You might have heard the saying “humans are 60% water”. There’s an important reason for that. Water is a critical element to the functioning of the human body, the hidden benefits of drinking water including everything from helping carry oxygen to maintaining body temperature. With so many important functions, it’s no wonder that people keep telling you to drink more water.
You might have heard the advice, but do you follow it? It can be hard to do so, especially when you are buried in work. That’s why we want to take five minutes of your time to explain the hidden benefits of drinking water. We’ve also got some useful tips to help you drink more water if you keep forgetting to!
Water and the Body
Did you know your blood is 98% water? That figure is proof of just how vital water is to our bodily functions. Our kidneys are in charge of regulating the water content in our body. When you have below the required amount, the thirst mechanism kicks in.
Here are just 5 critical functions of water in the human body:
- It is a medium for biochemical reactions
- It helps absorb nutrients in the digestive system
- It helps transport chemicals around the body
- It regulates body temperature through sweating
- It helps remove waste material in the form of urine.
If you do not get sufficient water in your system, you will start to feel dehydrated, I.e. your body loses more water than it takes in. Dehydration can also be a result of illness’ like diabetes or heatstroke. You could also be dehydrated due to over consumption of alcohol, vomiting and excess sweating.
10 Hidden Benefits of Drinking Water
- Joint Lubrication: Cartilage, the substance found in joints consists up to 80% of water. That is to help with shock-absorption and the smooth movement of the joints. Water acts like a lubricant, like how hinges around your house require oil. Without adequate water, the joints are unable to move freely, leading to frequent joint pain and wear and tear.
- Saliva & Mucus Formation: Saliva plays an important role in the mouth. It prevents bad breath, prevents tooth decay and helps chew and swallow food. Similarly, mucus provides a protective coating to your respiratory and digestive system. Without it, the surfaces would crack, allowing deadly diseases to enter your body.
- Healthy Skin: Want a glowing look of film stars? The secret is to drink plenty of water. Without water, your skin cells become dry and start to crack, leading to issues like acne and wrinkles. It also helps decrease the oil content in your skin.
- Keeps You Cool: Drink more water to keep yourself cool, especially in the summer. Due to the heat, your body sweats, I.e., loses water. That process cools down the body’s temperature. To ensure you don’t dehydrate, drink more water in the summer.
- Improved Brain Functions: Water gives the brain the electrical energy needed for all functions like thought and memory process. Having enough water will allow you to think more faster, be more focused and experience greater clarity.
- Exercise Better: Water helps absorb the heat produced by your muscles when you exercise. Water also ensures your muscles get enough blood and oxygen, otherwise you could end up with painful cramps. Stop your workouts and drink more water, your body needs it!
- Control Blood Pressure: Remember we said blood is 98% water? There’s a reason for that. Water enables the blood to be in a liquid state, thus flowing around the body freely. Without enough water, your blood becomes more thicker which can increase blood pressure. Want to avoid heart issues? Just drink more water!
- Absorb More Nutrients: When you eat, the nutrients in your food get dissolved in water. With the help of blood, these nutrients can be carried around the body. Without enough water, these nutrients could be lost.
- Improved Digestion: Your digestive system needs water to properly process waste. Long term dehydration leads to issues like acidity and constipation. It is also vital to ensure you drink more water when suffering from diarrhea, as it leads to more water loss.
- Breathe Better: Water helps regulate the mucus lining in your respiratory system. Too thin, and you could expose yourself to diseases. Too thick and your airways become restricted, reducing the amount of air you can take in.
How to Get the Benefits of Drinking Water
It’s not easy to remind yourself to drink more water. Here are a few tips that can help-
- Keep a Bottle: Keep a bottle at your desk and refill it regularly. Aim to finish 5-6 1 liter bottles each day.
- Flavor: If plain old water isn’t tasty enough, add a slice of lemon or lime.
- Drink When Hungry: Craving chocolate? Drink water instead, as thirst is often confused with hunger.
- Reminder Apps: There is no shortage of apps to remind you if you forget to drink water. Or sometimes, a good old sticky note will also do!
- Go for Alternatives: Water is found in other sources like soup, juices, milk, and herbal teas.
- Cut Down: Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake. It can lead to greater dehydration.
We hope you find these tips useful! Follow Onsurity on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for more useful health tips. If you are an SME or startup, use Onsurity to give your team employee healthcare benefits they will love to use.