20 Benefits of Drinking Water: How Much to Drink and Why You Should

Drinking water comes with a lot of benefits. But what exactly are these benefits? How much water is too much to drink? Are you drinking enough of it?

These questions may have crossed your mind. Well, there is no need just to keep wondering because we have come armed with 20 solid benefits of drinking water.

We have also included the recommended water levels for different age groups along with some water statistics. It should help you gain a clear idea of why water is so vital and maybe even motivate you to increase your daily intake.

20 Benefits of Drinking Water

1. Helps form saliva and mucus

Water largely makes up our saliva and mucus. It helps keep our mouth, nose, and eyes moist, which prevents unwanted friction by keeping them all lubricated. Drinking water can also keep the mouth clean and prevent bad breath. Furthermore, if you replace those sugary drinks with water, it can also reduce tooth decay.

2. Delivers oxygen throughout the body

Our blood constitutes more than 90% water. It is thus vital in transporting oxygen to different parts of the body. This is why a lack of water can cause a shortage of proper oxygen supply, causing you to have low energy.

3. Boosts skin health and overall beauty

Drinking water can make your skin cells healthier and plump. It is known to minimize premature wrinkles and help you look younger for longer. It can also flush out the toxins that dull your face and ensure a healthy glow. Adding a dash of lemon into your water can add vitamin C to your intake and further boost your skin health.

4. Lubricates joints

Our joints are made from cartilage. Cartilage is about 80% water. Therefore, long-term dehydration can reduce shock-absorbing ability and cause joint pain.

5. Boosts productivity

The lack of water can cause you to become sluggish. A glass of water can help replenish your energy and attention.

6. Flushing out the waste

Water is essential for flushing out unwanted wastes via sweating as well as urine and feces. This helps keep your kidneys healthy and your immune system strong.

7. Regulates body temp

When the body heats up, water expels sweat. This sweat evaporates to cool our body temperature. Some studies have suggested that the shortage of water in the body causes heat build-up.

8. Helps the digestive system

Water is a must for keeping the digestive system functioning. Lack of water can cause an imbalance in your stomach ecosystem. It increases the acidity, which can give way to stomach ulcers. Moreover, dehydration can lead to problems like constipation.

9. Cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues

As water forms the majority of our body, lack of it can have severe effects in terms of the brain’s functioning. Long-term dehydration can even cause problems with reasoning skills and affect the production of several hormones.

10. Maintains blood pressure

A lack of water in your blood can cause it to become thicker, which results in high blood pressure problems. Drinking plenty of water helps balance your body’s fluid levels.

11. Reduces fatigue

The primary symptom of dehydration is exhaustion. It can make you feel fully drained and unable to perform everyday activities. A tall glass of this caffeine-free drink can make sure your energy is well maintained throughout the day.

12. Helps the transport of minerals and nutrients

The minerals and nutrients dissolve in the water, which then makes it easy to circulate them throughout the body.

13. Promotes weight loss

Water can be an excellent substitute for any sugary drinks that may be contributing to weight gain. You can also drink a glass of water before meals to help prevent overeating. Similarly, drinking cold water is better as your body will burn off some calories to heat that water.

14. Helps kidneys function smoothly

The kidneys are the center for fluid management in your body. They filter nearly 120-150 quarts of fluids every day. The lack of water can cause kidney stones and other problems. You can help your kidneys efficiently flush out the unwanted wastes by drinking tons of water.

15. Helps boost performance during exercise

Consuming more water contributes to a smoother overall functioning. It is then no surprise that it can make strenuous exercise easier on your body. Muscles tend to tire out quickly when there is a lack of water. So, remember to take your water bottle to the gym!

16. Prevents hangovers

Water is great at keeping yourself hydrated in between alcoholic beverages. This will also prevent you from drinking too much and prevent headaches the next morning.

17. Helps airways

Dehydration causes the airways in your body to become more constricted. The airways constrict to prevent or minimize water loss. However, it can aggravate conditions like asthma or allergies.

18. Prevents sickness

Drinking fluids while sick can help replace all the extra water that you are losing. Especially during colds, it can also aid in decongestion. While this hasn’t been scientifically corroborated, drinking water will help your body heal faster by flushing out all the impurities. Other than that, it can help prevent dehydration headaches as well.

19. Improved Thinking

At this point, we have understood that drinking water can help you become fresh and energized. As a positive consequence of this, it can also promote a clearer mindset, help you concentrate, and stay alert. A study conducted in 2013 reported that students that brought water into an exam room tended to have better grades.

20. Improves your immune system

Drinking a lot of water can help flush out all the harmful particles from your body. It thus boosts your immune system and promotes a proper oxygen flow throughout your body.

How much water do you need to drink?

Now that we know all the great benefits that drinking water provides, the next question is much water should you be drinking?

The simple answer is it varies. Depending on your physique, your lifestyle, how much you sweat, and so on. While there isn’t a hard and fast rule regarding the exact intake, there is an average recommendation from the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

  1. For children (under 8): Approx.1.18 liters or 40 ounces (~5 cups)
  2. For children (9-13): Approx. 1.6-1.9 liters or 56-64 ounces (~7-8 cups)
  3. For teenagers: Approx. 1.9-2.6 liters or 64-88 ounces (~8-11 cups)
  4. For men: Approx. 3.7 liters or 125 ounces (~15.5 cups)
  5. For women: Approx. 2.7 liters or 91 ounces (~11.5 cups)
  6. For pregnant or breastfeeding women: Approx. 2.3-3.07 liters or 80-104 ounces (~10-13 cups)

This direction is an average daily recommendation. It may seem ridiculously high, but you have to remember that we get quite a lot of our water from food as well. So with that in mind, the actual amount of water would be about 12.5 cups (100 ounces) for men and about 9 cups (73 ounces) for women.

When to consciously drink water?

While we stress the importance of drinking water, on average, you are most likely consuming enough water. Water present in foods, coffee, and other drinks, along with the occasional glass of water, should be sufficient to keep you from dehydration.

However, there are certain times when you need to make sure you are hydrated more than the others. These can be:

  • When you have a fever: Hydrate to make sure the body can transfer nutrients smoothly and heal quicker.
  • During summer: As you are losing more water by sweating and drinking water can help regulate body temperature
  • During constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting: Can monitor body functioning and replenish water supply lost during diarrhea and vomiting.
  • During pregnancy: While pregnant or when breastfeeding, women will require more than the average amount of water. They will need to up their intake to at least 10-13 cups a day.

How do I know if I am drinking enough water?

Your body has a handy way of letting you know when you aren’t drinking enough: thirst. If you spend the majority of the day without being thirsty, then your water intake is already sufficient. You can also check the color of your urine. If it is colorless to a light yellow, then you are drinking enough water.

Water Statistics

We all wonder if we consume enough water or not, but have we thought about how much water is being consumed in general? A study regarding the behaviors and attitudes associated with low drinking water intake among U.S. adults, with a sample size of 3,397 adults discovered:

  • 7% of adults reported zero consumption of drinking water
  • 36% reported consuming only about 1 to 3 cups of water
  • 35% reported consuming between 4 to 7 cups
  • 22% reported drinking 8 cups or more.

This study concluded that participants aged 55 years or older were likely to be drinking less than 4 cups of water daily. However, there are many ways one can get their daily fluid intake. It can be by consuming fruits or vegetables as well. Still, pure and calorie-free water is the healthiest way to keep yourself hydrated.

Sources of Water

Pure water is, of course, the healthiest choice you could make for your fluid intake. However, some people really don’t like the taste. In such cases, instead of drinking water at all, it is better to resort to one of the following:

  1. Fruit juice or soda: While fruit juices do come with added preservatives and sugar, it can still provide quite a bit of hydration. The same goes for soda, which is 90% water.
  2. Fruits and vegetables: Citrus fruits can also be an excellent choice. Not only do they have high water content, but they are also rich in vitamins. Similarly, vegetables like lettuce, celery, or zucchini are 90% water. Strawberries, watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, eggplant, and so on also have very high water content.
  3. Soups or broths: If you dislike plain water, then soup can be a great replacement. Especially if you live in colder climates, then they can provide both warmth and hydration.
  4. Other drinks: Warm drinks such as coffee, tea, or cocoa can also be an excellent way to provide some liquid intake. However, you will need to watch your sugar intake. Similarly, soy milk is another drink that is nearly 88.5% water.

Conclusion

Water is an excellent no-calorie drink with a multitude of benefits to offer. As per the statistics, an average American is not reaching their required water intake. To avoid this, make sure you have a glass of water handy every morning and don’t forget to take your water bottle to the gym!