Everyone needs water to live. Your cells, all of them, need it to work properly – and this need expresses itself at both the cellular and system level. Water flushes bacteria, transports nutrients, lubricates joints, and maintains body temperature, among myriad other functions. Moreover, 60% of your body weight is accounted for by water.
The benefits of hydration go beyond microcellular health; they’re expressed throughout our daily lives. Here are some of the most prominent ones:
- Weight Loss: Studies have demonstrated that dieters who drink water before eating lose more weight than those who don’t.
- Headache Prevention: Both headaches and migraines can be caused by dehydration, especially if a person is already prone to them.
- Athletic Performance: Dehydration causes muscle cramps, and lowers energy levels. Hydrating before, during, and after exercise improves endurance, lowers your maximum heart rate, and even reduces soreness.
- Detoxification: Kidneys require water to function properly, eliminating toxins and waste from the blood – hydration even protects against kidney stones.
- Improved Mood and Cognition: A study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that even mild dehydration negatively impacts mood, and another published in Frontiers in Neuroscience found that subjects performed better in cognitive tests after drinking water.
The medical consensus is that adults need between 30 to 50 fluid ounces of water per day. This is moderated by factors including a person’s size, gender, and level of activity. Pay attention to your physical state, as well as the color of your urine, to check for symptoms of dehydration.