Your body releases fluid continually through skin evaporation (sweat), urine, stool, and breathing, and you need to replace these losses if you are to maintain good health and optimal functioning. When water output is greater than input, you can be dehydrated. In most cases, you are dehydrated before you know it or feel it. The loss of fluid is heightened in high altitudes, in warmer climates, during intense exercise, and in older individuals who may not have a sharp sense of thirst.
Here are some science-based health benefits of drinking enough water.
- Optimize Physical Performance
Your physical performance may suffer if you’re dehydrated. Hydration is especially vital during high heat or intense exercise. If you lose even 2 percent of the body’s water content, there will be a noticeable effect. Athletes can lose 6 to 10 percent water weight through sweat. This can lead to reduced motivation, increased fatigue, and a change in body temperature control. It can make exercise feel more draining both mentally and physically. To prevent these effects, you should be adequately and consistently hydrated.
- Optimize Physical Performance
- Improve Brain Function and Energy Levels
Research reveals that even with slight dehydration, like losing 1 to 3 percent of your body weight, numerous aspects of your brain function can be impaired. Fluid loss in young women after exercise can impair mood and concentration and increase the occurrence of headaches. In young men, fluid loss can impair working memory and increase fatigue and anxiety. Various studies show that mild dehydration can be detrimental to brain performance, memory, and mood.
- Prevent and Treat Headaches
For some individuals, dehydration can trigger migraine and headaches. Research shows that headache is a common symptom of dehydration. Additionally, studies show that drinking water can provide relief to those who often get headaches.
- Relive Constipation
Constipation is characterized by difficulty in passing stool and infrequent bowel movements. For those suffering from constipation, part of the treatment involves increasing their fluid intake. Several studies have shown that low water consumption increases the risk of constipation. Additionally, studies have shown that water rich in sodium and magnesium improves the frequency and consistency of bowel movement in constipated people.
- Help Treat Kidney Stones
Urinary stones are excruciating mineral crystal clusters that accumulate in your urinary system. Kidney stones are the most common form of urinary stones. Some studies suggest that people who’ve had kidney stones can prevent recurrence by drinking more water. Increased fluid intake leads to more urine passing through your kidneys. This dilutes the minerals’ concentration and thus reduces the likelihood of them crystallizing.
- Prevent Hangovers
Alcohol has a diuretic nature, meaning by drinking alcohol, you lose more water than you gain. Therefore, you may become dehydrated post alcohol consumption. While hangovers aren’t primarily caused by dehydration, being dehydrated can lead to symptoms like dry mouth, headache, thirst, and fatigue. You can reduce having hangovers by taking water between drinks as well as before you sleep.