Your body needs water to survive. It’s your body’s principal chemical component, making up about 60% of your body weight. Dehydration can affect you in so many different ways - from shrinking the tissue in your brain to slowing down your metabolism. So, grab a glass and learn why you need to drink more water!
If you’re wondering just how much water you should be drinking, a good rule of thumb is to multiply your weight by .5 to give you the number of ounces you should drink per day.
Calculation: Your weight in pounds x 0.5 = oz. of water per day
Example: 170 pounds x 0.5 = 85 oz. of water
Keep in mind if you exercise, you’ll need to add a few more ounces of water to your daily intake. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends adding 12 ounces of water to your daily intake for every 30 minutes that you plan to work out.
1. It Can Promote Weight Loss Because It Helps You Feel Full
Numerous studies have found that those who drink water before a meal lose weight faster than those who did not. It’s simple, the water makes us feel full so we in turn, eat less.
In one 12 week study, dieters who drank half a liter of water before each meal lost 44% more weight than those who did not.
2. Drinking Water May Increase the Amount of Calories You Burn
In two studies, drinking 17 ounces of water (a half liter) was shown to increase metabolism by 24 - 30% for up to an hour and a half. This means that drinking two liters of water a day could potentially increase your total energy expenditure by up to 96 calories per day. It is best to drink water cold, because then the body will use additional energy (calories) to heat the water to body temperature.
3. Clears Skin by Flushing Out Toxins
It’s probably not surprising to know that toxins in the body can cause acne and breakouts. Since water helps to flush out the toxins in your body, you can reduce the risk of pimples simply by staying hydrated!
4. Drinking Water May Help Treat Kidney Stones
The biggest risk factor for kidney stones is not drinking enough water. In a large meta-analysis, people who produced 2 to 2.5 liters of urine daily were 50% less likely to develop kidney stones than those who produced less. So, drink up!
5. It Can Help You Think More Clearly
A few studies found that dehydration can affect the structure of your brain by causing the tissue to shrink. Scary right? When we haven’t had enough water, our brain needs to work a lot harder to perform the same tasks. Prolonged states of dehydration may impact important brain functions like planning and visuaspatial processing.
6. It Helps With Digestion
Water helps to dissolve fats and soluble fiber, so it’s easier for you to go! When you don't drink enough water, the colon will actually pull water from stools, increasing your risk of constipation. That alone should make you want to drink more water!
7. May Help Prevent and Treat Headaches
Dehydration can trigger a headache in some individuals, and other studies have shown that drinking water can help to alleviate a headache once you already have it. Either way, it’s a great idea to drink some water if you feel a headache on the horizon.
Tips To Increase Your Water Intake:
- Fill up a water bottle before you leave for your daily work commutes (both to and from work) and finish it before you reach your destination
- Drink a glass before every meal
- Download a water tracking app like iHydrate to log your water intake and get reminders when you haven’t had enough to drink
- Keep a water bottle with you at all times - you’ll subconsciously start drinking more and more water
- Drink a glass of water while you wait for your coffee to brew
- Try different types of water like, spring, mineral, sparking and flavored water so you don’t get sick of the taste
- US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health; Water deprivation: a new migraine precipitant
- US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health; Water-deprivation headache: a new headache with two variants
- US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health; Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults
- Dr. Mercola; Drinking Water Helps Prevent Kidney Stones
- Healthline; 7 Health Benefits of Drinking Water
- Greatist; 34 Proven Ways Water Makes You Awesome
- US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health; Dehydration affects brain structure and function in healthy adolescents
- The Hearty Soul; Drinking this much water can boost your metabolism for over an hour