Water. Did you know that our bodies are roughly 50% water and approximately 71% of our Earth’s surface is covered in water? It’s a pretty important liquid and there are several benefits associated with water. Unfortunately, most adults don’t drink enough each day and that can have some serious health effects.
It is recommended that adults drink at least 8 cups of water a day. If a cup is 8 oz, then it’s recommended we drink at least 64 oz a day. That can seem like a lot but there are several benefits of water that make it worth it to drink that much.
- Weight Loss
- Drinking more water every day can boost your metabolism and help you lose weight easier. In fact, drinking water can increase an individual’s metabolic rate by up to 30% if they are healthy. In addition to increasing metabolic rate, another benefit of water is that the more you drink, the less hungry you’ll be. It’s recommended to drink a glass or two of water 30 minutes before eating because you’ll feel more full and eat less.
- Protects Your Heart
- This is a benefit I wasn’t expecting but water has several benefits associated with heart health. In fact, those that drink at least 5 glasses a day are 41% less likely to die from a heart attack. That’s an impressive benefit. Also, drinking water can help prevent cancer. Staying hydrated can decrease your risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50%, and possibly even help prevent breast cancer.
- Prevents Headaches
- Another benefit of water is that drinking enough can help prevent headaches and migraines. My brother used to suffer from severe headaches almost daily. My mother told him to drink more water and eventually it worked. Moms always know best right? He has now gotten into a habit where he drinks 70 oz of water or more every day. I haven’t heard him complain of a headache, that wasn’t associated with another illness, since that time.
- Drinking enough water can actually make you more productive. Those who drink 10 cups of water a day can improve their cognitive performance by up to 30%. This comes in handy at work when you hit your afternoon slump. Try grabbing a bottle of water the next time you hit your 3’o clock crash. When I’m at work, I try to drink at least 4 17oz water bottles every day to keep me from crashing.
- On the opposite side, dehydration has side effects too. Even a 2% decrease in hydration can make it difficult to be productive. Dehydration is actually the most common form of fatigue and can cause short-term memory problems. In addition, it can make it difficult to concentrate on a computer screen or paper.
- Water also has the benefit of being relatively cheap, especially when bought in large cases. In contrast, soda and juices are more expensive and add up quickly. They also are not very good for you. Juice has nearly the same amount of sugar that soda does. So not only is water healthier, it’s also less expensive.
There are many health benefits of water but if you find it difficult to drink enough every day, try these tips.
- Have a glass of water with every meal.
- This doesn’t mean cut out all other beverages completely. Drink those sparingly but also have a glass of water in addition to your other beverages.
- Choose water that you’ll drink.
- I like the Dasani lemon and raspberry waters when I’m out running around. When I’m home, I like putting lemon or orange slices in my water overnight too.
- Keep a bottle close by.
- Take a water bottle with you in the car, leave one on your desk, and throw one in your purse. That way, when you’re thirsty, you’ll be reaching for the water bottle closest to you instead of tracking down a vending machine for a soda.