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The power of hydration: Benefits for Health

Staying hydrated is important for our health, but sometimes we forget about it. As we get older, this becomes even more crucial. People who are 60 years old and above have a higher chance of getting dehydrated. This happens because they might not feel as thirsty as before, and their bodies change in how they store water. Also, older folks often take medicines like diuretics that make them lose fluids.

If drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day feels tough, don’t worry! Many experts say that’s how much we should drink. Here are 6 benefits why drinking more water is a great idea.

Hydration Affects Your Energy and Brain

When you don’t drink enough water, it affects your energy and how your brain works. Your brain depends a lot on how hydrated you are. Research tells us that even a small lack of water, like losing just 1–3% of your body weight, can mess with how your brain functions.

For example, in a study with young women, experts found that losing 1.4% of body fluids after exercising made them feel bad and made it harder for them to focus. They also got more headaches. Lots of other studies, including ones with kids and older people, have shown that not having enough water can make you feel moody, mess with your memory, and make your brain work not so well.

Water protects your body parts

Water isn’t just for quenching your thirst or cooling your body; it does much more. It helps keep your body parts moist. Do you know how uncomfortable it feels when your eyes, nose, or mouth gets dry? Well, staying hydrated helps these parts of your body stay moist. It’s not just these areas, though. Water also helps keep the right moisture levels in your blood, bones, and brain, says the U.S. Geological Survey. Plus, water plays a role in shielding your spinal cord and is a cushion for your joints, making movement smoother and more comfortable.

A Possible Solution for Constipation

Constipation is when you have trouble going to the bathroom regularly and find it hard to pass stool. Doctors often suggest drinking more fluids as part of the solution; there’s proof that it can help. Not drinking enough water can make constipation more likely, whether you’re younger or older. But if you drink more water, it might help you go to the bathroom more easily.

Mineral water, especially the kind with lots of magnesium and sodium, could be extra helpful for folks dealing with constipation. Studies have found that this type of water can improve how often you go to the bathroom and how easily you pass stool if you’re constipated.

It regulates body temperature

Water in your body’s skin layers is sweat when you get hot. When this sweat evaporates, it helps cool your body down. This is important to control your body’s temperature. Scientists think that if you don’t have enough water, you might struggle more when it’s hot, and your body might not handle the heat well.

If your body has enough water, it might make it easier for you when you’re doing exercises, and it’s really hot. But scientists are still studying this to know more about how water helps when it’s hot and you’re active.

 Protecting Your Kidney

Kidney stones are painful bunches of crystal-like minerals that form in your urinary system, often in the kidneys. There’s not a lot of proof, but some studies suggest that drinking enough water might help stop kidney stones from coming back in people who’ve had them before.

When you drink more fluids, you pee more, making the stuff in your urine less concentrated. This means minerals are less likely to stick together and create those painful stones. Also, drinking enough water might even stop kidney stones from forming in the first place, but experts need to do more research to be sure about this.

Aiding in Weight Loss

Drinking lots of water can help you lose weight. How? Water can make you feel full and speed up how fast your body burns calories. Some proof suggests that drinking more water can help with weight loss by slightly increasing how many calories your body uses daily.

In a study with 50 young women who were overweight, they drank about 16.9 ounces (500 mL) of extra water three times a day before meals for eight weeks. Guess what happened? They lost weight and body fat compared to before the study! But there’s a trick to it. Drink water about half an hour before eating.

Decreased joint pain

The material in our joints, called cartilage, has about 80% water. When you keep yourself hydrated, it keeps your joints nice and slick. This slickness helps by making a sort of “padding” between your bones, which reduces the rubbing between them. Less rubbing means your joints move better and hurt less.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

  • If you want to avoid dehydration, just drink more water and eat foods with lots of water. A simple rule is eight glasses a day.
  • Here’s another way: take one-third of your weight and drink that number in ounces of fluids. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink about 50 ounces of water daily.
  • Sometimes, you’ll need to drink more water, especially when you’re doing physical activities, it’s hot or humid outside, or if you’re vomiting or have diarrhea.
  • But remember, everyone’s body is different. Your needs might not be the same as someone else’s. It depends on your health, any medical conditions you have, and the medicines you take. Chatting with your doctor to figure out how much water is just right for you is a good idea.

Final Words

Not drinking enough water, even just a little, can mess with your mind and body. Try to get the right amount of water each day. It might be 64 ounces (1.9 liters) for some people, but it could be different for you. Drinking enough water is one of the best things you can do to keep your body healthy.