All You Need To Know About Staying Hydrated
Kari Emerson, The Important Things
We’ve always been told that the human body is made up of 60% water, and that staying hydrated is very important. But why is it so important, exactly? And how on earth are we supposed to remember to drink the recommended 6 to 8 glasses of water a day in between all the things on our busy schedule?
Believe it or not, there are 17 important benefits of hydration that will make you want to remember to stay hydrated all day long. The following benefits of hydration are vital to your mental and physical wellness:
1. Body Temperature
Especially during those hot summer days, staying properly hydrated is not only important for your health, but for your comfort, as well. A cold glass of water will regulate your body temperature, and keep you cool and hydrated on even the sweatiest of days.
2. Brain Function
Like your body, your brain is made up of a significant amount of water. One of the most important benefits of hydration is that it will encourage cell function in your brain which helps with things like memory, stress levels, headache relief and other general cognitive functions. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the brain needs water to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters. Who doesn’t need a little brain boost every once in a while?
3. Cardiovascular Health
Heart health is so important to support, especially for women, as heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. One of the benefits of being hydrated is that it supports cardiovascular health, which benefits blood pressure levels, and oxygen flow throughout the body.
4. Cleanses The Body
Unlike the trendy juice cleanses we see in the media, water cleanses your body in a naturally healthy way (and it’s a bit…okay, a LOT cheaper). Staying properly hydrated cleanses the body of toxins and waste, helping you feel refreshed and energized.
Maintaining healthy nutrition isn’t always the easiest task. Luckily, one of the benefits of staying hydrated is that water contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals, and also encourages absorption of additional nutrients.
6. Digestive System
In addition to supporting your nutrition, water encourages a healthy digestive system. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that water helps break down the food you consume and avoid things like constipation and stomach aches.
7. Dry Mouth Relief
This seems like an obvious one, but not only does water relieve a dry mouth quickly, it is also important in the production of saliva and mucous in the body. Because mucous lines tissues in the body and protects organs, mucous production is a very important benefit of staying hydrated.
One of the most important benefits of proper hydration, in my opinion, is maintaining energy levels. Being dehydrated can severely affect your energy level, resulting in fatigue. Staying properly hydrated helps support muscle function, helping you feel more energized.
In addition to boosting energy levels, another one of the benefits of hydration is that is supports exercise performance. Staying hydrated while exercising is important not only for performance benefits, but also because the energy exertion and sweat production can cause dehydration, which can be dangerous. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking about 500 ml (about 17 ounces) of water about 2 hours before exercise and at regular intervals during the exercise.
For all the moms out there, keeping your kids hydrated is essential for healthy growth and body functions. Water consumption levels are much lower among youth, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which can be dangerous. It is important to teach the benefits of hydration to our kids for their future health, and for their development while they are still young.
11. Hair & Nail Growth
As you grow older and your collagen levels are naturally depleted, you might notice that your nail and hair growth tends to slow down a bit. One of the great beauty benefits of staying properly hydrated is that water hydrates your scalp and cuticle beds, encouraging nail and hair growth.
There’s no shame in having one too many glasses of wine at the company Christmas party, but nobody wants to feel tired and hungover the day after. Drinking plenty of water any time you are consuming alcohol (and the day after) can help prevent dehydration and hangovers!
One of the main symptoms of dehydration is headaches. One of the great benefits of hydration is that it delivers water to our brain, which can remedy headaches and encourage normal, painless cognitive function. In fact, a 2015 study proved that “water intake is a cost effective, non-invasive and low-risk intervention to reduce or prevent headache pain.”
14. Injuries & Ailments
If you’re not convinced yet that water is basically a cure-all, staying hydrated can assist in healing injuries and ailments, too! Proper hydration can help your body heal itself, especially with ailments like constipation and kidney stones.
15. Muscles & Joints
Dehydration can result in stiff, aching muscles and joints. One of the benefits of drinking plenty of water is that it keeps joints and muscles hydrated, which encourages healthy functions. It is especially important for those who exercise to stay hydrated for muscle and joint strength.
As a beauty blogger, this is one of my favorite benefits of staying hydrated. Your skin naturally craves hydration, especially as you grow older. Proper hydration is essential to maintain healthy, supple skin. It also discourages lines and wrinkles, resulting in younger-looking, brighter skin.
17. Weight Loss
Dieting and weight loss is never easy, but staying hydrated is a very easy way to encourage healthy weight loss. Research has shown that drinking water before a meal can fill you up and promote weight loss by eating less during the meal. Another one of the benefits of hydration is that it also boosts energy levels and exercise performance levels. That means more calories burned!
Tips For Staying Hydrated
- Add some flavor! Water is so versatile, and there are so many flavor products out there to amp up a bottle of water.
- Set a timer. If you’re like me, you have your phone on you always. So, why not set a timer every 30 minutes or so to take a moment and get hydrated!
- Use an app. There are apps for everything nowadays, even for reminding us to stay hydrated!
- Choose an accountability partner. Whether it’s your significant other, roommate or friend, talk to someone about reminding each other to stay hydrated! Doing it together will not only encourage you to talk about the importance of hydration, but it makes it more fun doing it with someone.
- Little reminders. When I need to remember something, I like putting sticky notes around the house with reminders. Put a sticky note on the fridge or bathroom mirror as a friendly reminder to drink more water.
- Reusable water bottle. Get yourself a cute reusable water bottle! You’ll be more likely to want to carry it around with you, which will remind you to stay hydrated. They also now make water bottles with level lines and times to remind you to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Kari Emerson is a NYC-based blogger and model. She is the writer and creator of The Important Things blog, chronicling her experiences navigating life as a 20-something in New York City. Her goal is to help her readers attack “adulting” in a stylish and resourceful way.