Health Benefits from Water [And How to Get More of It!]

jong-marshes-458354-unsplash

 

I’m sure everyone knows what water is but let’s take a deeper look with its definition via Wikipedia….

“Water is a transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth’s streams, lakes, and oceans, and the fluids of most living organisms. It is vital for all known forms of life, even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients. Water is the name of the liquid state of H2O at standard ambient temperature and pressure. It forms precipitation in the form of rain and aerosols in the form of fog. Clouds are formed from suspended droplets of water and ice, its solid state. When finely divided, crystalline ice may precipitate in the form of snow. The gaseous state of water is steam or water vapor. Water moves continually through the water cycle of evaporation, transpiration (evapotranspiration), condensation, precipitation, and runoff, usually reaching the sea.”

In this article, I am going to touch on the importance of and various health benefits from water – it’s many uses – safety pre-cautions – as well as tips on how to consume more water daily.

 

WHAT IS BODY WATER CONTENT/PERCENTAGE?

Health Benefits from Water

“In physiology, body water is the water content of an animal body that is contained in the tissues, the blood, the bones and elsewhere. The percentages of body water contained in various fluid compartments add up to total body water (TBW). This water makes up a significant fraction of the human body, both by weight and by volume. Ensuring the right amount of body water is part of fluid balance, an aspect of homeostasis.” – Wikipedia

There can be considerable variation in body water percentage based on a number of factors like age, health, water intake, weight, and sex. By weight, the average human adult male is approximately 60% water and the average adult female is approximately 55%. Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it’s important to re-hydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water regularly.

 

MAJOR KNOWN HEALTH BENEFITS OF DRINKING WATER

Health Benefits from Water

1. Boosts energy. Water delivers important nutrients to all of our cells, especially muscle cells, postponing muscle fatigue.

2. Assists in weight loss. Water helps you feel fuller longer, without adding any additional calories.

3. Aids in digestion. Water aids in constipation and other abdominal issues, especially those suffering from IBS. Water helps to move the digestive process along and through the system.

4. Detoxifies. Water helps to move toxins through your system faster, and optimizes kidney function. Inadequate hydration means inadequate kidney function. Water also helps you absorb important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from your food, which will increase your chances of staying healthy.

5. Hydrates skin. Water is the best defense against aging and wrinkles in the skin by promoting collagen production.

6. Creates saliva. Water is a main component of saliva. Saliva also includes small amounts of electrolytes, mucus, and enzymes. It’s essential for breaking down solid food and keeping your mouth healthy.

7. Protects your tissues, spinal cord, and joints. Water consumption helps lubricate and cushion your joints, spinal cord, and tissues. This will help you enjoy physical activity and lessen discomfort caused by conditions like arthritis.

8. Helps maximize physical performance. It improves strength, power and endurance by providing your muscles and tissues with needed nutrients. Drinking plenty of water during physical activity is also essential. Athletes may perspire up to 6 to 10 percent of body weight during physical activity.

9. Helps fight off illness. Drinking enough water can help prevent certain medical conditions including constipation, kidney stones, exercise-induced asthma, urinary tract infection, and hypertension.

10. Helps improve mood. Dehydration may result in fatigue and confusion as well as anxiety.

 

SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION

Health Benefits from Water

Your body will give you all sorts of signs when it is becoming dehydrated. It can be dangerous not getting enough water and even fatal, only taking as little as 3-10 days to die from dehydration depending on certain factors. Unfortunately, you can get used to not drinking much water and the signal for thirst will dull, so it is important to know what other signs to look out for to determine if you may not be drinking enough water.

Signs of mild or moderate dehydration include:

  • Thirst
  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Not peeing very much
  • Dark yellow pee
  • Dry, cool skin
  • Headaches
  • Muscle Cramps

Signs of severe dehydration include all of the above in addition to:

  • Feeling dizzy
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sunken eyes
  • Sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion or irritability
  • Fainting

Severe dehydration is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately!

 

HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD I DRINK?

Health Benefits from Water

The guideline recommended amount is 8 glasses per day, though this varies from person to person. Those who exercise regularly, work outside, or have chronic medical conditions should consume more water to compensate for more water loss. Some medications can also cause you to become dehydrated and require more water consumption.

 

HOW TO DRINK MORE WATER

Health Benefits from Water

If you are like most people, you know that water is good for you but you just can’t seem to be able to drink enough. Here are some tips to help you drink more H2O!

  1. Carry a water bottle wherever you go – this ensures you have access to water at all times
  2. Use mint, tea, lemon or fruit infusions to help make water more tasty to help entice you to drink more
  3. Eat more water content rich foods such as fruits and vegetables
  4. When you get a food craving – drink a glass of water first and wait 5-10 minutes. If you are no longer hungry – it’s because you were actually thirsty!
  5. Set a side specific times of the day to drink a large amount of water and form a habit of it. For example, it has become routine for me to drink 32 oz of water within 30 minutes of waking up. I also always get 16 oz of water at lunch time in my smoothie. I still try to drink through out the day, especially after exertion but at least I know I am getting a good amount of water if I forget or get too busy at work.
  6. Drink only water with meals – another tactic to ensure you are drinking more water in your day

 

WHERE SHOULD I DERIVE MY WATER SOURCE FROM?

Health Benefits from Water

There are so many sources of water available to us – not all are fit for consumption. Ocean water is deadly when consumed. Pool water full of chemicals is also not a wise choice. Lakes and ponds are stagnant water sources you want to avoid as bacteria tends to bloom and parasites tend to loom there. Aim for fresh mountain water springs and the highest point of the water source.

Most of us do not have access to such fresh water, at least easily; But there is tap and bottled water you can buy. If you use tap water – remember to use a filtration system to filter out added hazardous contaminants, such as disinfection byproducts (DBPs), fluoride, and drugs to name a few found in public water systems. Well water is safer but can also have an over abundance of heavy metals. When considering water buying options, here are some water definitions to keep in mind:

  • Purified water: Water that is physically processed to remove impurities (e.g., distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, carbon filtration, etc.). This is the best water next to natural mountain spring waters.
  • Distilled water: Water that is boiled and evaporated away from its dissolved minerals, and then the vapor is condensed. This type of water is best for sterility purposes and not the best for drinking because it doesn’t contain any nutrients.
  • Bottled Water. This water is typically from a spring or has gone through reverse osmosis before it is bottled. However, some brands are simply bottled tap water that may or may not have gone through any additional filtering. Also, plastic bottles have been known to seep chemicals, especially with exposure to heat/sun light. I recommend using stain less steel or glass water bottles.
  • Alkaline water: Water that has been separated into alkaline and acid fractions using electrolysis, which takes advantage of the naturally occurring electric charges found in the magnesium and calcium ions; in the drinking water industry. This type of water has gained a huge following in recent years with claims of being able to cure illnesses. There is no scientific research that supports these claims.
  • Deionized or demineralized water: Water in which the mineral ions (salts such as sodium, calcium, iron, copper, chloride and bromide) have been removed by exposing it to electrically charged resins that attract and bind to the salts.
  • Hard and soft water: Hard water is any water containing an appreciable quantity of dissolved minerals; soft water is treated water in which the only cation (positively charged ion) is sodium.

 

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Health Benefits from Water

Like anything – it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Although uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water. Over-hydration can lead to water intoxication. When your kidneys can’t excrete the excess water, the sodium content of your blood is diluted (hyponatremia) — which can be life-threatening.

If your electrolytes drop too low too quickly, it can be fatal. In general, though, drinking too much water is rare in healthy adults who eat an average American diet.

 

WATER FOR REHABILITATION & FITNESS

Health Benefits from Water

 

Aside from reaping all of the benefits from the consumption of water – it is actually very beneficial to be used in conjunction with physical fitness and physical therapy such as:

  • Swimming – a great form of exercise that puts minimal pressure on the joints. Perfect for anyone suffering from arthritis or pain conditions that limit their physical abilities. Some gyms and some communities have pools for use but may require a membership. A free way to swim is going to a public Lake or swimming hole.
  • Water therapy – a form of physical rehabilitation focused on walking on a treadmill partly under water or doing physical exercises partly under water. Again, the major benefit to this is the minimal pressure on your joints. You will need to seek a physical rehabilitation center to use one of these.
  • Hot tubs – help with minor aches and pains, soothing sore joints and muscles. The buoyancy of the water removes pressure from joints. The jets provide therapeutic massage benefits. Most Spa’s have these available for use.
  • Steam saunas – Improves circulation. Sitting in a steam room might significantly improve your cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, reduces stress, clear congestion, promote skin health, aid in workout recovery, loosen stiff joints and burn calories. Most Spa’s and even some gyms have these available for use.
  • Cold therapy – used to reduce pain, swelling and nerve activity using ice, cold packs, and ice baths.

 

THE TAKE AWAYHealth Benefits from Water

Water is a life source! It plays an extremely vital role in your health. Drinking enough water can provide so many health benefits. If you haven’t already, I urge you to drink more water starting now! If you want a major kick start in getting the habit under your belt and like a good challenge – try the 30 day water challenge! Follow the link to learn more and good luck!

Kind regards,

Sherry S.

 

 

Sources:
  1. https://www.anaesthesiamcq.com/FluidBook/fl2_1.php
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/
  3. https://www.wqa.org/improve-your-water/benefits-of-good-water-quality
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4970440/
  5. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/a-z/water-aerobics
  6. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/water-intoxication#1

19 thoughts on “Health Benefits from Water [And How to Get More of It!]”

  1. Hello Ally! Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to comment! I am glad I could be a friendly reminder to get more of this life sustaining nutrient :). I hope you succeed in getting more water in your daily life.

    Tea can be an excellent way to get water! But beware most pre-bottled teas from the stores probably have more additives and sugars than water and healthy teas. If using tea, I highly recommend organic loose leaf tea steeped in boiling water. It is much healthier and a great way to flavor your water!  You can drink it hot in the morning in place of coffee and let it cool and make large batches to drink during the day. Or pour it over ice on a hot day! There are many different types of herbal teas – be advised most of them have caffeine in them if you are sensitive. 

  2. Hello Daniel! Thank you for visiting – I am glad you found the article insightful! Water is definitely so important. I highly encourage you to try to drink more! If you aren’t used to drinking a lot of water, it definitely can be difficult at first. But I promise, the more you drink it – the more you will want to drink it! Good luck!

  3. Hi Sherry

    Thank you for the timely reminder to drink more water.  This is something I struggled with for years because I get so bored drinking plain water.  I gradually weaned myself onto drinking more water with flavoured waters and then discovered I could in fact drink plain water.  I would always have a bottle on my counter in work and could see exactly how much I was drinking.  

    Since working from home though I have slipped back into old habits but you have reminded me that I really need to establish a new routine!  One thing I have never been able to understand though is does water mixed with cordial count toward your daily water intake?  You mentioned infused water, but does regular tea count?  I don’t think coffee counts because it is a diuretic, ie, it makes you pee, but can I include my daily tea in my water allowance or am I kidding myself?

  4. Hi Sherry, I must say that this article is very informative and helpful. I already knew that water is very important for our organism and I use it primarily to help me to lose excess weight. You explained well how we should consume it and honestly, it is not easy as it seems. I will try to follow your tips and hope I can bring in at least 2 liters a day.

  5. I had no idea that water could aid in weight loss. It was really amazing when I found this out. To be honest, I am just not used to drinking water on a regular basis and It is something I definitely would like to work on because not drinking water on a regular basis can have a negative effect on our health.

  6. Hello Andrew! That is so true – it is becoming so difficult to take of ourselves. Good health is more expensive and more difficult to attain due to things like contamination – which is why obesity and disease are so prevalent. That is an awesome idea to go direct to the manufacturer!

  7. Hi Sherry. So true. Without water, we cannot live! The quality of water that we consume is so important to fine-tuning our health, and it seems that it is becoming harder to get any natural pure water sources these days. I don’t always believe what they tell me on the bottles that I can purchase in the supermarket, so go direct to the manufacturer to buy bulk supplies of oxygenated, purified water (through an 8 stage filtration system, reverse osmosis and UV treatment for micro bacterial sterilization.)
    Gotta look after your body 🙂

  8. Hello Craig! Thank you! I absolutely love water. I started drinking more of it and quit soda when I was 16. I lost 15 lbs and had a lot more energy! I hope this information helps someone consume more life saving h2o!

  9. Hey Raquellek! It is definitely true! You can mix the signals of hunger and thirst sometimes. However, hunger and cravings are very different. Cravings are due to a deficiency or sugar addiction. Hunger is a signal that your body needs sustenance. Be careful drinking a large amount of water before bed or in the middle of the night – you may wake up not too long after because you have to pee!

  10. Hey Sharon – I agree! Consuming a large amount of water in the morning is one of the best ways to wake up and get everything moving! I’m sorry your dad isn’t so keen on water. My dad is the same way – he loves soda also (one of the worst drinks ever!) and definitely does not drink enough! 🙁

  11. Great site with some good effective advice and information on H20!

    I always rave about the importance of water and in fact I am sat here with a bottle whilst typing this comment!

    The benefits are as you have already highlighted. It is good to see a blog on something like this, it reminds people that to stay healthy we do not necessarily need to buy expensive supplements.

  12. Wow, this article is so detailed and very informational. Lol I didn’t know some food craving could be due to thirst. Now I know what to do when I have an ice-cream craving in the middle of the night.

  13. I use a full glass or two of water every morning instead of coffee to wake me up – rehydrating after 8 hours really does kick start your energy levels. My dad calls me a camel because of it. He, in turn, insists that soda is fine when he’s thirsty and thinks water won’t do anything to help! It drives me insane! I’ll try to get him to look at this.

  14. Hi Todd! Welcome back! I am so glad you are reaping all of the benefits of proper hydration! It really is one of the easiest ways to improve and maintain good health. I pretty much only drink water (aside from whole milk, orange juice and wine haha) and I want nothing else! I can’t imagine trying to quench my thirst with anything else. I absolutely love drinking a large amount upon waking – it gives me an instant energy boost and really gets the digestive tract moving. 🙂

  15. Excellent article. Water is the basic key of life, and I can attest that I’ve seen all the health benefits while drinking water. I’m one of the few people at work who takes my health seriously and it’s no wonder that I’m running laps around them due to increased energy, fewer toxins in the body, a fully hydrated state at all times, and have seen little if any illness over the past few years due to constant water drinking. Physical performance is way up at all times, basically to the point I can workout seven days a week, twice a day, and work a physical job on top of that. I’m living proof regarding such benefits.

  16. Hello Ali! Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to comment. I am glad you found my article insightful and useful! I hope I provide more content of value to you in the future! Stay tuned 🙂 and thank you for the support

  17. What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You! For sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for about benefits of water and when I landed to your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in details.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a great source for health benefits of water.
    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to read your new posts.)

    Thanks!

  18. I think that the fact that it aides in weight loss is pretty cool. Considering are bodies are made mostly of water, its makes a lot of sense. I love water. Great article!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *