We’ve all heard the advice “drink more water,” and we all know that we should be drinking about 8 glasses of water a day, but did you know that hydration isn’t just about keeping healthy? Here’s why drinking more water is a healthy habit.
When you drink enough water, you don’t just feel better, you perform better. Your body can repair and defend itself more efficiently, you’ll feel better physically, and you will likely feel better mentally, too. In other words, you’ll be operating at full capacity, especially if you’re eating right and have had enough sleep.
So why is this? Can something as simple as water really be the secret to supercharging your body?
How does water supercharge your body?
- Ensures your joints have ample lubrication: The cartilage in our joints (and the disks in the spine) is composed of around 80% water. This high water content ensures there is ample cushioning between the bones of your joints which not only helps avoid injury but eases joint pain, can improve symptoms of joint issues, and improve overall physical performance.
- Speeds up how quickly nutrients and oxygen can be delivered to your cells: What do your blood cells need to get where they need to go quickly? It’s not just about the strength of your heart – it’s also about the water content of your blood. Think about your blood cells like a river ride at a theme park – plenty of water will carry you quickly, but if you swapped that water for syrup, you’ll be getting nowhere fast. By being well hydrated you ensure your blood has a normal volume and can move nutrients and oxygen around your body at optimal speeds.
- Helps you be in a more positive mood: A 2014 study looked at what happened when people who always drank enough water (over 2 liters a day) cut back to below 1 liter. After just 3 days of restricted water consumption, the subjects reported feeling less content, less calm, and fewer positive emotions throughout the day.
- Helps energize you: The same 2014 study as mentioned above also found that a group of normally minimal water drinkers (less than 1.2 liters) felt less fatigue, less brain fog, and more vigor when they increased their intake to more than 2 liters per day.
- Powers-up the immune system: Your first line of defense when it comes to bacteria and viruses is your skin, but once they make it in through your eyes, nose, or mouth, it’s your mucus membrane. Your mucus helps keep your airways moist and captures any stray intruders it can, killing viruses and bacteria that find a way inside. If you’re dehydrated, your mucus isn’t going to be as “mobile” and beneficial as you need to have a strong immune system.
When you’re well hydrated, you experience all these benefits. Imagine if you were fully hydrated and firing on all cylinders; you would feel great inside, look great outside, be able to perform physically and mentally at your best, especially if you’re also eating a healthy diet and getting the right amount of sleep. There’s no cheaper way to supercharge your body!
What are some easy ways to make drinking water a healthy habit?
If you want to ensure your water consumption is not a barrier between you and optimal health and mood, you should try to consume between 2 and 4 liters a day (67 – 135 ounces). Here are some easy ways to start drinking more water:
- Start your day with a glass of water rather than jumping to your coffee, tea, or juice.
- Drink a glass of water when you first feel a hunger pang – we’re often thirsty and mistake that need for hunger.
- Ask for water for the table when you go out to eat and drink as much water as you do your drink of choice.
- Eat hydrating foods and fruits – eating soup, fresh fruit and vegetables will help you increase your water intake.
- Opt for teas instead of coffee or soda – the odd cup is not a problem, but make sure you’re not relying on them as your sole source of hydration.
- Infuse your water with a few slices of fruit to give it added flavor.
- Add plenty of ice to your drinks if you like them cold! That’s all water you’ll drink without thinking about it.
Drinking more water is one of the easiest things you can do for your health, not to mention one of the cheapest. When you drink plenty of water you’ll feel energized, better physically, your immune system can work optimally, and you’ll even find your mood improves. With just a few tweaks to your routine you can increase your water intake and enjoy all these benefits.