Our bodies are around 60% water, give or take. It is commonly recommended to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule). Although there is little science behind this specific rule, staying hydrated is important.
1. Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids.
Your body is composed of 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 fluids, the brain triggers the body’s thirst mechanism. And unless you are taking medications that make you thirsty, you should listen to those cues and get yourself a drink of water, juice, milk, coffee.
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 with weight loss is if you choose water or a non-caloric beverage over a caloric beverage and/or eat a diet higher in water-rich foods that are healthier, more filling, and help you trim calorie intake.
Food with high 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 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- hydrationto 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.
4. Water Prevents Headaches.
Regularly sipping water can reduce the severity of headaches and migraines, reducing the need for tablets. Scientists found drinking around seven glasses a day was enough to ease pain and improve the quality of life in patients who regularly suffer headaches.
Next time you have a headache, you might be better off leaving the painkillers in the packet and just drinking a glass of water.
5. It keeps you Alert at Work
Dehydration is the single most common cause of daytime fatigue, so if your afternoon slump is more like a desperate need for an afternoon nap, guzzle a glass of water. It can also make you better at your job, or at least prevent you from being bad at a it—just a two percent dehydration level can trigger short-term memory problems and difficulty focusing on a computer screen or printed page.