Body

Why Hydration Is So Important for Your Mental and Physical Health

About a month ago, I had a conversation with my boyfriend, out of the blue, about drinking water. In said conversation, he mentioned that he “barely drinks water.” He explained that he could go an entire day without taking one sip of water, and feel fine with just few cans of soda or bottles of iced tea. I was puzzled as I looked around my room and counted my four water bottles waiting to be drank that day. How does someone not drink water, and how did I not know this?

I went off on a tangent about how that is terrifying and how he needs to drink more water. Despite him feeling fine, I knew that there must be some bad things going on in not only his, but any person’s body, who does not drink enough water. I went on the Internet and started searching and was shocked by all of the surprising facts and hidden benefits of drinking water. How about we pour ourselves a glass of water before we get started, shall we?

Starting with the most obvious and well-known, hydration plays a huge role in your body’s overall health and wellness. According to One Medical Group, hydration plays a significant role in daily bodily functions. Dehydration lowers your blood volume. This makes it harder for your heart to pump blood and get enough oxygen to your cells. This can make exercise, or something as simple as walking, much more tiresome. One Medical Group also says your kidneys also need water to perform functions like filtering waste from the blood. Basically, staying hydrated prevents kidney stones and other urinary infections. If you’re too dehydrated, your kidneys can actually completely shut down. Water is absolutely essential for your immune system.

Drinking a sufficient amount of water also has incredible benefits for a person’s mental health. According to an article by UCONN Today, “even mild dehydration can alter a person’s mood, energy level and ability to think clearly.” In the results of the study, regardless of if the person was exercising or sitting still, the dehydration effects were the same. Although drinking water may not be the cure-all for stress or a bad mood, it definitely can be a factor to brightening your mood. Similar to how you feel jittery or tired when you have not eaten, your body can react the exact same way when you are dehydrated.

Another bizarre fact about dehydration is that it can cause you to crave sweets. If you crave salty or sweet snacks regularly, this could be a sign that your organs are having trouble releasing stored glucose. In response, it causes you to crave these types of food. The sweet tooth that you thought you were born with could be your body sending a message about your hydration levels. Staying hydrated also improves the elasticity of your skin. Water makes your face appear more plump, fresh, and can help alleviate an uneven skin tone.

8x8

With all of these facts about why you should drink enough water throughout your day, you must be asking yourself, “What is enough water?” There is a common thread that runs throughout health authorities saying to follow the 8×8 rule – eight 8-ounce cups a day.

Other sources suggest this isn’t necessary for everyone, and that some of this water can be consumed through foods you eat over the course of a day, but you can still set daily goals for yourself. If you aren’t a fan of calculations and keeping track, trying to aim for 1.5 to 2 liters a day is ideal. However, Men’s Fitness suggests slightly higher amounts, stating that men should drink 3.7 liters, or roughly one gallon a day.

Many foods that you eat on a daily basis have water as a main ingredient, so you are getting a water intake without really realizing it. Just keep in mind that a healthy water intake can help improve your physical and mental state. Go buy a reusable water bottle, and even spice up your water with some added flavors if you are bored by the taste. You will see a true difference in your appearance, energy, and even your attention span. So, cheers, let’s drink up some H2O.

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