Hydration Health: 5 Surprising Benefits
Do you struggle with fatigue, skin breakouts or bloating?
You may be dehydrated.
We all know our bodies are comprised almost entirely of water. However, even though this vital nutrient is a main contributor to our overall health, many people don’t consume nearly enough. How common a problem is dehydration? “Estimates are that 75% of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration. This is alarming since proper hydration is required for maintaining healthy blood flow, proper kidney function, proper sodium/potassium /electrolyte balance and proper digestive functions.”
Achieving enhanced health could be a simple as making a small change. Watch your mind and body transform as you intake more water. Here are some benefits you’ll encounter:
- Reduced Fatigue
Although water isn’t considered a macronutrient that provides energy directly (like carbohydrates and fat do), water is the medium in which all chemical reactions in the body take place. This includes energy creation and metabolism. Enough water in our bodies allows for optimal functioning of our bodily systems, energizes us, and keeps us going.
Health Tip: If you’re feeling groggy in the morning or in a slump mid-afternoon at work, reach for a glass of pure, cold water rather than a coffee, energy drink or soda. Your body requires a greater expenditure of energy to process water cooler than your natural temperature (98.6F). Your increased metabolic rate will wake you up in a more gentle, natural way compared to stimulants or sugar.
- Healthier Skin
Your skin is the largest organ in the body, and just like your other organs, skin cells are largely composed of water. Because elasticity, luster and resilience depend on water, your skin may become dull, wrinkled and dry if it’s dehydrated.
Health Tip: Skin hydration can occur from both external and internal health habits. Keep your skin hydrated by either applying a moisturizer (external) or increasing your daily water intake (internal).
- Improved Digestive ProcessesDrinking water is essential for proper transportation and metabolism of foods. Staying hydrated ensures the elimination of waste and toxins, keeping your urinary and digestive tracts regular and healthy.
Health Tip: Monitor the color of your urine to know whether you’re intaking enough water. The more yellow and cloudy the color, the more likely you’re dehydrated.
- Aids in Weight Loss: Because water aids in the proper functioning of our cells and muscles, the efficiency of our organs and metabolism depends on it. Our kidneys are an example. When we’re hydrated our kidneys can successfully metabolize stored fat into useable energy. Not only that, water naturally supresses hunger and regulates hunger. Drink up!
Health Tip: Sometimes, our bodies send us messages that appear to be hunger, when in actuality, we’re thirsty. If you feel “hungry” shortly after a meal, try drinking 8-16oz of water and waiting 20 mins to see if you’re truly experiencing appetite versus thirst.
- Increased Performance: Our muscles require the proper balance of water and minerals in order to perform at their best. “Improper hydration can result in muscle cramping, decreased strength and reduced endurance, severely impeding athletic performance.” Due to increased expenditure, those leading an active lifestyle also need to increase their recommended daily intake to make up for the loss of extra water during exercise.
Health Tip: By the time you feel “thirsty”, your body is probably already experiencing dehyration. Avoid this by drinking at regular intervals throughout the day rather than waiting for a thirst signal. Supplementing with clean electrolyte sources is another good way to ensure optimal performance during physical activities.
-Health & Wellness Coach