Water makes up a large percentage of human body composition — it accounts for about 75% of a newborn’s body weight and drops to around 55% percent in older adults. Blood plasma, or the liquid part of blood, is about 90% water, and nearly all our bodily systems depend on water to function effectively.
Adequate daily water intake varies from person to person. However, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has established some guidelines suggesting that an average adequate daily fluid intake is 15.5 cups for men and 11.5 cups a day for women. About 20% of our water consumption should come from foods, and the rest should come from the water we drink. This level of intake helps keep our bodies healthy and strong.
What are some of water’s health benefits? Read on to learn more.
How Does Water Benefit Your Body?
Below are the top 10 benefits of drinking water for the human body.
1. Skin Clarity and Health
Drinking enough water has a tremendously positive effect on skin clarity and health. Dehydration promotes the formation of wrinkles, and it can also lead to dry skin and certain rashes and skin disorders. Adequate water intake, though, helps keep the skin soft, hydrated, clear and lustrous.
The benefits of drinking water for skin also extend to your youthful appearance — the collagen that supports healthy, firm skin is about 60% water by weight, so enough water intake may help keep this protein plump and help prevent premature aging. Other factors like sun exposure and genetics, though, also play a role.
2. Weight Control
The benefits of drinking water for weight loss and healthy weight maintenance are also substantial. Juices and many sodas are high in calories and sugar. Extra calories quickly lead to added weight, and excessive sugar consumption can lead to cravings that wreak havoc on a thoughtfully planned diet. Water contains no calories and can help the body feel full and stave off cravings.
3. Blood Pressure Regulation
Adequate consumption of water helps regulate blood pressure. Dehydration can lead to a thinning of the blood, which, in extreme cases, can cause dangerous drops in blood pressure that could harm the internal organs. But drinking enough water helps maintain a healthy blood consistency and keep blood pressure numbers within the recommended ranges. Drinking water before giving blood can also increase blood pressure enough to keep donors from getting woozy — it reduces the incidence of fainting from lowered blood pressure by up to 20%.
4. Body Temperature Regulation
The middle layers of the skin typically store the body’s water. During exercise, or when the body becomes overheated, this water rises to the skin’s surface as sweat and helps cool the body through evaporation.
Some evidence suggests that when the body becomes dehydrated, heat storage in the skin increases because there is inadequate water to allow the body to cool itself through sweating. This heat storage can decrease the body’s effectiveness in responding to the strain that occurs during physical exertion. But drinking enough water can help reduce strain on the body during exercise.
5. Energy Boosting
Drinking enough water throughout the day helps boost energy levels and stave off periods of drowsiness and fatigue. Many people drink coffee to stay alert in the morning and throughout the day. Drinking water helps increase alertness without the adverse side effects of caffeine consumption, such as shakiness and energy crashes. Dehydration negatively impacts mood and energy levels, but drinking water helps combat those effects and get the body and mind alert and energized.
Some evidence also suggests that drinking enough water helps boost energy to improve athletic performance. One study found evidence that dehydration had an observable negative effect on physical exertion that lasted for more than 30 seconds. But drinking more water can help correct for this detrimental effect.
6. Kidney Function
Adequate hydration also helps maintain proper kidney function. Water is essential to help the kidneys preserve the body’s homeostasis by filtering fluids, regulating fluid levels and maintaining electrolyte balances in the body.
Flushing too little water through the kidneys can lead to problems like kidney stones. Why? Water helps dissolve minerals and nutrients and remove waste products. If there isn’t enough water available, minerals and nutrients build up in the kidneys and accrete as stones. When waste products accumulate in the kidneys, it forces these vital organs to work much harder than they would otherwise have to. These issues potentially lead to chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. But consuming the proper amount of water helps keep the kidneys healthy and functioning effectively.
7. Digestive Efficiency
Drinking enough water aids the digestive system. Water helps form the saliva we need to start breaking down food as we consume it. And water is essential for proper intestinal function as well. Without an adequate supply of water, the stomach experiences increased concentrations of acid, and the intestines cannot break down food or transport food waste through the body effectively. These issues can lead to symptoms of gastric distress, such as heartburn, constipation and stomach ulcers. But water dilutes stomach acid and helps bulk up food waste and move it through the body more easily.
8. Joint Health
Adequate water consumption is essential for joint health. Water helps form necessary lubrication for the joints to prevent friction and pain as the body moves — cartilage, which surrounds the joints and the discs of the spine, is about 80% water. Chronic dehydration decreases the ability of cartilage to act as a natural shock absorber, and this decreased shock absorption can lead to joint pain. But drinking enough water helps the body maintain easy, pain-free mobility.
9. Brain Function
One of the most significant health benefits of water is its positive effect on brain function. Water helps provide the fluid necessary to cushion the brain and spinal cord and protect them from injury. And evidence suggests that dehydration can lead to the disruption of the hormones and neurotransmitters needed for proper brain function, particularly the functions involved in reasoning, focus and short-term memory. Adequate hydration, though, can promote healthy brain function and clear, measured thinking.
10. Nutrient Absorption
Drinking enough water is essential for optimal nutrient absorption, as well. Water dissolves minerals and nutrients and makes them available for the body to use. Dehydration makes much less water available to help dissolve minerals and nutrients the body needs to function. But adequate water consumption helps ensure the body can absorb the nutrients it needs for effective function and optimal health.
Contact Long’s EcoWater for All Your Home Water Needs
When you need clean, healthy, great-tasting water for your home, trust Long’s EcoWater for solutions. We have the tools you need to get your water running safe and clear. Thanks to our extensive catalog of water treatment options, whether your home has hard water, bacterial contamination or problem water containing sulfur, iron, chlorine or nitrates, we can offer a solution. And our state-of-the-art home drinking water systems give you refreshing, great-tasting water that makes it easy to stay hydrated and healthy.
Contact us today to learn more.