With summer upon us, it’s time for the pool, barbecues and golf. Unsurprisingly, this is also the time of year when we lose the most water through sweating. With all the fun we have, it’s easy to overlook one of the key ingredients for our body to function properly: water. We all know we need to stay hydrated, but how important is it really?
1. Maintains the natural balance of body fluids
This underrated liquid has many different benefits, all of which are necessary to keep us alive. Almost every major function in your body, from digestion to circulation, depends on water to survive, which is why dehydration is so important. You lose water through breath, sweat and urine. When you don’t drink enough water, your body triggers thirst, a feeling that everyone has felt from time to time. With around 60% of our bodies made up of water, it’s no wonder we get so thirsty!
2. Aids in the distribution of vitamins and minerals
Although some minerals are found in water, the primary role of water in digestion is to breakdown vitamins and minerals present in food. From your saliva, food is broken down and dissolved. Then the water moves with your food to your stomach and then to the small intestine. As food travels, water works to break down vitamins and minerals which you can then use as energy. Throughout your body, water acts as a guide in the digestion process.
3. Aids in cognitive function
If you’ve ever been stuck with a fuzzy head feeling while trying to concentrate or had trouble finding answers to easy questions, it could be a sign of dehydration. In addition to working in your body, the water you drink also works in your brain. A primary function of water is to help your brain cells communicate with each other. If your water intake begins to drop, your ability to think, learn, remember, and even sleep better also declines. Staying hydrated has been linked to better school test scores, faster decision-making, better focus, and improved concentration.
4. Water keeps your skin clear
Although water is a basic element inside our body, it also has effects outside. By drinking plenty of water, you can keep your skin clear and beautiful. According to Pure Luxe Medical, people who drink plenty of water are less likely to suffer from severe acne. The more your skin is hydrated, the less your pores will clog. Although there are obvious benefits for a teenager’s skin, they also carry over to adults. Water has also been proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles on your face. While drinking tons of water a day won’t erase wrinkles, it can definitely help in the long run.
5. Water is a staple for exercise
If you’ve ever played a sport, you’ve probably been told to drink water before heading out for practice or a game. Even the smallest athletes can be seen carrying water bottles on the field. Water replaces the fluids you lose when you sweat to keep your body balanced. If you don’t drink to replace what you’ve lost, it can lead to dizziness, dehydration, and muscle cramps.
Although there are no set rules on how much water to drink during exercise, the American Council of Exercise recommends drinking 17-20 ounces of water 2-3 hours before exercise. 8 ounces of water every 20-30 minutes while warming up, 7-10 ounces every 10-20 minutes during exercise, and finally, 8 ounces of water 30 minutes after exercise. While remembering to drink water can be a chore when you’re having fun, you’ll thank yourself for it later.
How can I remember to drink water?
If you’re constantly in a rush or just not used to drinking water, there are still ways for all of us to remind ourselves to hydrate. An easy way is to set reminders or alarms on your phone. It’s a sweet way to get up and drink. Don’t forget to give your alarm a name like “drink water!” and you’ll be good to go.
Another way is to use rubber bands. Place three rubber bands around your water bottle. Each time you finish a bottle, remove a rubber band. At the end of the day, you should have removed all of your rubber bands. It’s an easy way to track how much you’re drinking throughout the day and make sure you’re drinking enough! Finally, another great way to remember to drink water is to buy a fun water bottle that you really like! By buying a bottle of water and taking it with you, it will be easy at your fingertips.
Whether you use one of the above strategies or invent your own, there is a way for everyone to remember to drink water.
Although often overlooked and underestimated, water is one of the most important ingredients needed for your body to function. With benefits inside and out, I hope you are now enjoying the water a little more than before. So before leaving for this neighborhood barbecue, don’t forget your bottle of water on the way out!