Your body is made up of up to 60-65% water. So drinking enough H2O is crucial for your health. If you want an easier time losing weight, have better workouts, and more energy. Then you need to be drinking enough. Here are 7 of the best health benefits of drinking water.
1. Increased Physical Performance
If you’re dehydrated your performance can take a big hit. If you lose as little as 2% of your body’s water weight your performance can be affected. And can result in:
- Increased fatigue.
- Reduced motivation.
- A harder time mustering up enough physical and mental energy to perform your workout.
It’s worth noting that it’s fairly common for athletes to lose 6-10% of their body’s water weight through sweating.
And that’s why it’s extremely important that you hydrate before, during, and after your workout.
A good way to determine if you’re dehydrated or not is by looking at the colour of your urine.
If your urine is a dark yellow colour and it smells foul, then you’re dehydrated.
The reason your urine goes this colour and smells when you’re dehydrated is because your kidneys hold on to water so that the rest of your body can use it. Instead of excreting it.
Whereas if your urine was a light yellow or watery colour you would be hydrated.
If your performance in the weight room or in general, has been sub-par. Make sure you’re hydrated. And I guarantee you’ll have more productive workouts.
2. Helps With Weight Loss
Drinking enough water can increase feelings of fullness. For example, this one study used two different groups of people.
- One group ate in a calorie deficit and drank 500ml of water before each meal.
- Another group ate in a calorie deficit and didn’t drink any water before their meals.
The results showed that after 12 weeks, the group of individuals who drank water before their meals lost 2kg more than the group who didn’t.
If you drink water before your meals. You’ll feel fuller. This will result in you eating fewer calories.
This is an easy weight loss hack that you can use to make dieting a tad easier.
3. Increased Energy Levels, Cognitive Function And Mood
It’s not just food that affects your mood, energy levels and cognitive function. Your hydration status does as well.
Studies show that mild dehydration which is a loss of around 1-3% of your body weight can reduce many aspects of the way your brain functions.
If you don’t hydrate after exercise (and in general) this 2013 study shows that in women if they lose 1.4% of their body’s fluid intake they’ll experience:
- Increased frequency of headaches.
- A decrease in concentration & mood.
And a similar study in men where a loss of 1.6% of their body’s fluid intake resulted in:
- Increased feeling’s of anxiety & fatigue.
- Decreased working memory.
So if you want to reverse these unsavoury consequences of not drinking enough.
Then just drink more water. You’ll feel sharper, happier, and everything will be easier.
4. Healthy Kidneys
If you’re dehydrated then your urine will be a dark colour and it’ll have a repulsive smell. This can cause a build-up of acids and wastes in your body.
This can clog your kidneys with muscle proteins called myoglobin. Which can hurt the kidneys
Whereas if you drink enough water, kidney stones are less likely to occur.
Kidney stones form less easily when you drink enough water. This ensures that the stone forming crystals don’t stick together. And result in kidney stones in the first place.
If your urine is always a nasty colour. Time to drink up
5. Helps Prevent Hangovers
Most of the nasty symptoms of a hangover are down to one culprit – Dehydration.
This means that when you drink alcohol you pee out more water than you take in.
These effects are more pronounced when a drink has a higher percentage of alcohol. For example, spirits and wine act as more of a diuretic than beer because they contain more alcohol.
But one easy way to help prevent hangovers is to drink water in between alcoholic beverages.
For example, if for every alcoholic drink you also drink a pint of water. And if you have another couple of glasses of water before you go to sleep and get up in the morning. This should result in you being pretty much hangover free.
6. Aiding Digestion And Preventing Constipation
Water and other fluids play a part in breaking down food. This helps your body absorb the nutrients from the foods you eat.
Drinking enough water softens your stool and this can help prevent you from becoming constipated.
7. A Healthy Heart
By staying hydrated your heart can do its job more smoothly. When you drink enough water your heart can pump blood with greater ease.
This means that your muscles will be able to work more optimally. And will result in you having better workouts.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Water Should I Drink?
A: You can use the simple method of looking at the colour of your urine. If it’s a darkish colour and it smells revolting then you’re dehydrated and not drinking enough.
Although if it’s a light yellow, or see through colour you’re hydrated. I have a full article here that you can read that adresses this question in detail.
Can I Tell If I’m Dehydrated By Monitoring My Thirst?
A: Common advice is to drink when you’re thirsty and don’t drink when you’re not. In fact, when you’re thirsty you might already be dehydrated. And by this point, you could already have lost around 1-2% of your body’s water content.
When you lose this much water you start to experience undesirable consequences which include:
Because thirst isn’t a good indicator of your hydration status. It’s a good idea to drink before you’re thirsty. This way you don’t allow yourself to become dehydrated.
Can I Drink Too Much Water?
A: Yes you can. You can develop a potentially fatal condition called hyponatremia. This is a condition where you have a low sodium concentration in your blood.
Although I wouldn’t worry too much about this because you’ll need to make a real effort to drink enough water to develop this condition.
Tips So You Can Get More Health Hacking H2O
Eat Your Water By Eating More Fruits And Vegetables Specifically One’s Such As:
- Melons like, honeydew, watermelon or cantaloupe.
- Bell Peppers.
You get up to 20% of your fluid intake from food. So if you want to increase your fluid intake. Swap out some highly processed foods with the ones listed above.
Drink More Hot Drinks
You could drink fruit teas, green teas, black coffee or any other hot drinks you like.
Although I like to limit my caffeinated drinks such as coffee to a maximum of 3-4 cups per day. And if you’re caffeine-sensitive this wouldn’t be such a bad idea for you to do either.
But make sure that any hot drinks you consume are relatively low in calories. Because drinking your calories is nowhere near as filling as eating them. Especially if your goal is weight loss.
It’s been said that caffeinated drinks (like coffee) dehydrate you. But the truth is they don’t. For the most part, they’re made up of mostly water and will count towards your daily fluid intake.
This is the same with diet drinks and even full-sugar sodas. The majority of their contents is water. So they count towards your fluid intake as well. Although full-sugar sodas will contain extra calories because of the added sugar.
The Bottom Line On The Health Benefits Of Drinking Enough Water Every Day
- Drinking enough water has many benefits that come together to improve your overall health.
- Although drinking enough water is one of the basic things you need to get right to improve your health. The average person in the UK only drinks 1.7 litres per day which is below the basic recommended guidelines of 2.5 litres for men and 2 litres for women. Although most people who are active and who regularly resistance train could benefit from drinking more water than this.
Are you drinking enough water? let me know in the comments below. If you want to ask me any questions or need any extra help send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading.