Last updated on January 19th, 2019 by Garrick Dee
Water is the most important element that our body needs to survive.
In fact around 60% of our body is water.
Humans can live without food for up to 3 weeks.
Without water it’s a different story.
Our bodies will shut down in a matter of days without water.
Water is essential not just to our survival but also our health and wellness.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t get enough liquid in their bodies and suffer the consequences later on.
To encourage you to drink more water, here are 11 health benefits of doing so based on research.
1. Drinking Water Can Help You Lose Weight
Numerous studies have shown that drinking at least 500 ml of water can improve metabolism by up to 30% .
Drinking 2 liters of water (or 68 ounces) will help your body burn up to 96 more calories per day.
If you drink it cold, your body will need to expend more energy to heat it up to body temperature but it would be best to drink warm water in the morning.
2. Essential For Our Brain Function
Water is essential for the brain to function properly.
Research shows that even a slight dehydration of 1% (in relation to body weight) can affect how our brain functions.
One such study proves on women proves this. It reveals that a fluid loss of just 1.59% affects memory and increases fatigue and anxiety .
To put this in perspective, 1% fluid loss equates to a 1.5 lbs. (or 0.5 kg).
3. Helps Prevent Headaches (and Treat It)
Another downside in the lack of water consumption (which leads to dehydration) is it is a triggering factor of migraine and headache .
Drinking the right amount of water will play a big role in migraine and headache prevention.
Treating dehydration-induced headaches isn’t as simple as drinking more water. But there are studies that prove that water can help relieve these symptoms .
Successfully treating these conditions will depend on the type of headache. While water consumption did not reduce the frequency of these headaches, water does help reduce the duration and intensity .
4. Drinking Water Can Help Prevent Certain Types of Cancers
Certain organs in our body need water to function properly and these include our bladder and colon.
5. Beneficial To Our Gut Health
So it makes perfect sense to take care of your gut at all costs in order to stay healthy.
One way to do that is to drink the right amounts of liquids and that means drinking lots of water.
Water helps with the mucosal lining of the intestine and the balance of good bacteria. Simply put, drinking water helps improve gut health.
Drinking water also helps stimulate the digestive track and move your bowel. Trying drinking a cup of warm or hot water in the morning and see what happens.
6. Relieves Constipation
Having constipation isn’t fun.
It’s like sitting there waiting for a rock to come out.
I know it’s gross but that’s how it feels for me.
If you suffer from constipation, drinking water can help relieve this.
Carbonated water based on research is another alternative to relieve constipation but researchers don’t completely understand how it does it.
7. Prevents Hangovers
Had a long night with your drinking buddies?
Chances are you’re now suffering from a terrible hangover.
Trust me, having one isn’t fun and is a huge time waster.
One of the reasons why alcohol causes hangover is that it is a diuretic.
One way to prevent hangovers is to drink a glass of water after a bottle of beer or shot of whiskey.
Or have consume lots of water before going to sleep that way you’ll replenish any lost fluid.
8. Can Help Prevent Kidney Stones
The kidney is one of the most important organs inside our body.
Our two kidneys filter around 120 to 150 quarts of blood everyday to produce 1 to 2 quarts of urine.
Water is essential to maintain a healthy Kidney.
Kidney stone is what it is – stone-like clumps of mineral crystals that develop in the urinary track.
It can result to severe pain from different areas like the pelvic, groin and genital areas.
There is some research that shows drinking water can reduce the risk of reoccurrence in folks who have gotten kidney stones in the past.
Water consumption can also prevent kidney stones as it dilutes the concentration of minerals which in turn prevents them from crystallizing.
The American College of Physicians issued guidelines that say folks who previously had kidney stones should increase fluid intake to enable 2 liters of urination per day to decrease the risk of reoccurrence.
9. Drinking Enough Water Maximizes Physical Performance
There is high correlation between physical performance and hydration.
If your body dehydrates during any strenuous physical activity like exercise, performance will suffer.
You will feel the effects of dehydration when you lose as little as 2% of water content.
Athletes on the other hand can experience up to 10% of water through sweat.
This will result to higher body temperatures, fatigue and loss of motivation.
In essence dehydration causes mental and physical fatigue.
10. Positively Affects Blood Pressure
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have discovered that plain water has positive physiological effects.
They further explained that water “increases the activity of the sympathetic – fight or flight – nervous system”. This raises alertness, blood pressure and energy expenditure.
This benefit is important to blood donors. Drinking water will reduce risk of fainting by 20 percent.
The research also said that the blood pressure raising effects of water only affects older subjects.
Drinking 16 ounces of tap water raised blood pressure by up to 40 milliliters of mercury in subjects with automatic failure according to the study.
11. Helps Lubricate Joints
More than helping hydrate our body, water also helps lubricate the joints indirectly.
The Synovial fluid which lubricates the joints is made up primarily of water. Take note that drinking water will not cure joint paint but it does play a role in the health of the joints.
Dehydration also will reduce our joint’s ability to absorb shocks thus leading to joint pain.
Best Time to Drink Water
The best time would be in the morning on an empty stomach before any meal and yes that includes coffee.
Doing so helps raise metabolic rate by up to 25%.
This is great for people trying to lose weight.
It also helps you move your bowel which also helps in flushing out toxins.
Ridding your body of excess fluid will prevent bloating. Remember that a health gut equates to a healthy body.
To get this benefit you’ll have to drink something warm.
More than anything else what you are trying to build here is a healthy habit. Water is one of the healthiest forms of liquids you can consume.
It doesn’t contain any calories and helps moderate body temperature and balance pH levels to prevent your body from being too acidic.
You can infuse it with fruits like lemon if you want to spice it up a bit.
It certainly beats drinking a can of soda or juice.
Best Sources of Water
Yes, lots of fruits and vegetables contain water but the best source is pure water regardless of source.
Sources may vary. For us here in the Philippines, we rely heavily on filtered water because our tap water here is not safe to drink.
If you live in a first world country like the United States, the best source of water will come from the tap.
Jim Karrh (the former chief marketing officer for the Mountain Spring Valley bottled water company. Getting sick from drinking tap water is unlikely in the United States but there are cases.
To get data you can check the Environmental Protection Agency report to know more.
While the EPA gives data on the quality of water that goes into your home but if will not give data on the condition of the pipes it goes through.
If this worries you then buy a do-it-yourself testing kit or hire someone from a water filtration company to do it for you.
Filtered water is an option
One option if you want the cleanest water possible or you just don’t like the taste of tap water would be adding a filter. You can purchase a filtration system that attaches to the tap or buy a filtered-water pitcher.
If constantly changing filters concerns you then opt for something that requires changing less frequently like a carbon filter.
For folks who have some case to spare (like $1,000 or more) then go for reverse-osmosis systems.
How much water should we drink? (Recommended intake)
I’m sure you’ve heard that saying that we should drinking 8 glass of water per day.
But the truth is there isn’t any concrete figure that you should consume daily.
The amount of water you should drink every will vary on your body type, age, lifestyle, etc.
But there are some baselines you should look at.
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine says that men should consume around 3.7 liters (or 125 ounces) and women around 2.7 liters (or 91 ounces) or water daily.
Take note that food intake also is taken account into this equation. So if you drink beverages like soda or coffee that will be taken account of.
Cold water vs warm water
I’ve did mention earlier in this article that drinking cold water has a benefit that it forces your body to burn more calories because the body has to work harder to raise up the temperature.
Another benefit would be cooling down your body during an intense workout preventing it from overheating.
However research shows that drinking warm water has more benefits especially to the digestive system.
Drinking warm water will help with your body’s circulation and help flush out waste and rid it of toxins.
It also makes you less thirsty which means it’s probably better to drink cold water during a workout so that you can consume more and hydrate.
What’s the Best Water Bottle to Store Water In?
Where you store water will depend on these factors – how long you’ll store it, budget, quantity and preference.
Your options range from plastic to steel.
Now I won’t be talking about doomsday scenarios where you’ll be storing water inside barrels. These options are just for normal everyday use like bottles and jugs.
The most common types of container and cheapest would be plastic. If you go this route make sure to choose a food grade plastic that’s BPA free.
Plastic is a great option because it’s light, durable and cheap.
If you’re planning to reuse disposable plastic water bottles you may want to think twice
Don’t be a cheap bastard and do that, you may risk your health doing so. Chemicals inside plastic can seep through and absorbed by water.
Folks who are planning to use these water bottles to store hot liquid may want to think twice and go for a stainless steel water bottle instead because these bottles provide better insulation and better suited at handling the heat.
Glass is another option to store water in. The FDA classifies glass as “Generally Regarded as Safe” or GRAS. One advantage of glass is you can use to drink hot liquid without worrying about deforming.
These containers will last a very long time, dishwasher safe and easy to sanitize.
However, if you’re thinking of reusing an old glass container that didn’t store water, don’t do it. Just buy a new water container.
Biggest disadvantage of a glass container is it is easy to break. One workaround would be wrapping a newspaper or cardboard around it but this will not protect it 100%.
3. Stainless steel
This is perhaps my favorite type of container. Stainless steel is durable and one of the safest options for storing water for longer periods of time.
It doesn’t contain any chemicals that could potentially seep through water. And if you’re fond of storing water jugs inside your vehicle, it also protects water from direct exposure from sunlight.
Unfortunately stainless steel water containers are expensive and you cannot store water treated with chlorine because it will erode the outer layer of stainless steel and corrode it eventually.
Just make sure that the stainless steel container you buy is food grade or food safe.
There you go, 11 benefits of water that hopefully will stir you to starting living a healthier lifestyle by consuming more.
Water is an essential element to a healthy life not just for survival but also to get the most out of our bodies.
Drinking enough will help our body rid itself of toxins that can accumulate over time with all the junk that’s out there.