You hear it constantly: drinking water is good for you! But did you know that staying properly hydrated leads to noticeable improvements in just about every area of your life? Here are five great reasons to make sure you drink enough water.
1. Your Metabolism Will Function Optimally
Your body can’t function at its best when it doesn’t have enough water. When you’re dehydrated, your body slows down almost every process, including burning fat. And when you don’t drink enough water, your body also tends to hang onto much of the water you do drink. That water retention can lead to a few extra pounds on the scale. Water retention isn’t the only thing, though: lots of people mistake thirst for hunger. As a result, they end up eating more than they need to, causing weight gain.
Keep in mind that when it comes to hydration, pure water isn’t the only thing that counts. Milk, soup, coffee, the water in fruits and vegetables, and even soda all count toward your daily hydration goal!
2. Your Focus Will Get Sharper
Do you frequently have trouble concentrating? Do you run into brain fog? If so, you might not be hydrating well enough. Even very mild dehydration can have an adverse impact on your cognitive performance. When you feel sluggish and unfocused, try drinking more water.
Especially at work, it’s easier to stay hydrated if you have water or another hydrating drink on hand. Consider getting a 40 oz tumbler with a handle or another large water bottle to keep at your desk or carry with you. That way, hydration will always be within reach.
3. You’ll Have Fewer Headaches
Headaches aren’t just painful. They can also be disruptive to your daily life, causing you to miss school, work, and other commitments. Though headaches can have a number of causes, poor hydration is a common culprit. If you frequently wake up with a headache, adjusting your hydration levels just might help. Drinking enough water can prevent headaches from happening in the first place. But if you feel one creeping up on you, it’s not too late: if you drink enough water once a headache has already set in, you might be able to avert it.
So how much water should you drink? The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that women drink about 11.5 cups of water (2.7 liters or 96 ounces) per day. Men should drink about 15.5 cups of water (3.7 liters or 129 ounces) per day.
4. Bad Breath Will Disappear
Bad breath isn’t just unpleasant for those around you. It also leads to a sour taste in your mouth. When your mouth stays dry most of the time, particles of food and various types of bacteria don’t get washed away as often. Both bits of food and bacteria will contribute to bad breath. Chewing gum and breath mints can help, but you can fix the problem at the source by taking a look at your hydration levels. Regular sips of water will flush out your mouth, and when you’re consistently hydrated, you’ll be able to avoid the pitfalls of an especially dry mouth too.
5. Your Mood Will Lift
At least one recent study has found that adequate hydration leads to improved mood. In the study, people who drank enough water reported improved mood, better energy levels, and increased satisfaction with life. Those who didn’t drink enough water reported more irritability, fatigue, and confusion.
The study participants filled out mood questionnaires to assess the way water consumption affected them. But if you want to see how much drinking water improves your mood, try keeping a log of how much water you drink each day and how you feel. To keep track of your water intake, try using a water bottle that marks how many ounces you consume.
Some people find it difficult or inconvenient to track their water intake or make sure they consume enough fluids in a day. But even if this seems like an inconvenience, it’s well worth it. Adequate hydration has a whole host of health benefits, and its holistic impact has the potential to transform your quality of life.