Benefits Of Drinking Water and Staying Hydrated: Drink Or Die?

Dr. Ferreira points out the incredible benefits of drinking water to stop and prevent many illnesses.

It’s quite possible that one of the benefits of drinking water, is that you could stop needing pain medications.

Another of the health benefits of drinking water is the reduction of disease symptoms.

Also, your skin will look and feel smoother and younger.

The health benefits of drinking water. FullStrideHealth.com
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Article written by Dr. Helcio Ferreira. Comments (in green) by Richard Quick.

Benefits Of Drinking Water and Staying Hydrated: Why Is It So Important?

Water is an essential part of our body and plays an important role in the maintenance of almost all the important organ systems of the body.

The human body is made up of approximately 75% water. Blood, muscles, brain, and bones also contain 83%, 75%, 74%, and 22% water, respectively.

The health benefits of water have been recognized by medical experts around the world. It is the most common connection on earth. All living forms require water for their metabolic activities. Water plays an important role in our body and it is impossible to imagine the existence of an individual without it.

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

According to various investigations, the average consumption of 8 glasses of water (sometimes even more) per day is recommended.

However, studies have been conducted that state that fluid intake depends on other variable factors, such as weather conditions and physical activity. [1]

According to a research report, men should consume a total of 3,000 ml (12 cups) of water daily and women 2,200 ml (approximately 9 cups) of water.

A woman drinking bottled water is making sure she receives the many benefits of drinking water to protect her health.

This report also shows that consuming plenty of fluids has shown significant health benefits, plus it can prevent recurrent kidney stones.

You can also cover 20% of your water intake with a good diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Drink Water: Our Body Is 75% Water

This fact underscores how important it is for us to drink enough water. The average water balance is around 75%, but it can differ according to age. While babies are made up of about 90% water, older people only have a water content of about 60%.

How can that be? As we age our cells absorb less water, in addition to decreasing the thirst stimulation driven by our brain.

Definition: What Is Dehydration?

Our body consists of approximately two-thirds of water, so you must drink enough water to ensure that metabolic processes, nutrient absorption, and cell renewal work properly. [2]

The body becomes dehydrated if you don’t drink enough water, or if your body has lost a lot of water as part of a process, for example, due to excessive sweating

Poor skin, digestive problems, bladder and kidney weakness, headache, and fatigue are part of the negative consequences of inadequate fluid intake.

Dehydration, in medical terms, is the decrease in body fluids in the body, causing difficulty in the distribution of nutrients and oxygen in all organs and tissues.

Signs and Symptoms Of Dehydration

The first symptoms that are noticed with dehydration are:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Dark urine
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

Why Is Water So Important To Our Bodies?

Water is as important to us as the air we breathe. So, you should always lend yourself to adequate hydration: at least 2 liters of water per day. In our modern society, vital water is often replaced by lemonades, coffee or tea, and even though these drinks contain water, they also contain caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners and chemical additives, substances that increase the drainage of water in the body.

Dehydration generally occurs before the known thirst sensation occurs. When you feel thirsty, your body has probably been dehydrated for a few minutes or at least 1 hour, so it is necessary to create habits to drink water, even if we do not feel thirsty, just a few sips of water will suffice.

Particular Causes Of Dehydration

Dehydration is caused by low water consumption during the day, or by secondary causes such as chronic diseases, cancer, kidney, or gastrointestinal diseases [2]. Some groups are very vulnerable to dehydration, such as:

  • Patients with thirst disease (Polydipsia)
  • Children and babies
  • Pregnant women
  • Older adults

How Much Water Should You Drink Daily?

Surely, you’ve heard that you should drink different numbers of liters. But how much water should you drink every day? Doctors recommend drinking about 2-4 liters of water a day.

This number should not only be achieved through the consumption of water: we also consume a large part of the daily requirement of liquids through fruits or dairy products, this ensures that our body receives an adequate supply of water.

We have learned that our fluid requirements vary based on ambient temperature, activity, health, or age. Athletes and exercisers, therefore, have a significantly higher fluid requirement when they increase their activities. Water is a real coolant for our bodies during sports activities.

Consequences For Our Body According To Dehydration Levels

  • From 0.5%

Feeling thirsty

  • From 3%

Less production of urine, sweat, and saliva. Our performance and concentration decrease, and headaches and migraines begin.

From 5%

Cardiovascular problems can start with an increase in heart rate and blood pressure because less blood is available.

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  • From 6%

Increased body temperature and dehydration of tissues.

  • From 8-12%

Decreased essential bodily functions: nausea, dizziness, speech disorders, and confusion

  • From 15-20%

Our lives are threatened because we are about to have heart failure or kidney consequences.

High probability of suffering heart failure or kidney consequences: High risk of death.

If we knew the importance and realized that around 13 billion cells in our body need water to function, we would have a greater sense of ownership in drinking water. [3]  Drinking sufficient amounts of water would benefit our cells and increase our performance.

Health Benefits of Drinking Water

The health benefits of drinking water include maintaining energy levels, body temperature, metabolism, and respiration.

Drinking enough water helps us prevent rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, constipation, and painful ulcers and kidney stones. Also, water can prevent heartburn, osteoporosis, migraine headaches, gastritis, and cardiovascular disease.

Pregnant women and nursing mothers must drink plenty of water. It also plays an important role in kidney function and skincare.

Drinking Water Will Help You Lose Weight

A very special property of water is that it helps us lose weight. Simply because water has no calories.

Many drinks are loaded with sugar that can hinder your diets, such as sugary juices, smoothies, sodas, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages like wine and beer.

These drinks hide large amounts of sugar that in addition to contributing to dehydration can also provide excessive amounts of calories.

By replacing some or all beverages with water, we save hundreds and even thousands of calories each day.

On many occasions, we are not aware of the difference between hunger and thirst.

We may think that we are hungry when we are dehydrated. This is a very common mistake in people who eat compulsively. [4]

Meals generally also contain a large amount of fluid, so we can even calm the body with it, however, in some cases, we can eat more than we should when we simply could have had a glass of water.

As a strategy to lose weight by drinking water. Every time you feel hungry, first drink a glass of water and check if you are really hungry or just thirsty.

The benefits of drinking water for weight loss can’t be over emphasized. The main reason for obesity and diabetes (IMHO) is the drinking of soft drinks.

That’s in addition to losing your teeth.

Drinking pure, properly filtered water, needs to be the first step in any weight loss program.

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Increasing the consumption of vegetable fiber by consuming vegetables and different complex carbohydrates (common in vegan diets) and increasing the consumption of water will also help you stay satiated for longer.

Vegetable fiber absorbs much of the water we drink, helping us feel satiated with food for longer.

It is recommended to drink a glass of water before each meal to stay satiated.

Why Is Water So Good To Lose Weight? Activates Thermogenesis

Quite simply: Drinking half a liter of water on an empty stomach (before each meal) will increase your body’s energy turnover by 30%, and help you burn approximately 50 additional calories per day, due to increased basal metabolism. How is it possible?

To maintain body temperature at 36-37 ° C, the human body has to heat the food eaten by endogenous thermogenesis; This process can consume up to 50 kcal for every half liter of water. [5]

Benefits Of Drinking Water In The Morning

Drinking a large glass of water on an empty stomach in the morning not only wakes you up, but it also helps you lose weight.

Consuming Enough Water Improves Blood Circulation

Blood plasma is made up of 90-95% water. Almost 6 liters of blood in the human body transport oxygen, nutrients, and waste products through blood vessels to all body tissues.

Staying hydrated is important for blood circulation and the health of all tissues. Dehydration causes an increase in the viscosity of the blood (hemoconcentration), causing notable cardiovascular effects, such as dizziness and lack of energy, the cells also receive less oxygen and nutrients.

Drinking enough water is essential to transport nutrients to all cells, transport breakdown products to the kidneys, and transport used gases to the lungs.

At night, during the hours of sleep, the human body works at full speed, the cells are constantly renewed, the metabolic products (toxins, excess acids, and pollutants) are broken down and transported to the kidney. These wastes are eliminated in the urine during the first hours of the day.

Water is the most important solvent that helps our bodies detoxify and dissolve waste, so it is important to stay well hydrated at all times.

With the color and smell of your urine, you can check if the body is hydrating properly.

Drinking Water Maximizes Your Performance

Our brain is 85-90% water and is made up of a vital liquid: cerebrospinal fluid. Up to 1200 liters of blood flow through our brains every day to supply it with oxygen and carbohydrates. Therefore, it makes sense that the deficit of 3% of water, reduces mental concentration, performance, and efficiency, in addition to producing dizziness and pain in the head.

Severe lack of water leads to the decomposition of the circulatory system due to decreased blood circulation and oxygen supply to the brain.

Dehydration can cause fatigue, demotivation, and mood swings.

A study clearly shows that people with strong physical activity under mild dehydration experience decreased performance, as well as reduced endurance, increased fatigue, and demotivation. [6]

Another study found that dehydration in high-performance cyclists and athletes can dramatically reduce performance and endurance.

Studies highlight the need to drink enough fluids before each workout or competition. [7]

Woman cyclist holding her bike above her head in victory.
Top athletic performance is just one the benefits of drinking water.

To avoid periods of dehydration during sports, you should create habits during training, such as taking a break every 15 minutes to drink water. The brain only reports “thirst” when 1 or 2 liters of fluid is already missing from the body.

Average recreational athletes lose 0.5 to 1 liter of water per hour under physical exertion due to sweating. Competitive athletes exceed this measure many times. The water needs of high-performance athletes can be up to twice that of the average person.

Drinking Water During Training Helps You Improve Your Performance

Sweating is necessary to regulate body temperature. Due to sweating, the body also loses important minerals like magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium, and chloride, which are important to many body functions, especially muscles, heart, and blood circulation.

Therefore, it is important to replenish the fluid reservoir before and after training, preferably with mineral water or highly diluted fruit juice. In the case of sports activities that last more than 45 minutes, it is recommended to take breaks to drink.

Carbohydrates are also lost and must also be replaced during and after exercise to maintain performance.

Drink enough water to avoid tiredness, lack of drive, and difficulty concentrating.

Promotes Digestion and Increases Satiety

Once the small intestine has absorbed most of the nutrients, it sends food scraps to the large intestine for disposal.

The intestines are responsible for extracting enough water from food to maintain moisture in that environment and facilitate excretion, however, if the body lacks water, the intestine must extract more water from the stool for its supply, causing intestinal discomfort and constipation.

A large glass of water on an empty stomach after getting up helps the digestive system to function better, stimulates digestion, and increases intestinal motility.

Drinking Water Reduces The Risk Of Chronic and Degenerative Diseases

Proper hydration reduces the risk of various diseases such as:

  • Cancer (bladder, colon, breast)
  • Heart problems and diseases decrease
  • Blood clots and thrombosis decreases
  • Arterial hypertension
  • Osteoporosis and degenerative diseases
  • Herniated discs, water improves the buffering function of cartilage
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Prevents adrenal fatigue
  • Prevents kidney diseases
  • Decreases fluid retention and inflammation
  • Increased cell proliferation and DNA repair
  • The wear of ligaments, muscles, and joints is reduced.

Drinking alcohol can increase the risk of health problems, even drinking the necessary amount of water, due to the diuretic effect of alcohol on our body. Avoiding alcohol consumption would help us decrease the risk of chronic diseases.

Hydration and Skincare

Drinking enough water is the first step to deep skincare.

Hydrating properly will ensure you have smooth and shiny skin, and also ensures you delay the aging process.

Cells need a lot of fluid to maintain themselves, skin cells absorb the water we consume like a sponge.

Woman using a mirror to admire her smooth facial skin as one of the benefits of drinking water.

Dehydration results in dry skin, blemishes, cellulite, acne, less elasticity, and wrinkles. Your skin will no longer look as smooth, and the aging process will accelerate.

Skin cells also need a constant supply of minerals, and part of it is provided by water. As we have said before, fruits and vegetables also contain water, in addition to containing significant amounts of micronutrients that are also necessary for skincare.

Decreases Headaches, Dizziness, and Migraines

Headaches can often indicate a lack of fluids. For some people, this can also be a trigger for migraines. In some cases, drinking water can relieve symptoms of a headache.

Water Provides Optimal Conditions To Strengthen The Immune System

The human body maintains a pH range of 7.35 to 7.45 for proper physiological processes. A change in pH can cause nausea and prevent the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body, therefore, the pH must be above 7 to promote the absorption of oxygen from the body, obtain higher energy levels, and better defenses. You can do this by drinking plenty of water, and taking special care with the quality of the water you drink.

Detoxify Your Body and Eliminate Toxins With Pure Water

Water helps transport nutrients and hormones to all parts of the body, and also provides a means to remove toxins, dead cells and waste materials from our body, so it is necessary to consume enough water throughout the day.

The proteins and enzymes involved in various basic processes also need water to function properly. Urea excretion material is also highly toxic to body tissues and must be diluted before excretion, this process happens again through water because it acts as a “universal solvent”.

Avoid Cramps, Sprains and Muscle Spasms

Water is important in relieving cramps and sprains, as they are generally due to dehydration. According to various scientific investigations, dehydration can significantly increase the risk of muscle injury, in addition to increasing the risk of osteoarthritis and other degenerative conditions.

Water consumption is extremely important at any stage of life, especially in old age, when our body cannot fully store it. [8]

Improves Kidney Function

According to the International Kidney Stone Institute, you should drink 2 liters or 10 glasses of water a day to avoid kidney stone formation. Water is vital because it is the best solvent and this property prevents salts and minerals from accumulating in stones because it increases the fluidity necessary for excretion through the kidney. [9]

Regulates Body Temperature

75% of the human body is made up of water and this liquid is responsible for regulating body temperature.

Excessive sweating can be activated in various seasons of the year, such as summer because it is a mechanism to control body temperature. This mechanism uses a large part of the body’s water reserves. [10]

Promotes Cellular Respiration and Gas Exchange

Water plays its role in the distribution of oxygen throughout the human body, as it collects carbon dioxide from all tissues and dissolves them as gases to be discarded in the breathing process.

Relief Of Back Pain and Neck Pain

The spinal cord is located in the back. The nuclei of the intervertebral discs are made up of a large amount of water, and dehydration can cause chronic inflammation, causing severe pain. Drinking enough water ensures that the intervertebral discs are correctly located, avoiding chronic and disabling pain. [11]

Prevents Heart Disease

Drinking enough liquid is essential to prevent cardiovascular disease. Water is necessary to maintain the exact viscosity of the blood, plasma, and fibrinogen distribution, therefore adequate hydration is recommended for the cardiovascular system.

If you are over 35, pay special attention to your daily water consumption, according to various investigations, the risk of cardiovascular diseases can increase up to 15% in people who are not hydrated correctly.

Water Is Important For Pregnant and Lactating Mothers

Water is important to provide oxygen and the necessary nutrients to the uterus, as the gestation process develops.

The nutrients and other factors necessary for the growth of the baby are transported from the mother to the fetus through the blood, a liquid formed mainly by water.

Drinking adequate amounts of water during pregnancy can help you avoid constipation, cystitis, and hemorrhoids, common conditions during this stage.

Drinking plenty of water is one of the standard recommendations for cystitis. This has been scientifically confirmed in a study in women, and the preventive effect of recurrent urinary tract infections was also demonstrated.

Pregnant woman sitting on the grass.
Pregnant women need to drink even more water than normally. Better yet drink alkalized water.

In addition to their usual consumption, pregnant women should drink another 1.5 liters of water a day. [12]

People who hydrate properly have a lower risk of urinary tract infections, because higher volumes of water decrease the concentration of germs in the urine, making it difficult for bacteria to adhere to the bladder and urinary tract.

Water Strengthens Your Cartilage and Joints

Drinking low amounts of water increases the risk of osteoarthritis or cartilage damage. Cartilage is made up primarily of water, and dehydration increases the risk of major injury that can affect joint health.

Benefits Of Drinking Water For Hair Health

The hair is made up of approximately 20% water, and therefore, it is logical that our hair also needs enough liquid to stay hydrated.

To keep your hair healthy for a long time, you must meet the daily water requirements, approximately 2-4 liters. To meet these requirements, start creating healthy habits that allow you to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Avoid drinks with a diuretic effect such as coffee or sugary drinks.

Summary: Why Our Body Needs Water

  • For the transport of nutrients: our blood is mainly made up of water.
  • Refrigerant: sweating is a mechanism to regulate body temperature, and sweat is mainly made up of water.
  • Other fluids: Water is the body fluids such as saliva, tears, cerebrospinal fluid, or gastric juice.
  • For biochemical reactions: To use vitamins properly, for example, the body needs water for biochemical and metabolic reactions.
  • Cell renewal: the cells of the body need water for their creation.

Conclusion

In summary, headaches, problems with concentration or circulation, dry skin, dark urine, and constipation are signs of a lack of fluids.

It is recommended to drink 2 liters of water a day, depending on the individual parameters (for example, age, weight, activity) also up to 4 liters.

How Much Water Should You Drink Based On Your Body Weight?

Divide your weight (in pounds) by 2.2 (to get kilograms), then multiply the result by your age, and then divide by 28.3. For example:

First Step

(165 lb / 2.2 = 75kg)

Second Step

(75kg x 30 years = 2,250)

Third step

(2,250 / 28.3 = 80 oz of water)

Note: If you are under 30, multiply the first result by 40.

Healthy Habits: Eat and Hydrate Healthy

When we research or receive advice on how to have healthier eating habits to lose weight, we only pay attention to what we should eat and what we should avoid.

Drinking water is as important as eating healthy, as stated above, water is essential to activate the metabolism, transport nutrients throughout the body, and for the optimal functioning of the digestive system.

When establishing healthy habits, always keep in mind the glasses of water that you should drink during the day. Start the day with a glass of water, before breakfast, this will help you activate blood circulation and stimulate intestinal motility, improving your digestion. A glass of water can make a difference.

Decrease the Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages like beer do not hydrate your body, on the contrary, they stimulate diuresis, a process where the body excretes more water through urine.

Hangover after drinking some alcoholic beverages is due to the effect of dehydration on the brain and muscles.

How To Drink Enough Water? 5 Ways To Drink More Water During The Day

No matter where you need to be during the day, create habits to drink water at any time or situation. If you are at work, at the gym, at the university, or anywhere, always have your water container on hand to stay hydrated.

  • Drink enough water before eating

Drinking a glass 15 minutes before eating will help your intestine to be better prepared for digestion, it will also help you stay more satiated, thus avoiding excessive amounts of food if you are looking to lose weight.

Drinking water while eating is an excellent habit to stay hydrated. You can also drink natural juices and sugar-free drinks.

  • Track the amounts of water you drink

If you do not know exactly the amounts of water you drink during the day, you can track it with specialized apps for that. For more precise monitoring, there are several applications that will help you count how many glasses of water you drink during the day.

You can also create other habits, such as having a water pitcher in your fridge exclusively for you, or the number of glasses of water you have drunk throughout the day.

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables

Most fruits and vegetables contain between 75% and 90% water, a very high amount despite its high content of nutrients and natural flavors.

Eating fruits and vegetables can be a more entertaining way to stay hydrated throughout the day. Natural juices also contain significant amounts of water that you can use to stay hydrated.

  • Add flavor to your water

If you don’t drink enough water because you don’t like the taste, you can experiment with various options, such as adding natural flavor.

You can naturally flavor by adding a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon, slices of ginger, a few drops of freshly squeezed orange, peppermint, or any fruit or herb of your choice. Make a difference and get your palate to drink water.

Pitcher of water and a water glass with lemon slices floating in them.  FullStrideHealth.com

Water Quality Does Matter: Protect Your health

Filtering water can be one of the smartest measures to purify the water that our body absorbs.

Carbon water filters or reverse osmosis water filters remove heavy metals and contaminants such as pesticides or chlorine residues from tap water without the use of chemicals.

Filtering water at home also helps to consume less bottled water and helps contribute to the environment. Bottle production consumes significant resources and long transport routes lead to a negative ecological balance. Furthermore, plastic mineral water bottles can be harmful to health.

Why Is Water Superior To Any Other Drink?

Water is preferable to any other drink in terms of its health effects on our body. Sugary soft drinks, industrially produced lemonades, coffee, or alcohol are not adequate to meet the body’s daily fluid requirements. Drinking water is a good way to cleanse our taste buds, which can be over-excited by artificial flavorings

Final Thoughts About The Benefits Of Drinking Water

Where I live we tend to take water for granted, because we have so much of it available.

However, all city supplied tap water and probably all wells in the USA, need to be filtered or treated in some way, to get all the benefits of drinking water.

In other words tap water won’t make you sick immediately, but it will make you sick, if you don’t remove the toxins from it.

Don’t let the benefits of drinking water be ruined by chlorine, chloramines, toxic heavy metals, industrial chemicals, prescription drugs, etc..

Check Out These Under Sink Water Filters

References

  1. How Much Water Do We Really Need to Drink?

2. Public knowledge of dehydration and fluid intake practices: variation by participants’ characteristics

3. Water Homeostasis and Cell Volume Maintenance and Regulation

4. Hunger and Thirst: Issues in measurement and prediction of eating and drinking

5. Water-induced Thermogenesis

6. The Effect of Fluid Intake Following Dehydration on Subsequent Athletic and Cognitive Performance: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

7. The effect of dehydration on muscle metabolism and time trial performance during prolonged cycling in males

8. Muscle Cramps

9. Kidney Stone Institute

10. The effect of water temperature and voluntary drinking on the post rehydration sweating

11. Neck pain: Overview

12. Nutrition Column An Update on Water Needs during Pregnancy and Beyond

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Summary
Benefits Of Drinking Water and Staying Hydrated: Drink Or Die?
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Benefits Of Drinking Water and Staying Hydrated: Drink Or Die?
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More than 20% dehydration is deadly. There are numerous benefits of drinking water for brain function, disease prevention, athletic performance, and more.
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Full Stride Health
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