Water marks a key element that keeps every system in the body functioning properly. The more water we drink, the more fluids we provide the body to keep dehydration at bay.
Although drinking too much water isn’t necessarily a good thing, drinking enough water has several benefits. According to the Harvard Medical School Special Health Report, here are the 5 key benefits of drinking water
Balances bodily fluids
The human body is 60% water which is distributed evenly to carry out multiple tasks such as digestion, absorption, circulation, formation of saliva, nutrient transportation, and maintaining body temperature.
Every time the body is low on fluids, the brain activates the mechanism as an indication causing us to drink water to quench the thirst. This is the sign to drink water, juice, milk, or coffee.
The more water we drink, the more our body rids itself of the excess sodium present ultimately resulting is minimised fluid retention. However, the body tends to retain a certain amount of fluid if there is less water present in the cells. Therefore, consuming water on a regular basis will no longer need our body to hold onto water thus leading to minimal to no fluid retention.
Reduce Risk of UTI
Dehydration occurs when our body loses more water than how much it takes in. This can lead to an imbalance in the body’s electrolytes such as potassium, phosphate, and sodium. Our kidneys are responsible for maintaining the level of electrolytes in order to ensure the proper transportation of electrical signals between cells.
Not drinking enough water is known to cause urinary tract infections (UTIs). If these infections are left untreated, they can spread up to the upper urinary tract resulting in permanent damage. These infections, even though acute, can lead to kidney failure.
This is where drinking plenty of water acts as a simple way of minimising the risk of developing a UTI or even help treat an existing one.
Helps improving skin health and appearance
There is around 30% water present in our skin that allows it to remain plump by helping it retain its elasticity and resilience. Consuming enough water helps the outer skin layer remain hydrated. Meanwhile, not drinking enough water is known to cause wrinkles or offset the effects on the environment.
While the changes in appearance may not be noticeable, ensuring that one drinks adequate water regularly will keep their skin hydrated. People who consume enough water daily are less prone to suffer from scars, soft lines, and other signs of ageing.
When food moves through our intestines, our colon absorbs all the water and essential nutrients in order to produce excrement. Having absorbed enough for excrement production, our colon then contracts and pushes the waste down towards our rectum for a bowel movement.
However, if there isn’t enough water present in our system, the undigested waste food only moves slower. In this scenario, because of inadequate water, our colon absorbs more water from our cells causing the pathway to becoming dry in the process.
All this causes the stool to become hard, lumpy, and extremely difficult to move ultimately leading to one feeling constipated. To tackle these situations, one must drink enough water so as to ensure the food passes smoothly through the colon and have a regular bowel movement.
How much water should one drink in a day?
As we mentioned earlier, older adults don’t sense thirst the way they used to during their younger days. This can be a problem, especially for the ones on medications that are known for soaking up bodily fluids such as diuretics.
The 8-glass rule stands firm for both young and old adults. In case one is suffering from certain health conditions such as thyroid, kidney, liver, or heart problems, there is a high chance that their body will take in too much water.
This is because the medications prescribed for these conditions have a general ability to retain water. In simple words, there is no one standard measure to suggest how much water should one drink everyday. The intake is completely individualised. A visit to the doctor will be able to fixate on the right amount of water to consume every day.
The Bottom Line
Irrespective of the type of activity we perform, staying hydrated is key to each. Even a mild case of dehydration can have noticeable effects on both our mental as well as physical health. If one is looking to keep in top shape, then the first step to start with is by drinking enough water every day.
There are several reasons why water is always the best choice in the majority of situations. While too much caffeine can affect our sleep cycle, sugary drinks will only lead to inflammation and put us at risk for diabetes.
Drinking water gradually throughout the day helps ward off dehydration and the best way to do so is by including water with each meal and using it to down medicines. Note that one can also harness enough water through water-rich foods such as salads, fruits, applesauce, and so on.