BY DANA REYNOLDS – STAFF WRITER
We’re told to drink more water all the time, but what are the health benefits of doing so? In order for your body to function properly, it’s important that you stay hydrated. However, the myth of drinking eight cups of day may not be necessary; the daily recommended amount of water varies and is dependent on how active you are and how much you sweat.
In a study carried out by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), out of 3,397 adults, they found that seven percent of their sample consumed zero cups of water a day. This can have serious effects on your health. Within your body, water is needed to regulate a number of physiological processes and biochemical reactions, included but not limited to: blood circulation, metabolism, body temperature, and waste removal.
Truth is, if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated! In addition to thirst, some signs that you may be dehydrated include: fatigue and/or dizziness, mood swings, muscle cramps, dark concentrated urine, bad breath, sugar cravings, chills, headaches, constipation, and back/joint ache.
Featured below is a list of health benefits that result from drinking more water:
- Less Stress: By sipping water regularly, you can reduce your stress levels. If you are dehydrated, you are adding more stress to your mind and body—since about 70 to 80 percent of your brain tissue is composed of water.
- Boost in Energy: Dehydration causes tiredness. By adding more water into your bloodstream, you are helping your heart pump blood more effectively. Water may be the pick-me-up that you need. Senior Glenn Bortolus said drinking regularly makes him feel more awake. “I drink about 10 cups of water a day,” said Bortolus, “I started doing this about a year ago. I wouldn’t say that I have more energy, but I feel more awake.”
- Lose Weight: If you are trying to lose weight, adding more water to your diet will help. It revs up your metabolism and prevents you from consuming more. An extra tip: drink ice-cold water; your body has to work to warm the water up therefore burning a few calories in the process.
- Nourish your skin: If you are dehydrated, fine lines and wrinkles are more noticeable. Drinking more water will hydrate your skin cells and make you look younger. It also improves the color and texture of skin.
- Prevent Cancer. This may be surprising, but drinking water reduces your risk for colon cancer by 45 percent, bladder cancer by 50 percent, and there is some research that indicates it prevents breast cancer as well.
Now that we know all the benefits here is what you can do: (1) Make sure that you carry a water bottle with you to remind yourself to keep drinking water, (2) eat lots of fruits and vegetables—which are dense in water, and (3) try to drink half of your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. So if you are feeling stressed or tired, drink more water, it will help!