It is the second most necessary element of life after oxygen but do we really know how good water is for our body?
So, let’s have a look at some facts and myths about water for our health.
For starters, did you know that 60% of our body contains water? In some parts like the brain this percentage goes up to 85%.
This helps us understand why even a little dehydration can affect our body´s functions negatively.
Health Benefits of Drinking Water
Water has numerous benefits for our body. It transfers nutrients and oxygen to the body cells, it helps toxins to be removed and dissolved, it controls our body temperature as well as blood pressure, protects our inner organs and tissues, prevents kidney diseases, works as a lubricant for our joints and is the basic element of our body´s secretions such as saliva and tears.
But let’s see some other health benefits of water that you might not know.
A surprising fact about water is that one of the reasons that we most of the times eat more than what we need is thirst. That means that in our desire to reduce thirst and without realizing it, we eat, which obviously apart from water can load us with some useless calories.
It is said that people who drink 2 glasses of water before meals lose weight more easily, possibly because the body uses more energy during digestion. Also, it seems that water consumption before eating creates a feeling of fullness that leads us to eating less since we feel full sooner than if we hadn’t drunk any water.
More Clear and Balanced Skin
Water is valuable to the body’s process of detoxification. Less toxins in the organism means a more clear, bright looking and balanced skin which is resistant to blemishes.
Another important benefit of water for the skin is to hold in moisture. Especially if we consider that the ability of the skin to hold water in its tissues becomes weaker and weaker as the time passes, then it is understood how vital water is for keeping skin hydrated and therefore more resistant to aging.
Although bad and good cholesterol is necessary for our body functioning systems, a high cholesterol can put heart into danger. Dehydration can lead to an increased cholesterol production, so it is understood how important drinking water is for controlling cholesterol levels in the blood.
Feeling more Energetic
Dehydration is a common reason of fatigue which affects metabolism negatively. A metabolism that doesn’t work properly, hinders the organism from producing energy, which can make us feel tired and with less energy. Athletes might know more than anyone else how dehydration can affect their body’s energy levels.
Dealing with Constipation
Some glasses of water can actually help with constipation since water boosts bowel movement and that has positive results.
Myths about Drinking Water
Water Hinders Digestion
There are a lot of people who think that water hinders digestion and there is a real confusion about it. Years ago, for example, I remember being advised that I shouldn’t drink water during meals and alternatively drink some just before starting to eat.
As we said before, water can make you feel full more quickly but it can no way hinder digestion. So, it doesn’t dilute the gastric juices that are necessary for digestion and it moves straight to the bowel to be absorbed there.
We Daily Need 8 Glasses of Water
This is probably the most popular myth about water intake. Based on this, we may assume that a marathon runner, a camel rider in Sahara desert and a couch potato all need the same amount of daily water intake, right?
Our daily water needs are according to certain factors such as weight, age, physical activity and weather conditions but lifestyle choices can also affect the amount of water we need every day.
Our general health condition can often increase water needs like in cases of fever, vomiting and diarrhea or in case of people who are susceptible to kidney stones. Children and people who have a diet rich in whole grains also seem to drink more water.
In conclusion, water benefits for general health are indisputable, and the above facts and myths about drinking water may have helped you realize more about how important it is to daily get an adequate amount of good quality water.