Drinking enough fluids is vital to staying healthy and maintaining the function of virtually every system in your body. This includes your heart, brain, digestion, muscles, circulation, the creation of saliva, the transportation of nutrients, as well as helping to maintain body temperature.
Fluids carry necessary nutrients to all of your cells, they flush bacteria from your bladder and prevent constipation. Proper hydration has the ability to reduce fatigue, improve your endurance and even lower your heart rate.
Health Benefits Of Proper Hydration
- Improves Brain Function And Mood. Your brain is strongly influenced by its hydration situation. Blood flow to the brain is directed by our blood pressure which is linked to the amount of water that we drink. Without good hydration, our blood pressure can decrease for periods of time, which reduces the blood flow to the brain. Drinking enough water can also make us feel more refreshed and it can improve our state of mind. Mild dehydration has the risk of negatively impacting moods.
- Improves Endurance And Fights Fatigue. Water intake is an essential part of any workout, and it becomes even more important to prevent dehydration when enduring longer workouts. Water combined with electrolytes assists in maintaining fluid balance, aiding your athletic performance and hampers post-exercise fatigue and exhaustion.
- Proper Digestive Health. Simply put, your digestive tract needs water in order to function properly and move the food waste through the body. Dehydration will often cause chronic constipation, when you have dehydrated your stools become drier, harder and much more challenging to pass.
- Promotes cardiovascular health. Dehydration can lower blood volume which can make your heart muscle work harder in order to pump and to carry enough oxygen to your cells. This ultimately can make normal daily activities more challenging.
- Assists Muscles And Joints. When the body is sufficiently hydrated, then cells can grant adequate nutrients and remove waste function properly, and ultimately your performance improves. Cells that are not able to maintain the balance of fluids and electrolytes can shrivel and muscle fatigue is often the outcome. Water is also necessary for the lubrication of our joints.
- Boosts Immunity. Our immune system is more than simply our antibodies. Any barrier to the outside world can be considered an important part of our immune system function. Being appropriately hydrated ensures the sufficient production of saliva and also keeps our skin from getting dry as well. Saliva is important as it has the capacity to trap potential pathogens and destroy them before they enter the body.
- Cleanses The Body. Your kidneys require water to filter the waste from the blood and then excrete it in the urine. Maintaining hydration may also aid in preventing urinary infections and kidney stones.
- Spinal Health. The vertebrae of your spine harbor a little disc that has a big responsibility. This disc that is between the vertebrae helps to absorb shock on your spine and also helps to shield your back from the damage done from daily wear and tear. Your discs are made to lose water and then rehydrate themselves because the movement of your spine and gravity causes the water to flow through your spine and then be reabsorbed by the discs. If not enough water is available for the discs to absorb what they’ve lost, then it can’t function as it was meant to.
Tips to increase your fluid intake and gain the benefits of water:
- Consume fluids before you are feeling thirsty. At the time that you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. It is helpful to look at the color of your urine as an indicator to know if you are drinking adequate amounts of fluid. Urine that is a pale yellow color is best.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. The high water content in fruits and vegetables will add to your hydration. Approximately 20% of our fluid intake actually is derived from foods.
- Have a bottle of fresh water within reach. Try to choose reusable bottles, and be sure they are BPA-free.
- Drink a water-based beverage with each snack and meal.
- Decide on beverages you enjoy drinking, you’re likely to drink more liquids if you enjoy the way they taste.
- Track your intake. When you Visualize your intake of fluids on paper or by using an app on a device, it can help motivate you to maintain necessary fluid requirements.
- If you gravitate toward drinking caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, and sodas), try to alternate decaffeinated beverages throughout the day. Caffeinated beverages and alcohol are diuretics, these increase the removal of water from the body rather than hydrating it.
The benefits of hydration are quite plentiful as mentioned in the examples listed above. Remaining hydrated has the ability to give you more energy, improve your cardiovascular health and will even help you fight off your next cold.
Don’t put off drinking fluids until you notice the symptoms of dehydration to take action. Water makes up more than half of your body weight so choose to actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.