Benefits of Drinking Water for Skin, Digestion, Weight & More
Updated: 3 days ago
July 8, 2020
We all know that we should drink “enough water” — but what are the benefits of drinking water exactly?
Staying hydrated is important for electrolyte balance, supports digestion, allows our bodies to disperse nutrients, and helps maintain normal functioning of our cardiovascular and immune systems. In fact, just about every organ and system in our bodies depends upon water to do its job.
If you’re guilty of needing to up your water intake, rest assured that drinking water is pretty simple once you make a few changes.
How much water should you drink a day? Find out below, along with tips for squeezing more water into your diet and routine to take advantage of the benefits of drinking water.
Benefits of Drinking Water
What happens to your body when you drink a lot of water? The human body is made up of between 55 percent and 75 percent water, depending on one’s age. (In infants, water accounts for a higher percentage of body weight compared to in older adults.)
Water is needed for some of the following essential functions:
Nutrient and oxygen transportation
Temperature regulation (although we need to drink plenty of water no matter the temperature outside)
Normalization of blood pressure and stabilization of heartbeats
Removal of waste and bacteria from the body
Digestive processes, including forming stools and producing bowel movements
Repairing muscles and cushioning joints
What are the benefits of drinking water? Here are some of the reasons it should be your main beverage of choice:
1. Prevents Dehydration
Drinking water is the No. 1 way to prevent and diminish dehydration symptoms — which can include poor concentration, fatigue, low energy during workouts, headaches, weakness, low blood pressure and dizziness (not to mention hangovers).
By consuming enough fluids, studies suggest you’ll help prevent mood swings, lack of focus and even problems memorizing new information. This has big payoffs when it comes to multiple facets or your life, including when you’re at work, the gym, school, etc.
Elderly adults need to be especially careful about avoiding dehydration, since many older people don’t have a strong sense of thirst — plus some may take medications that can increase fluid loss.
In addition to drinking water, aim to consumer other electrolytes too (magnesium, calcium, potassium and sodium) by eating a healthy diet. If you’re an athlete or work out intensely, it’s even more critical to prevent fatigue and dizziness.
2. Supports Digestion and Detoxification
When it comes to digestive health, why is it good to drink water? Your kidneys and liver require water to clean your blood, produce urine and help your body to get rid of waste.
Increased water intake can also help prevent development of kidney stones.
You also need to be stay hydrated when sick in order to overcome the illness, since your body needs water to produce snot and phlegm, which are beneficial because they carry white blood cells and germs out of your diet.
When you drink water (and eat fiber), you’re less likely to deal with constipation and diarrhea, which can be worsened in some cases by dehydration. In addition to eating high-fiber foods, up your water intake in order to “keep things moving” and help you stay regular.
3. Keeps Calorie Intake in Check
One of the benefits of drinking water over soda, juices and other sugary drinks is that it’s one of the easiest ways to avoid consuming excess calories. Sugary drinks can increase your risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even some types of cancer, so avoiding them should be one of the first steps you take in order to improve your health.
4. May Help Control Hunger and Support Weight Loss
One “mini review” published in the journal Frontiers found evidence from human and animal studies that “increased hydration leads to body weight loss, mainly through a decrease in feeding, and a loss of fat, through increased lipolysis.” In other words, your body may burn more calories when you drink lots of water due to the positive effects it has on your metabolism and possibly energy expenditure.
Water from beverages and foods also takes up room in your stomach and can make you feel fuller. Foods with a high water content tend to be low in calories and often high in volume and fiber. (Think melon, apples, tomatoes and most other fruits and veggies.)
5. Improves the Appearance of Your Skin, Eyes and Hair
To make your skin glow, your eyes look brighter and your hair shinier, drink up. Dehydration can lead to bloodshot eyes, dried and lackluster skin, and brittle/weak hair.
How Much You Should Drink
How much water should you drink a day? While “eight glasses per day” has been the standard recommendation for adults for some years, the actual amount that you need depends on factors like your body size, activity level, age, diet, and how much alcohol, coffee and other drinks you consume.
Because not everyone agrees about how much water you should drink each day, here are recommendations from a few major health authorities:
The Institute of Medicine recommends between nine and 13 cups per day for adults.
Harvard Medical School tells us that four to six cups is a standard recommendation for generally healthy people.
Studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health suggest between six and 10 cups per day is adequate.
Here are some tips for getting into the habit of drinking more water:
Start your day with a big glass. Before having coffee or eating breakfast, down some water to get things moving. When you drink water in the morning you start off the right foot, giving your body H2O that it needs aft