Your body is made up of approximately 60% water, which is why controlling loss and water intake is so important. Staying properly hydrated can benefit you in many ways, as well as protect you from various health problems. Learn 7 scientific reasons why drinking water contributes to better physical and mental health.
1. Promotes Weight Loss:
It is a scientific fact that drinking a certain amount of water a day thins. This intake can help you lose those extra kilos through 3 mechanisms:
- Decreased appetite.
- Increase in calorie burning.
- Automatic reduction of total calorie consumption.
Drinking water 30 minutes before each meal reduces the number of total calories you consume during the rest of the day and increases weight loss by up to 44%, which could amount to 2 kilos. The recommended daily amount of water is 2 liters and drinking that amount increases calorie burning by 96 calories per day, further increasing if you drink cold water. On the other hand, you should know that when you drink half a liter of water, your metabolism also increases by 30%. Also, water has no calories and several studies have concluded that drinking water instead of other types of beverages, such as sugary or soft drinks, makes you eat 9% less calories per day or, which is the same, 200 calories less. Likewise, it has been found that drinking sugary drinks before a meal increases your total calorie intake by 7.8%, compared to drinking water. In conclusion, drinking between 1 liter and 1 liter and a half of water a day causes a significant reduction in weight, decreases body mass index and eliminates large amounts of abdominal fat.
2. Prevents and Relieves Constipation:
Constipation is a digestive problem that many people suffer in silence and can become very annoying, even interfering negatively in your daily activities. But there is a very simple and effective way to avoid it … drink water!
“An insufficient intake of water can cause mild dehydration, one of the most common risk factors for constipation”.
When you consume few liquids, the large intestine absorbs water from bowel movements, increasing its hardness and making it difficult to expel. According to some studies, drinking carbonated water is very effective in combating constipation and improving the symptoms of dyspepsia, although it is not known whether the results are due to carbon dioxide or the higher mineral content of this type of water. Staying hydrated at all times and eating fiber-rich foods will help keep constipation at bay.
3. Maintain and Increase Your Physical Performance:
Hydration during physical exercise is very important. Water does not provide you with energy such as fats or carbohydrates, but fluid loss can seriously affect your physical performance. Dehydration, while still mild, can alter body temperature, because tiredness and fatigue, decrease motivation and hinder exercise, both physically and mentally. People who begin training or physical activity with a fluid deficit do not have the same performance as those who are fully hydrated, regardless of whether the exercise is short or long lasting. You should keep in mind that an athlete can lose up to a liter and a half of their liquid weight through sweating in just one hour. It is for these reasons that complete hydration before, during and after exercise is so important.
4. Reduces the Risk of Kidney Stones:
Kidney stones, also called kidney stones or lithiasis, are formed from traces of minerals present in the urine. The human organism has its own mechanisms to eliminate toxins from the body and one of these mechanisms is the kidneys. The kidneys are two small organs whose function is to expel waste and excess water out of our body. When we drink little water, the urine becomes more concentrated and it is much easier for some wastes to crystallize and form stones. On the contrary, a greater intake of water increases the volume of urine that seeps into the kidneys and facilitates the dissolution of substances that can form stones, in addition to favoring even the expulsion of existing stones. Regarding the scientific evidence that supports this fact, there are studies that confirm that drinking more water can reduce the recurrence of kidney stones, although more research is required.
5. Prevents Headaches:
One of the common symptoms of dehydration is the headache. In an investigation, it was observed that the increase in water intake reduced the total number of hours and the intensity of headaches, although not the frequency with which they appeared. Another study revealed that drinking a liter and a half more water per day improved the quality of life of those subjects prone to mild headaches by significantly reducing symptoms. However, the effect may vary from one person to another and depends on the type of headache.
6. Improves Cognitive Performance:
Normally, the 1% loss of body fluid is compensated within 24 hours. But if this compensation does not occur and fluid is still lost, cognitive and physical functions are affected. Mild dehydration can alter many important aspects of cognitive function, such as the level of alertness, concentration or short-term memory in children, youth and adults. And this should not surprise you, since 75% of your brain is made up of water. A study conducted with male subjects concluded that mild dehydration increased tension and anxiety, as well as reduced alertness and visual memory. And there are still many other studies that have proven that a reduced water intake along with a mild fluid loss (dehydration) seriously impairs cognitive functions. In other words, not only does food affect your body’s functions in one way or another; The consumption of liquids is equally important when it comes to ensuring good health. Do not take a risk and always carry a bottle of water with you: drinking from time to time even if you are not really thirsty can prevent mild dehydration that leads to greater consequences.
7. Prevents and Reduces Hangover Symptoms:
The hangover is a set of symptoms caused by excessive alcohol consumption, including throbbing headache, fatigue and dry mouth. But do you know why all this is due? Again, dehydration is the trigger for this chain of such annoying symptoms (although not the only one): alcohol is a diuretic drink. By consuming alcohol in large quantities, the volume of fluids in your body is significantly reduced, since alcohol contributes to dehydration. Surprised? Therefore, drinking water between a glass can drink a horrible hangover the next day or, even simpler, control your alcohol consumption if you do not want the hangover to take over your body. If there is no remedy to prevent the hangover because it has already attacked you, drink all the water you can to recover all the liquids that the alcohol made you lose during the previous night. A large glass of water before bed can also help you.
What is the Recommended Daily Amount of Water?
In reality, each person needs to consume a different amount of water, depending on their physical condition, health, habits, age… In general, health authorities recommend drinking at least 2 liters of water a day, but there will be people who need more. For example, if you are a sports person, it is obvious that you will need to drink much more than 2 liters, and the same goes for the elderly or nursing mothers. But one thing is clear:
- If you are thirsty, baby, and when you are satiated, stop.
- In periods of hot weather or exercise, drink enough water to compensate for fluid loss.
- If your goal is to lose weight, increase your daily intake and, mainly, drink water before meals: approx. 2 liters daily.
However, it is also not good to abuse water, since you can reach a state of hyperhydration, in which your body cannot eliminate all the water you ingest and can even be fatal.