Drinking more water wasn’t really on my radar until about eight years ago. We’ve all heard that drinking water is important for weight loss. But, what about the overall health benefits of drinking more water?
I wasn’t really trying to lose weight and I wasn’t going to the gym or going on long hikes, so I didn’t really need to pay attention to how much I was drinking, right?
Not drinking enough water was contributing to the inflammation in my body. The inflammation was compounding some of the processes in my body that were leading to adrenal fatigue and panic disorder.
Now, not drinking enough water was not the only factor in all of this. There were other things like not eating more vegetables, not prioritizing self-care activities, eating clean, exercising not getting enough sleep, and so much more.
I knew I wanted to live a more dynamic life with more emphasis on adventure and experiences. But, I felt terrible all the time and I needed to prioritize my health.
There are so many reasons that our bodies need water and, by not providing my body with enough water on a daily basis, I was creating more problems for myself.
Why does your body need water?
Did you know that 60% of your body is made up of water? Hard to believe right? Especially if you hardly ever drink any water.
But, it’s true.
In fact, every tissue, cell, and bodily function requires water. But, we lose water through breathing, sweating, and digestion. So, it’s important to replace what we’ve lost.
Just like having a healthy relationship with money reduces stress, drinking plenty of water keeps your body systems working efficiently.
You know when you’ve been staring at your computer screen for too long and your eyes start to get dry? Well, the same thing happens with the tissue inside of your body.
That’s why having a dry mouth is a clear sign of dehydration. Your body needs water in order to keep the tissues moist and lubricated.
Water also helps to protect your spinal cord by creating a buffer of liquid around it. Also, the synovial fluid in your joints requires that your body be plenty hydrated to cushion.
Flush toxins and waste
A major cause of inflammation build up inside of your body is the inability to efficiently flush toxins and waste. Basically, this means you’re constipated and can’t poop.
Drinking plenty of water helps to speed up your digestion and push toxins and waste out so they’re not sludging up your digestive system and leaching into your body, making you feel sick or rundown.
Your kidneys and liver are responsible for filter toxins out of your blood. If you drink plenty of water, this process is much more efficient and effective because the blood moves through the filtering organs more easily with fewer toxins to remove.
Being kind to your liver and kidneys will definitely benefit you in the long run when it comes to living longer and more healthily.
You may not realize it but, digestion actually starts in your mouth with enzymes in your saliva that help to break down food.
If you don’t have enough salvia, because you are dehydrated and your mouth is dry, that first step of digestion doesn’t happen and the food moves into your stomach in much bigger pieces.
This causes your stomach and stomach acids to have to work that much harder to break the food down and the process just continues through your digestive tract.
Drinking enough water means you have plenty of saliva to break the food down before it is swallowed.
With all of these bodily functions requiring water, you can imagine there are a fair number of benefits to drinking water and keeping your body hydrated.
What are the benefits of drinking water?
Since your body is 60% water and your blood is 90% water it’s obvious that there are some solid reasons to drink plenty of water. We know that it helps with every bodily function in the body and helps to reduce inflammation.
But, what about the overall health benefits of drinking water?
Keep the joints lubricated
Your joints contain bone but, also cartilage. This is the hard but flexible material that makes up body parts like your ears and the bridge of your nose.
That cartilage is 80% water so, one of the benefits of drinking enough water is protecting your joints by keeping the cartilage supple and thick.
Helps to deliver O2 in your body
Blood has many functions, but one of the most important ones is to carry oxygen to every part of your body.
Blood goes into your lungs and picks up oxygen and then travels throughout your body to deliver that oxygen to every nook and cranny.
Your blood is 90% water!
So, a major health benefit of drinking water is that it helps your blood carry oxygen through your body.
This can benefit your skin as much as having a clean beauty routine.
Keep body temperature regulated
The resting temperature for the human body is 98.6 degrees. When your body temperature gets higher than that, your body releases water in the form of sweat.
This is done in an effort to cool the body down.
But, what if there isn’t enough water because you’re dehydrated? Some studies suggest this can lead to heat exhaustion and other dangerous symptoms.
Drinking plenty of water ensures that your body will always be able to cool down if needed.
Helps you breathe
One of the ways that your body loses water is through breathing. So, when your body is dehydrated, your airways actually restrict to prevent too much water loss.
If you have allergies or asthma, not drinking enough water can actually make things worse as your airways will begin to restrict.
For those of you who don’t have allergies or asthma, having restricted airways while your working out is less than desirable.
Make sure to drink your water and breathe freely. This will help your meditation practice have such a bigger impact on reducing your overall levels of stress.
How to make sure you drink more water?
When you think about the number one reason why you are not drinking enough water, what do you think about?
For me, it was “water is sooooo boring”.
It was hard to go from drinking coffee, beer, and soda to …. water.
But, luckily with some research, I learned about a bunch of different ways to make water more interesting and fun to drink.
Nowadays, I drink four cups of tea and 12 cups of water per day without even thinking about it. But, I definitely notice when I haven’t had enough water.
I start to feel tired, distracted, unable to focus.
And, as soon as I have a few cups of water, I’m back to normal!
Figuring out how to drink more water every day wasn’t a very difficult part of my journey. It took some getting used to, but once I was able to make water more interesting, the habit came pretty easily.
Drink infused water
Adding fruit or herbs to a pitcher of water has two perks; you get the benefit of drinking water and the benefit of whatever you infused the water with.
This is a great way to easily drink more water and get some added nutritional support
Drink a cup of water after each bathroom trip
So, one of the side effects of drinking water is that you will go to the bathroom more. But, if you make it a habit to drink a cup of water after each trip to the restroom then, you won’t go more than an hour or so without drinking water.
Add lemon juice and stevia
This is my favorite way to drink more water. I add some lemon juice and a tablespoon of stevia to my pitcher of water and then pour from it throughout the day.
There’s something about the flavor combination of these two that makes drinking water super easy. And, I’m so happy to be getting the benefits of drinking water without struggling to get enough cups in.
Use a water bomb
This is also one of my favorite tricks for drinking more water. I don’t do well with tracking cups of water so I have a 12 cup pitcher that I fill up with water, lemon juice and a bit of stevia at the beginning of the day and I fill my cup from there.
I know that I need to drink the whole pitcher each day to meet my water goals. My cup sits on my desk and I get up and fill it each time I use the bathroom or go to the kitchen to get a snack.
The only time that I struggle with this method is when I’m not at home and I’m out somewhere.
Drink sparkling water
When I was trying to break my addiction to soda, my naturopath recommended that I switch to sparkling water.
It is definitely not the same flavor but, at least it gave me the same “feeling” from drinking the carbonated water.
The taste isn’t terrible.
Now that I’ve been at it for a while I actually prefer it and the taste of soda is like how a car engine smells.
But, it did take a little while before my taste buds adjusted to the difference.
Learning the health benefits of drinking water was a huge motivator for me to start doing it and these tips for how to make it happen just helped me along.