stones
Drinking water in large quantities prevents painful kidney stones, according to several American specialists.
By increasing fluid intake, your urine is diluted and counteracts the formation of crystals, which over the years can become kidney stones.
10. Helps increase muscles
Water provides firmer muscles, since they consist mainly of water, not proteins, as many believe. Therefore, it is important to drink water to keep the muscles clean and firm.
11. Protects against cancer
Some studies have shown evidence that higher levels of fluids may result in a lower risk of developing bladder cancer.
When this liquid is water, the reduction is even deeper, since more frequent urination helps eliminate the accumulation of carcinogens in the bladder.
Benefits of drinking water on an empty stomach
While you sleep, your body performs important functions such as repairing damaged cells, cleaning internally, filtering toxins and preparing them for disposal.
Therefore, it is important to drink water on an empty stomach, since a single glass of this liquid can increase the elimination of toxins that our body has leaked during the night.
When should you drink more water?
During the day, drinking water helps you stay hydrated and feel better.
But there are some signs that you need to increase your water consumption even more because you are dehydrated:
- Those who sweat harder may need to drink more water during the day.
- People who suffer from diabetes, heart disease, cystic fibrosis, and other medical conditions may need to drink more water.
- Certain medications may seem diuretic, but drinking more water compensates for fluid loss.
- Drinking before feeling thirsty is a sign that you are already dehydrated. Occurrence prevention maintains better health and well-being.
- Look at your urine. If you notice that it is clear, it is a sign that you are well hydrated. Darker colored urine means you need to drink more water.
- If you know you are going to be in the sun or exercise hard, hydrate before going to the gym or before going out. This helps prepare your body for the natural loss of fluids that will occur when you sweat.
- If you are in a situation of intense heat and have suddenly stopped sweating, you are probably excessively dehydrated. Drinking water quickly is important.
Signs of dehydration
Along with the above indicators, it is important to consider some of the obvious signs of dehydration.
These are the most obvious signs that you should drink more water as soon as possible:
- Extreme thirst
- Feeling dizzy
- Dry mouth
Water content in food
According to Australian Better Health Victoria, the body can get up to 20% of the necessary fluid intake through food. Foods such as cucumbers, spinach, tomatoes, strawberries, and watermelon consist mainly of water. They also contain many minerals that help us retain water in the body.