WHY DRINK MORE WATER?
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.
Fluid losses occur continuously from skin evaporation, breathing, urine and stool and these losses must be replaced daily for good health.
1. Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids
Your body is composed about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients and maintenance of body temperature.
Through the posterior pituitary gland your brain communicates with your kidneys and tells it how much water to excrete as urine, or hold onto for reserves.
When you're low on fluid, the brain triggers the body's thirst mechanism, and unless you are taking medications that make you thirsty you should listen to those clues and get yourself a glass of water.
2. Water can help control calories
For years dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn't have any magical effect on weight loss substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help.
What works well with weight loss is if you choose water or non-caloric beverage over a caloric beverage and/or eat a higher in water-rich foods that are healthier, more filling, and help you trim calorie intake.
Food with higher water content tends to look larger, its higher volume requires more chewing, and it is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel full. Water- rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.
3. Water helps energize muscles
Cells that don't maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue.
When muscles cells don't have adequate fluids, they don't work as well and performance can suffer.
Drinking enough fluids is important when exercising. It is recommended that people start drinking fluids early during exercise, and drink them at regular intervals to replace fluids lost by sweating.
4. Water helps keep skin looking good
Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. But don't expect over-hydration to erase wrinkles or fine lines.
Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration. But once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluids.
You can also help lock moisture into your skin by using moisturizer, which creates a physical barrier to keep moisture in.
5. 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 do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate.
When you're getting enough fluids, urine flows freely, is light in color and free of odor. When your body is not getting enough fluids, urine concentration, color, and odor increases because the kidney trap extra fluid for bodily functions.
If you chronically drink too little, you may be at higher risk for kidney stones, especially in warm climates.
6. Water helps maintain normal bowel function
Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation.
When you don't get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration and the result is constipation.
Adequate fluid and fiber is the perfect combination, because the fluid pumps up the fiber and acts like a broom to keep your bowel functioning properly.
Copyright WebMD LLC