Everyone knows about water. You know it covers about 3/4 of the planet, you know you have to drink it to live and you probably know that your body is composed of about 60% water. Once we get past the obvious facts about water, what else do you know about it? Well if you answered that question by scratching your head, hopefully the list below will expand your knowledge about water. Water and when you drink is important for good health. There are several healthy benefits of drinking water but I have narrowed the list to ten in no particular order, let's get to the list.
1) Fights Muscle Fatigue: When muscle cells don't have adequate fluid balance they can get tired easily. Two hours before exercise be sure to drink 2-4 8 oz. cups of water to hydrate muscles. Additionally, during your workout, drink water regularly.
2) Promotes Healthy Looking Skin: Dehydration is contributor to dry and wrinkled skin. Skin needs plenty of moisture to stay healthy so be sure to drink enough water every day.
3) Helps Maintain Bowel Function: Not drinking enough water can cause your digestive system to take water from your stool which can result in constipation. Remember, waste elimination is important for good health and in order to have a #2 regularly you need to drink enough water.
4) Controls Calories: When you drink water, you feel fuller increasing the likelihood that you will say no to dessert. Also, water in place of beverages full of sugar can drastically cut your daily calorie intake. So if you are trying to lose weight, drink water.
5) Contributes to Better Brain Function: The brain is about 75-78% water. Therefore, a dehydrated brain is a sloooooooooow functioning brain. For good work, school, and general performance drink water.
6) Keeps Blood Flowing: Vitamins, minerals, hormones, infection fighting cells, oxygen, etc. are all carried by blood. Keeping the flow of all of those properties keeps are cells healthy and helps keep the time we are ill to a minimum. Side Note* healthy hormone flow is also important for a healthy sex life. Check out my post about how better health leads to better sex for more.
7) Reduces Strains, Sprains, and Cramps: Properly lubricated (hydrated) muscles, joints, and ligaments are less likely to experience an injury than non-lubricated (dehydrated) one's. Drinking enough water keep all our moving parts pliable decreasing the risk of injury.
8) Helps Eliminate Toxins/Keeps Kidneys Functioning Properly: The way your body eliminates liquid waste is through proper kidney function. When drink enough water the kidneys keep as much water in the body as possible while sending the rest of it and waste to our bladder for elimination. Drinking plenty of water=healthy kidneys=plenty of pee=plenty of waste elimination.
9) Maintains a Healthy pH Balance: Your body needs to keep a pH of somewhere around 7.3, 7.4 to function properly A pH in this range means your body is slightly alkaline. If your pH becomes too acidic, you can be at a higher risk for becoming ill. Foods and beverages like dairy, alcohol, red meat, and refined sugars all contribute to a more acidic pH.
10) Keeps you Feeling Good: Since you know that your body and all its organs are all composed of water you definitely need to drink enough function properly. When all of your organs and organ systems are working well, you are healthy, and normally when you are healthy, you feel good.
Finally, here are the best times to drink water and why.
When you first wake: It gets the body prepared for the day and kicks on all the body systems like a light switch. It can also increase urine production helping to eliminate more toxins.
Before you eat: This will help digestion run more smoothly and will also make it less likely that you overeat.
Before and after exercise: Obviously when you workout you sweat and sweat contains water. In order to maintain proper hydration drink water before, during, and after a workout.
Outside of drinking more water, other tips for increasing your daily water intake include eating more fruits and vegetables, carrying water with you, drinking carbonated water, or just drinking beverages that taste good to you (does not include alcohol, soda, and other sugary drinks)