Every year this is on my resolution list. When I was pregnant with our first son, my doctor scolded me at every visit for always being dehydrated, so I put a bright green drinking cup by the refrigerator so that every time I passed by I would remember to drink a glass. The benefits of staying well hydrated are too numerous to count, but here are a few biggies:
1. Proper hydration keeps you healthier. Doctors agree that 6–7 glasses of water (approximately 2 liters) daily is the minimum to maintain proper hydration. Drinking plenty of water helps maintain your immune system to fight against flu and other ailments like kidney stones and heart attack. Water consumption helps to relieve headache and back pains caused by dehydration. Water helps to replenish skin tissue, moisturizes the skin, and increases skin elasticity keeping you younger-looking. Proper hydration helps keep your joints and muscles lubricated, so you are less likely to get cramps and sprains when exercising, and water helps to fuel your muscle tissue. Drinking water also regulates your body temperature.
2. Water helps you to lose weight and maintain healthy body weight. Drinking water raises your metabolism because it aids digestion. Fiber and water go hand in hand so that you can avoid constipation. Drinking water acts as an appetite suppressant, so you’ll eat less. Drinking water also helps you lose weight because it flushes out by-products of fat breakdown.
3. Drinking water can also improve cognitive function, which will make you more aware of your behaviors, potentially leading to healthier and safer decisions. The brain is composed mostly of water, thus drinking water helps you to concentrate, to maintain focus, and be more alert. Water is used by the body to help flush toxins out of the body. When your body is depleted of water, vital organs (like the heart) need to expend more energy to work properly. When your body is tired, so are you.
Our oldest son is now 26, and there is still a glass by the fridge!