How can staying hydrated benefit you?
Though most of us know that staying hydrated is vital to a healthy lifestyle, the many benefits of drinking enough water may surprise you. Staying hydrated can improve your performance in various ways, ranging from muscle recovery to improved mental clarity. Here is why drinking enough water each day should be a key part of your fitness journey:
Assists in Weight Management
Who doesn’t want a bit of help managing a healthy body weight? Keeping your body hydrated does just that. Fitness experts recommend drinking water with each meal because it helps suppress your appetite. Not only that, but people often mistake thirst for hunger pains. Water also helps the liver breakdown fats and toxins. The more hydrated you are, the more efficient your body runs. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can slow one’s metabolism down by 3%.
Aids in Digestion
Water helps your body absorb nutrients from the food you eat. It then assists in carrying those nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and proteins to their proper destinations. Another benefit, while it might seem contradictory, is that you may reduce bloating by drinking more water. This is because water helps flush gas-producing foods and keeps the digestive system moving by lubricating the digestive tract.
Increases Muscle Performance
Skeletal muscles are more than 70% water. Poor hydration deprives your muscles of electrolytes, which can cause cramps. It can also affect muscle response and strength of contractions. Water supports muscle growth in a variety of ways too. For instance, it helps form the structures of protein and glycogen which play key roles in muscle recovery. It also, as mentioned above, plays a part in getting your muscles the nutrients they need.
Healthy Joints and Skin
Water protects your joints by lubricating the cartilage between your bones. Likewise, it keeps your tissues strong and healthy. For example, drinking enough water has been shown to promote clear and resilient skin because it keeps your skin cells hydrated.
Being almost 80% water, your brain needs to be hydrated in order to perform at its best. You’ll need to drink plenty of water if you want to boost mental clarity, concentration, and creativity. Have a headache? Not drinking enough water causes the brain tissues to shrink, which can contribute to headaches. Try drinking more water next time you feel a headache coming on.
Other Health Benefits
Every cell in our body needs water in order to live. It helps our bodies maintain heart and lung function, regulates body temperature, and much more. It really is important to drink enough water every day!
So... How much water should I drink a day?
The general standard is to drink at least 64 ounces a day, but some studies recommend that you drink even more than that. This is especially true if you are active and sweating throughout the day. That said, the best tool you have is your own body. Pay attention if it tells you that it’s thirsty. Try your best to stay a few steps ahead of dehydration. And remember: all things in moderation!