If in doubt, drink more water — right?
Drinking an extra glass of water is never a bad idea. The body is made up of 60% water which it relies on to function properly. You probably know of some of the benefits of drinking water, but we’ll bet that there are some that you didn’t know about.
Keep reading to find out more about the science-backed benefits of drinking water!
How much water do I need to drink every day?
According to the Dieticians of Canada, men need to reach for 12 cups of water a day, and women need 9 cups a day. However, your needs might change depending on your activity level, personal health, or the climate you live in. For example, if you live in a hot climate and are highly active, you’ll need to consume more water to replenish the water you will lose through sweat.
5 Health Benefits of Drinking Water
Orange juice isn’t the only drink that can help support your immune system!
Your immune system helps keep you healthy and protects your body from invading pathogens. The immune system heavily depends on nutrients from the bloodstream, which is mostly made up of water. If you do not get enough water, your body will struggle to transport nutrients to every organ system.
Staying hydrated is also essential for detoxification — it increases lymphatic draining and makes sure the body is clearing out any foreign invaders and other waste materials.1
Eating fiber and taking a probiotic aren’t the only ways to support digestive health — drinking water can help keep things moving too.
First, water helps break down the foods you eat, allowing the nutrients to be absorbed by your body. It also helps prevent constipation by softening stool and helping in the body’s absorption of fiber.2
Body temperature regulation
Body temperature regulation — also known as thermoregulation — is a process that allows your body to maintain its core internal temperature. Failure to maintain this temperature can affect your body’s ability to function.
Sweating is the main way the body regulates its temperature and flushes any waste or bacteria.3 However, you actively lose water as you sweat, which means if you do vigorous activity and do not replenish fluids as you go along, you can become dehydrated. When you’re dehydrated, the body stores more heat, and it is more difficult for your body to be able to cool itself off.4
If you live in a hot climate or are very physically active, drinking lots of water is essential to help keep your body at the temperature it needs to function.
Your brain is significantly affected by your hydration. Studies show that even mild dehydration — such as 1-3% of body weight — can impair many aspects of cognitive function.5
Brain cells require a delicate balance between water and various elements to operate, and when you lose too much water, that balance is disrupted.
Research has found that when you’re dehydrated, you have more difficulty keeping your attention focused. Dehydration can impair short-term memory function and the recall of long-term memory.6
On the other hand, staying hydrated helps support focus, energy, and memory. Everything from doing a simple calculation to studying for eight hours will be more effective when you are hydrated.
As the body’s largest organ, the skin needs plenty of water to function.7 Drinking lots of water helps prevent tightness and dryness, and without adequate water intake, skin appears duller, and wrinkles and pores more prominent.8
Does drinking water help acne?
Drinking water is important for skin health, but there is no quick-fix or one-size-fits-all remedy for acne. Studies have shown that increasing your water intake reduces dryness which could lead to acne, but for a more personalized approach, talk to your doctor or dermatologist.9
5 effective tips for staying hydrated
1. Stack your habits with drinking water
Habit-stacking is one of the easiest and most effective ways to implement new habits into your everyday life. Habit-stacking means adding a new habit to your daily routine by simply “stacking” it onto an existing habit.
If your goal is to drink more water, stack that habit onto something you already do every day. For example, drink a glass of water after you brush your teeth, after you’ve used the restroom, or for a real challenge, every time you pick up your phone.
2. Set a reminder to stay hydrated
Use your smartphone to enforce healthy habits instead of unhealthy ones! Set an alarm or reminder on your phone to remind you to drink water, or try using a water-tracking app.
3. Flavour your water
Who says water has to be boring? Adding a little flavour is a great way to spice things up and even get some added nutrients. Try adding these vitamin drink mixes to your water:
A daily vitamin drink mix with 1000 mg of Ester-C®, B vitamins and electrolytes available in 4 delicious flavours — orange, wildberry, lemon-lime, and pina colada.
A delicious drink that offers 250 mg of magnesium and helps to temporarily promote relaxation. Available in raspberry-lemonade, honey grapefruit, or tart cherry flavours!
4. Keep it accessible
Keeping water within reach will help you drink more as you will mindlessly reach for it throughout the day. Keep a water bottle at your desk while you work, in the car, or on your bedside table. You may also find that something as simple as using a straw will help you drink water more quickly and frequently.
5. Eat more foods high in water
Certain fruits and vegetables are not only packed with nutrients, but they can help you stay hydrated as well! Try adding more of these water-rich fruits and vegetables to your diet:
The bottom line
Staying hydrated isn’t just important for hot summer days — it’s essential for the everyday functioning of your body. From immune health to skin health, adequate water intake can transform the way your body works.
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