We’re always being told drink more water its good for you!Water and Its Benefits, Stay hydrated, it’s good for you! But what is it actually good for?  Do you know some or even all the reasons?  Maybe you do… but just in case you have a few curiosities here they are.

PS: Before we dive right it, this is a little different from my previous posts that threw tons of science and medicine at you. I can always dive further into any topic you like, but for the purpose of water… I don’t want to drown you in too many details.. Meditation and Its Benefits

 PUN INTENDED ha!

Okay here we go, in no particular order.

                    Thermoregulation

When its hot outside you sweat, when its cold you shiver to increase heat and you sweat. No matter the weather you will have fluid loss. So regardless of the climate, you have to drink water to make sure you don’t get dehydrated.           Why do you need to hydrate though? 

Sweat and its evaporation from your skin allow your body to cool. Not having enough water to sweat means your body temperature won’t be well regulated. Heat Stroke is a huge problem, and it often occurs in athletes that workout outdoors under the glaring sun.

Let’s not forget the importance of body temperature control in the elderly. The elderly cannot handle heat as well as younger adults, mainly because they have more water losses from their kidneys, and they also tend to drink less water to begin with.

Exercise Performance

Losing as little as 2% of body water has been shown to decrease performance during exercise. Reduces endurance, causes fatigue, lowers motivation, and you feel like you’re making a bigger effort than usual.

Important thing to remember here, you may not feel thirsty while you work out.. that does NOT mean you shouldn’t drink water anyway!

Plus, your muscles need blood to work to their full potential. Low water intake, means lower amount of blood getting to your muscles so they don’t work as well, as strong, as long.

                       Mood and Memory

Dehydration can lead to loss of concentration, short term memory, and even motor skills can take a hit. It can also make you very irritable. Sound a lot like the effects of sleep deprivation. Drinking water will also wake up your mind! You will feel more aroused……Mentally! Come on get our mind out of the gutter ha!  

In the elderly, dehydration can increase the risk of delirium or confusion. This is basically a fluctuation in mental status of an older person. It’s even more important in the elderly that are very ill.  Just keep that in mind.

                    Intestinal Health

Hydration improves bowel movements. How? Your intestines will absorb water from the stool. If you are well hydrated, the stool can pass easily. But if you’re dehydrated, your colon will take fluid out of the stool, this makes the stool harder to pass.

So, if you’re constipated, consider how much water you’re drinking. Of course, constipation is a completely different topic, and other factor play a role. But water is always an important one. But, it will only help bowel movements if you are in a dehydrated state, at least that is what research has shown.

                       Headaches

Dehydration can cause headaches. So if you’re having one and you haven’t had enough water… drink some! See if that helps before you go straight for pills.  Not all headaches are bad, and not all headaches are good. So if you’re experiencing severe headaches don’t just self-medicate and drink water. Make an appointment with your doctor and get yourself checked out.

Some studies have shown that if you have migraines or bad tension headaches, the severity of the pain can be lower if you drink good amount of water. In this study it was about 1.5L/day on top of what they consumed daily on their own before the study.  The number of episodes was not affected but the severity of the headaches was.

                              Skin

I’m a huge fan of healthy skin and doing things for the health of your skin. It’s the first line of protection against any infection and anything else in our environment.  So treat it well!

The water in your skin helps it keep its elasticity and radiance.  Many think that being hydrated will prevent wrinkles, but actually, it’s hydration in addition to moisturizers that can do the trick. Just being hydrated is not enough to prevent the effects of our environment, the sun, the air etc.

                    Medical Conditions

Dehydration can play a role in formation of kidney stones. Not pleasant. I had a few patients say it was like giving birth.  They were males so what would they know, ha! but I guess peeing out a stone too large is as close to birth and they can get.

Hydration can also prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).  Also, don’t hold your pee! If you do this it can increase your risk of a UTI, so try not to if you can help it.

There you have it! Drink your water guys! Yes it’s great to use replenishing drinks after exercise like I do, but none of those will ever replace the need for water.  So, drink as much as you can.

              Keep Calm and Drink More Water!

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women