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4 Benefits of Drinking Water
You have probably heard from countless healthcare textbooks and medical professionals that you should drink more water and stay hydrated. After all, our bodies need water to power our bodily functions throughout the day.
But will drinking more water really improve your health? Here are four surprising benefits of drinking water that you may have not known.
Water Regulates Your Temperature
One benefit of drinking water is that it helps regulate your temperature. Normal human body temperature usually falls somewhere between 98°F and 100°F, and our bodies are naturally designed to maintain this range in order to stay healthy.
Our bodies are made of water, with our muscle mass being 75% water. Water is one of our primary defenses against rapid or sudden changes in temperature because it is able to withstand the heat for long periods of time. This is why it takes a while for our temperature to rise.1
Our body regulates our temperature with the hypothalamus. This part of our brain controls thermoregulation, meaning that when our body temperature changes it sends a signal out to different parts of our body to bring it back to normal. Our hypothalamus utilizes water to help maintain our body’s heat.2
One way our hypothalamus uses water to regulate our temperature is through sweat. When you exercise, your body perspires in order to maintain your natural temperature and prevent yourself from overheating.
Drinking enough of water allows your body to maintain its functions and keep itself in homeostasis. This benefit of drinking water allows you to fight off illnesses.
Consider adding more water into your daily routine to ensure your body can regulate its temperature.
Water might prevent headaches and migraines
One reason that you might experience headaches and migraines is because you don’t drink enough water. Fatigue can be caused by a lack of water when your body is looking for hydration.
A study was done to test the theory that water can help reduce headaches. The researchers confirmed that 47% of individuals in the group who received the instructions to drink water felt improvement.3
This means one benefit of drinking water is controlling your headaches and migraines. While water alone may not solve every headache, it can certainly help fight and prevent them.
According to The Pain Center, here are some ways you can stay hydrated to prevent headaches:4
- Drink four to six cups of water a day. In order to prevent headaches and stay hydrated, have four to six cups of water. If the temperature is hot or you choose to exercise, you might need to increase the amount you drink.
- Eat foods that contain water. One way that we maintain our hydration levels is by consuming foods that naturally have water in them. Fruits and vegetables are great examples of foods that can give you the water you need for the day.
- Avoid drinks that encourage fluid loss. Not all drinks are created equal nor provide you with the hydration you need. For example, coffee and alcohol both encourage fluid loss and don’t give your body nutrients that encourage water retention.
Before you reach for your pain medication, try drinking water to see if that helps to resolve your headache. You might be surprised to find that drinking more water will prevent headaches and keep you feeling energized all day long.
Drinking Water can Prevent Illnesses
Nobody likes getting sick, but did you know that drinking enough of water can fight off and prevent illnesses?
Our bodies use water to flush out toxins and bacteria that can cause us to get sick, which is why drinking plenty of fluids is always recommended whenever you come down with an illness.
Soup is usually one of the foods doctors suggest eating when you’re ill, and one reason is because water is a primary ingredient.
If you don’t get enough of fluids when you’re sick, it may take longer to recover. One reason for this is your body creates mucus to fight off infections, which uses the water your body has stored away.5
If you don’t replenish your body’s water, your throat might feel sore and you might get a headache until you drink something. One benefit of drinking water is giving your body more resources to fight off infections.
However, not getting enough of water can also cause you to become sick. One illness that comes from not drinking enough of water is dehydration. Dehydration is when your body can’t carry out its normal functions due to the lack of water.6
While dehydration can also be a side effect from other symptoms or illnesses, anybody who doesn’t drink enough of water is at risk for becoming dehydrated. You should make sure you’re actively drinking water to prevent dehydration.
Drinking More Water Can Help You Lose Weight
One reason you should drink more water is that it can help you lose weight. Water helps our digestive system in breaking down food and also aids our joints when we get moving.
A study that looked at young and older adults showed that those who are older benefited from drinking water before their meal. These individuals ate less food overall, which over time will result in weight loss and help prevent obesity.7
This is especially important because as we age our metabolism slows, making older individuals more prone to gaining unhealthy weight.
Furthermore, Nicola Schubrook, a Nutritionist, wrote in an article that water can curb our sugar cravings. By drinking water instead of eating something sweet, you can help maintain the amount of calories you intake.8
Schubrook states, “The brain can’t actually tell the difference between hunger and thirst, so often we can mistake thirst as a ‘sugar craving.’”
This means that simply drinking water before eating can help diminish the amount of calories you eat every day.
Try incorporating a glass of water before your meals to help reduce the amount of food you eat. You might find yourself feeling more satisfied after a meal, which will prevent you from snacking or having an extra dessert.
Consider The Benefits of Drinking Water
Now that you know the benefits of drinking water, hopefully you will consider drinking more water each day. After all, you don’t want to end up sick when you can easily incorporate water into your diet!
Saber Healthcare and Nutrition
Here at Saber Healthcare, our healthcare team strives to help our residents achieve the nutrition that they need to stay healthy. Our team makes sure that we offer enough of food and water to our patients to help keep them energized throughout the day.
To learn more about Saber Healthcare and the services we provide, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- Silbajoris, Alex. “How Does Water Stabilize Temperature?” Leaf Group Media Ltd., Sciencing.com. May 18th, 2020. Accessed January 7th, 2021. Link: https://sciencing.com/water-stabilize-temperature-4574008.html
- Seladi-Schulman, Jill. Han, Seunggu, ed. “Hypothalamus Overview.” Healthline Media, healthline.com. March 21st, 2018. Accessed January 7th, 2021. Link: https://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/hypothalamus
- Spigt, Mark, et. all. “A randomized trial on the effects of regular water intake in patients with recurrent headaches.” Oxford Academic, Oxford University Press. November 23rd, 2011. Accessed January 7th, 2021. Link: https://academic.oup.com/fampra/article/29/4/370/492787#7541194
- “Headaches and Dehydration.” Alliance HealthCare Services, ThePainCenter. June 26th, 2019. Accessed January 7th, 2021. Link: https://www.thepaincenter.com/news/headaches-and-dehydration
- “Why is it important to drink liquids when you're sick?” WebMD LLC, WebMD.com. January 16th 2020. Accessed January 7th, 2021. Link: https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/qa/why-is-it-important-to-drink-liquids-when-youre-sick
- “Dehydration.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Mayo Clinic. September 19th, 2019. Accessed January 7th, 2020. Link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086#:~:text=Dehydration%20occurs%20when%20you%20use,fluids%2C%20you%20will%20get%20dehydrated.
- Walleghen, Emily L, et. all. “Pre-meal water consumption reduces meal energy intake in older but not younger subjects.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, Pubmed.gov. Accessed January 7th, 2021. Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17228036/
- Shubrook, Nicola. “What are the health benefits of drinking water?” Immediate Media Company Limited, BBCgoodfood. December 19th, 2019. Accessed January 7th, 2021. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-are-health-benefits-drinking-water