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The {Many} Health Benefits of Water

In the United States, water is the second most popular drink. What’s first? You guessed it. Soft drinks. We need a perspective shift on the importance of drinking water for our bodies and overall health!

Glass of water on nature background

Joan Koelemay, RD, dietitian for the Beverage Institute states, “Think of water as a nutrient your body needs that is present in liquids, plain water, and foods. All of these are essential daily to replace the large amounts of water lost each day.”

Check out these health benefits of water:

  • Drinking water helps maintain the balance of fluids in the body.
    • Your body is composed of approximately 60% water. These bodily fluids aid in digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. When you’re low on fluids, your brain triggers the body’s thirst mechanism. Pay close attention to this signal and be sure to drink some water when it’s triggered (and preferably before it’s triggered!).
  • Water can help control calories. 
    • Unfortunately, drinking water doesn’t have some magical effect on weight loss. However, choosing water over a caloric or non-caloric beverage can aid in weight loss! Even those zero-calorie soft drinks are diminishing your weight loss efforts.
  • Water helps energize muscles.
    • Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, resulting in muscle fatigue. When your muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids, they can’t work or perform as well as they should. Drinking enough fluids when exercising is incredibly important. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking about 17 ounces of fluid about two hours before exercise, and then during a workout drink fluids at regular intervals to help replace the fluids lost by sweating.
  • Water helps skin look good.
    • Your skin contains plenty of water and is a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, so drink up for a more youthful appearance.
  • Water helps your kidneys.
    • Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine. Your kidneys cleanse and rid your body of toxins so long as your intake of fluids is adequate! If you’re dehydrated, urine concentration, color, and odor increases because the kidneys trap any extra fluid they can for bodily functions. If you’re consistently drinking too little water, you’re at a higher risk of kidney stones, which are fun for no one.

How can you make drinking enough water each day a little more exciting? Add some flavor (fruits make an excellent, healthy way to do so!) to you H20, get a fun water bottle to take with you wherever you go, or even use an app to keep you accountable with your water intake! Drink to your health!