5 Reasons to Love Drinking Water
About 71% of the Earth is covered with water, but only 1% of it is drinkable. Most of it exists in the form of ice or saltwater.
All known forms of life depend on water. The human body is made up of about 60% water and it is essential for many of the body’s metabolic processes.
Most of us are always dehydrated to some degree and even liquids like coffee and tea act as diuretics, promoting the loss of water, but if we can remember to drink our proper intake of water we can help our body systems function well.
The Institute of Medicine has determined that, for average, healthy adults living in a temperate climate, adequate water intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 litres) of total beverages a day and the AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 litres) of total beverages a day.
Although there's a lot of anecdotal evidence that drinking water is good for your skin there's not been a lot of research done to back this up. That said, there are so many other good reasons to keep hydrated that any improvements to your skin might just be an added bonus.
Anyway, here are just five of the many reasons to love drinking water and keep yourself topped up:
1. Water can help relieve stress and improve our mood
Even being mildly dehydrated can negatively affect how we feel and start to cause stress on the body. A vicious cycle can come about because feeling stressed can cause dehydration and dehydration can bring about feelings of stress. When we are stressed, our heart rate is up and we breathe more heavily. We lose water every time we breathe, so we lose more in this way when we are stressed. Feeling refreshed by drinking water reduces physical stress on the body and improves our state of mind.
2. Water helps us think
Dehydration causes brain tissue to shrink, which means our brains have to work harder to perform at the normal level, so drinking some water may help us when we are finding it difficult to concentrate. If we’re going to need to think for long periods of time, it’s good to keep water handy to help us stay refreshed, hydrated, and focused. Dehydration can impair our attention span, memory, and motor skills. Research suggests that students who drink water during their exams get better grades: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-17741653
3. Water can help relieve joint pain and stiffness
Cartilage, the rubbery material that coats our bones and provides a barrier to stop them rubbing on each other, is about 85% water, so we need to keep hydrated to keep it healthy. A thick, gel-like liquid called synovial fluid fills the gaps at joints, acting as a cushion and providing lubrication, shock absorption and nutrition, but for it to work, it also needs to be maintained with water. Drinking water helps to keep our joints healthy, lubricated and supple, relieving aches and pains.
If we have been dehydrated for a while, at first, increasing the amount of water we drink may not seem like it’s doing much good, it may just make us visit the toilet more often, but as the matrixes around our joints again regain their ability to retain water, that will subside. As with trying to water a plant when the surrounding soil has dried up, it can take a while for the joint to rehydrate and begin to regain its ability to retain the much needed water.
4. Water keeps things moving
Water helps us go to the toilet by helping dissolve fats and soluble fibre. Drinking enough water prevents constipation and also reduces the burden on the kidneys and liver by helping to flush through waste products. In the large intestine, water binds with fibre to increase the bulk of the stools, reduce transit time and make elimination easier. When we don't drink enough water and fluids, the colon pulls water from stools, increasing our risk of constipation.
5. Water can help prevent headaches
Going without water for too long causes headaches for some people, and has been identified as a migraine trigger. The good news is that, in a study on the effects of water on headaches*, participants experienced “total relief” from their headaches within 30 minutes of drinking water (two cups, on average). When we are already suffering from a dehydration-triggered headache, we need significantly more water to help it go away, so it makes sense to stay hydrated throughout the day.
*Water-deprivation headache: a new headache with two variants. Blau JN, Kell CA, Sperling JM. Headache, 2004 Jan;44(1):79-
So there are just a few reasons to find some of that special 1% drinkable water on the planet and drink it.
Anyone feeling thirsty!?