As a young 20 year old I find myself very fortunate to have learned the value of water. Rewind nearly 3 years to my senior season of high school wrestling and it was a very different story. I found myself constantly fatigued, cramping and even passing out at the end of practice. The belief that I could deprive my body of water came back to haunt me and led to poor performance and injury.
The story gets much better as time goes on! Now I am an active, healthy young man who coaches high school wrestling. I attribute a lot of my success and gains in fitness to keeping my body hydrated. I’m very grateful to have learned the true value of water, regardless of whether one chooses to be extremely active or not. With our bodies made up of nearly 60% water it only makes sense to drink a lot of the good stuff!
I’d love to share four of the most important reasons for keeping your body hydrated. Hopefully these different benefits that water has to offer will convince an unwary individual to pass on the soda in favor of some nice, cold H2O.
- Water Keeps Everything Running Smoothly
Like oil to a car, water is one of the critical catalysts that keep all our body systems running effectively. Studies have shown a wide range of benefits from drinking water including speeding up your metabolism, maintaining body temperature, lubricating the joints and cleaning the body of toxins. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work correctly! That is why it is so critical you get the correct amount each and every day. According to the Mayo Clinic, males should be drinking roughly 13 cups of water a day while women should get 9 cups. Strive to put that much water into your body throughout the day and you will notice a difference in how you feel.
- Water Can Improve Living Conditions
A new study led by Coleen Muñoz, and to be published in Appetite recruited 120 healthy female college students who documented everything they ate and drank for five days, and filled well-respected mood questionnaires. The researchers calculated the water intake from all sources (food and drink), and controlled for known factors that affect mood, such as exercise and caffeine. All the participants were on oral contraceptives, so that fluctuations in hormonal levels would be less of a factor. The results were quite compelling! Researchers found that as more water was consumed, mood also improved. Depression, tension, and confusion scores all decreased as participants drank more water. So next time you’re not feeling your best grab a glass of water!
- Water is Simply One of the Healthiest Options
Don’t be led astray by the countless hydration options that exist today. Just because a drink has the best packaging, flavor, or color doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best choice. In fact, a lot of the added sugars and sodium in energy drinks can actually counteract the hydrating effect that water has. Not to mention if they are consumed in excess this can lead to health complications. Obviously sports and recovery drinks have their place, but water will never contain any extra artificial ingredients. It is the most natural alternative with a proven track record.
- Dehydration Can Confuse the Body
It is very easy to mistake hunger for thirst because the adult thirst mechanism is weak. The sensation of thirst can easily persuade the body into thinking it needs food when it is actually asking for water. The symptoms of dehydration (e.g., feeling weak and dizzy) mimic those of hunger which further contributes to people’s confusion between the two signals. In order to prevent a larger consumption of calories due to “phantom hunger” make sure to drink early and often. By the time you feel thirsty you are already somewhat dehydrated!
Water plays such a pivotal role in overall wellness! Staying hydrated is a massive towards taking charge of your health. Set aside the latest fad drink and go back to our roots with cold water. Who knew it had so many amazing benefits!