Your body is made mostly of water. The things your body does work better with the stuff, and when it doesn’t get enough of it, it suffers. Something as simple as drinking a glass of water can be easy to forget when exercising. But you need it more than you think.
Below are 21 reasons you should be drinking more water. Some of these may surprise you!
1. Drinking water helps curb hunger
You don’t like feeling hungry, right? Instead of potato chips, reach for a tall glass of water. Why? Water helps you feel full!
Often, when we get hungry, or when we feel feelings that we think are hunger, our temptation is to pack ourselves with food to make the feeling go away. But sometimes, eating a load of food, especially salty food, doesn’t make this feeling go away and can even make things worse!
In actuality, thirst can feel very similar to hunger. Sometimes, when you feel hungry, drink a little bit of water first, as your body may simply be thirsty. This has multiple benefits, including helping to curb cravings that may lead you to eat something that wouldn’t be a wise choice.
TLDR: Drink before deciding to eat since what you think is hunger might actually be thirst!
2. Drinking water helps boost your metabolism
Related to the first point, sometimes when you feel hungry during the day, you’re really just thirsty. Not only does water help you stay and feel full, but it also helps reduce cravings and empowers you to lose weight over time.
Drinking a few glasses of water before you eat can help ensure you don’t overeat for that meal, not to mention it will help metabolize your meal! This means that with proper water intake, your meal will go more toward energy to burn and will be less likely to turn into fat.
In one study, drinking water immediately improved people’s metabolic rate by 30 percent. Not too shabby!
TLDR: Drink water in large amounts when you feel unhelpful cravings come on!
3. Drinking water helps stabilize your blood sugar
Water helps regulate blood sugar. Really, every function in your body works better with water, including your blood sugar regulation. When your pancreas is starving for water, it loses its effectiveness and makes it harder for your body to regulate sugar levels.
If you find yourself going through highs and lows of sugar rushes during the day, water can somewhat help reduce the intensity of this feeling.
TLDR: If you find yourself consuming large amounts of sugary foods, make sure to drink plenty of water at the same time.
4. Drinking water helps you avoid empty calories
Drinking water can help reduce your intake of empty calories. When we feel thirsty, it’s easy to grab a soda or sugary beverage to quench your thirst. But this could be harmful.
First, you can consume hundreds of calories from sugary drinks that offer no nutritional benefit and simply turn into fat over time.
Second, these beverages often don’t quench thirst at all. On the contrary, highly-caffeinated beverages can actually make you feel more thirsty, as caffeine is a diuretic that causes your body to lose water. The more water you drink, the less you’ll be tempted to quench your thirst with beverages full of empty calories.
TLDR: Save the sugary and caffeinated drinks for special occasions and opt for water instead. If you love your coffee, drink an equal amount of water or more!
5. Water helps your body flush out the bad stuff
Water helps your body get rid of toxins and keeps your kidneys, which flush out those very toxins, healthy and happy. This helps to reduce the risk of kidney stones, UTI’s (urinary tract infections), and other negative health effects.
According to one study, dehydration is directly linked to kidney deficiency and even kidney stones.
A good rule to remember is that your urine should be clear and copious (a lot of it)! If your urine is dark, your body isn’t flushing out toxins effectively. So, drink more! You’ll go to the bathroom more often, but this is a good thing!
TLDR: Drink enough water so that your urine is mostly clear and you’re going frequently.
6. Drinking water helps avoid fatigue
Drinking water can help reduce fatigue throughout the day. When you’re dehydrated, your body pumps less oxygen to your organs, which in turn makes you feel sluggish.
The more water you take in throughout the day, the better your body is able to supply your organs with the oxygen they need, making you feel your best.
If you find yourself feeling tired, rest for a bit and drink a glass or two of water. Forget the caffeinated energy drinks; opt for a few glasses of the good stuff instead.
TLDR: If you’re feeling tired or sluggish, go for a glass of water before guzzling a caffeinated beverage.
7. Drinking water helps with your digestion
As a general rule of thumb, water helps every organ in your body function better. Your digestive organs are no exception. Water helps with digestion better than any pill ever could. The more water you intake, the better your organs work to metabolize food and “keep things moving,” which helps to avoid less-desirable bodily issues like constipation.
Water improves the function of your GI (gastrointestinal) tract by helping break down what you eat and by helping you have regular bowel movements. The more you eat, the more water you need to have proper digestion. Larger glasses of water and smaller meals always make for a winning combination!
TLDR: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after every meal.
8. Drinking water helps your skin look and feel its best
If your skin doesn’t look or feel the best, water intake might be part of the issue. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it needs water to stay healthy!
Getting plenty of water helps your skin moisturize and maintain a youthful, healthy glow. It also promotes your skin’s elasticity, helping to offset wrinkles and cracks in the skin over time.
TLDR: Instead of buying expensive lotions and creams, try upping your water intake for skin that looks and feels better.
9. Drinking water helps you feel better
One way to combat sickness is to drink water. Drinking plenty of water combats common ailments like the flu, colds, and can even help reduce the risk of cancer and heart attacks.
Drinking water and eating more water-rich foods can help promote the healthy growth, maintenance, and reproduction of your organ’s cells. Over time, this can even help in protecting your body’s organs and tissues from developing cancer. So, drink to your health… literally!
TLDR: The more water you drink, the better your body can handle sickness.
10. Drinking water helps you perform better physically
Drinking water helps maximize your fitness and athletic performance. You lose water and electrolytes as you sweat, and the more you sweat without replenishing, the more sluggish you feel.
Maintaining good water intake, especially when you’re active, is important for keeping your energy high and getting the most out of your activity or workouts. Your body will thank you!
TLDR: You should drink water when working out!
11. Drinking water can help with headaches
Have you ever noticed that you’re more prone to get headaches when you don’t get enough water? There’s a reason: dehydration triggers headaches. The better your water intake, the less of a chance you have become dehydrated, avoiding at least one common headache trigger.
If you struggle with headaches or migraines, try drinking a glass of water and resting your eyes for a bit. According to one study, water intake is a cost-effective, non-invasive and low-risk intervention to reduce or prevent headache pain.
TLDR: You’re more prone to headaches when you’re dehydrated.
12. Drinking cold water is a great metabolism jump-start
While warm water is great for digestion, cold water can work wonders for jump-starting your metabolism. This is because your body must “heat up” in order to process cold water, and this alone can burn calories and get your metabolism going! In the morning, have an ice-cold glass or bottle of water ready to go.
According to one study, your body burns 8 more calories per every cup of cold water you drink compared to a cup of water at room temperature. Not only will it make you feel awake and energized, but your metabolism will also get a nice jump-start, too!
TLDR: Drink cold water right after you wake up.
13. Drinking water can help prevent cramps and muscle spasms
If you get cramps, you know how terrible they feel. Cramps occur when your body isn’t getting enough oxygen due to dehydration. The less water you drink, the more at risk you are for developing cramps.
Proper hydration can help your muscles stay loose, plus it helps keep your joints feeling smooth.
It’s especially important to keep your water intake high if you exercise frequently, as water loss through sweating coupled with increased muscular exertion can increase your risk for cramps.
TLDR: Drink water frequently and stretch well to help avoid cramps and muscle spasms.
14. Drinking water helps to prevent kidney stones
Remember how we talked about your kidneys earlier? They need plenty of water to function, and when they don’t get enough water, they can develop kidney stones.
Not only does water help your kidneys flush out toxins, but it also helps to dilute the salt and minerals that can build up over time and form kidney stones.
TLDR: Let the fear of kidney stones keep you drinking the good stuff!
15. Drinking water can help with breathing
Did you know that drinking water helps with breathing? When you don’t get enough water, your body slightly restricts your airways in order to preserve the water you do have, since some water is lost through breathing and exhalation.
Who would’ve thought that water helps your body with its most basic functions?
TLDR: If anything, water helps you breathe better. That’s reason enough to drink!
16. Drinking water helps reduce bad breath
Did you know that water is great for combating bad breath? Drinking water keeps your mouth moist and washes away particles of food and bacteria that cause bad breath. It also dilutes the nasty chemical mixtures that bacteria in your mouth can create.
Make sure to drink a glass or two of water right after you eat; not only will this help with digestion, it will also help wash away bad-breath-causing food particles from your meal.
TLDR: Bad breath comes from food particles in the mouth, which water helps wash away.
17. Drinking water helps with hangovers
Partied a little too hard last night? Drinking water helps to alleviate the effects of a hangover. Like coffee, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it drains water from your body. The more alcohol you drink without replenishing your body with water, the more drained you feel (literally).
So, the more water you drink both before and after your night out, the better you’ll feel. Water won’t make your hangover totally go away, but it will help a good bit. A good rule of thumb is to match your alcohol consumption with water consumption, ounce for ounce.
For every 12 ounces of alcohol you drink, you should drink 12 ounces of water as well. Will you be going to the bathroom more? Yes. Does this beat have a nasty hangover? Absolutely.
TLDR: If you’re going out for a few drinks, make sure to have plenty of water handy!
18. Drinking water is good for oral health
Not only is water good for helping combat bad breath, but it’s also good for the health of your mouth in general. Water helps to wash away sugar and other substances that can cause tooth and gum decay.
It helps your body manufacture saliva, which is important for your chewing and digestive process. Think of water as your body’s lubricant.
TLDR: Drink water to keep your mouth clean and healthy like the rest of your body.
19. Drinking water promotes brain health
Every organ in your body needs water. The brain is no exception. Water helps promote healthy brain function and even helps cushion the brain and spinal cord.
When you get dehydrated, you can easily become confused and have difficulty reasoning. A consistent water intake helps make sure your brain and all of your cognitive processes are working well.
TLDR: Even your brain needs water!
20. Drinking water helps toward a healthy heart
If you haven’t noticed a theme by now, your body’s organs really like water. This includes your heart. The more water you have in your bloodstream, the better your heart can function to help promote healthy blood pressure.
A lack of water in your bloodstream causes your blood to become thicker and more viscous, putting greater pressure on your heart, not to mention all of your other organs! If you feel tense and your blood pressure is high, make sure to drink plenty of water and give yourself time to cool off.
TLDR: Not only will you feel better on the outside, but your heart will also thank you for drinking water.
21. Drinking water helps your body process nutrients and minerals
Water helps your body process minerals and nutrients and deliver them to your body effectively. Minerals and nutrients dissolve in water, which makes it possible for them to reach vital organs in the body.
Without water, minerals and nutrients simply float in the body and are lost through the digestive process. What a waste! Pun intended.
TLDR: Water intake helps your body absorb the nutrients and minerals it desperately needs.
Water should be as integral to your life as eating, breathing, and sleeping. Too many of us don’t drink enough of it. While it is possible to overdo it on water, that’s not a problem for many.
A happy, healthy life includes a steady intake of water. There’s no way around it. As a matter of fact, you should pour yourself a glass right now!