As vital as the air we breathe, water is your body’s very best friend. Every single cell needs its share of H2O to function. Water helps flush out toxins, aids digestion, transports nutrients, maintains your body temperature and a whole lot more. Water also helps with weight loss and helps give your skin a more vibrant, healthy glow. So, what are you waiting for? Raise a glass to the endless benefits of water!
Why is Water Important?
Hydration has a huge impact on overall health. After all, our bodies are made up of more water than anything else — over 50% of our bodies are water. So, it makes sense that we need to stay hydrated so all our cells and organs can function properly. Since your body uses water in nearly every process, if you don’t drink enough water, it can lead to health concerns in the long run. Even minor dehydration can leave you feeling fatigued, affect mood and impact cognitive performance.1
How Does Your Body Use Water?
Your body uses water for everything. Your body uses water when you breathe, sweat, eat, become exposed to temperature changes or participate in aerobic activities, sleep and much more. Here is a quick list of some of the ways your body uses water:
Hydration is needed for saliva production and to help break down food. Water supports the digestion of soluble fiber, which helps bowel health.
Fluid & Mineral Balance
Water helps balance fluid and mineral levels in the body.
Water is essential to help regulate your core temperature and cool your body through sweat.
Healthy Blood Plasma Levels
If you don’t take in adequate fluids each day, especially in a warm environment or during a workout, your blood plasma volume could be affected.2
Your liver, kidneys, and bowels use water to help rid your body of waste.
Lubrication & Protection
Water lubricates your joints, and helps protect your spine, organs and tissues.
Health Benefits of Water
Beyond the very important, foundational functions in the body, staying hydrated provides some other benefits, too. Here are some top benefits of water.
Drink water for fewer cravings, less hunger and a boosted metabolic rate.4
Water’s role in waste removal helps flush out toxins.
More Supple-Looking Skin
Keeps skin moisturized and supple-looking, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Drinking water helps stimulate the digestive process and encourages healthy digestion.
Staying hydrated helps keep you feeling like your best and most energetic self.2
Hydration levels can affect performance, endurance and motivation during physical activity.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Your optimal water intake may vary based on your overall health, diet, environment, activity level, and exercise routine. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAM) an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.3 That’s 124 ounces of fluids for men and 92 ounces of fluids for women each day. Your daily consumption of food, beverages and water all contribute to how much fluid you take in each day.
Water & Weight Loss
Water helps with weight loss in several ways. Replacing higher-calorie beverages with zero-calorie water is an instant win, both for your hydration levels and your weight loss goals. But drinking water may even boost your metabolic rate.4 One study showed that after drinking 500 ml (16.9 ounces) of water, participants experienced a 30% increase in metabolic rate after 10 minutes, which lasted around 30 to 40 minutes.4
Water also helps keep your body from retaining excess fluids, flush out toxins and byproducts of fat loss, and aids your body in digesting the foods you eat. If you drink water before meals, then you are also less likely to overeat, plus water can help minimize cravings. Sometimes when you think you are hungry, you are actually just thirsty. So, reach for a glass of water first, about 10 minutes before every meal or snack.
Why is Water Good for Your Skin?
Is your skin looking dull, dry or flaky? Drinking more water could help! It’s easy to forget that skin is an organ, too, and needs water just like the rest of your body. But your skin cells are the last to get hydrated by the water you drink, so until your body is fully hydrated, your skin won’t reap the benefits.5
Dry skin is less resilient and more likely to get wrinkles. Water can help hydrate your skin, giving it the appearance of being more supple and youthful. But drinking water isn’t an instant skin-fix. It takes time to see how water will benefit your skin, so make hydration a healthy, long-term habit.
5 Winning Water Infusions
Bored with plain water? Don’t reach for artificial flavorings. Give your water a kick of flavor and nutrients with natural infusions. Mix and match to come up with your own flavor combinations.
- Citrus Fruits: add slices of citrus fruits, like lemons and oranges for a boost of antioxidant vitamin C
- Cayenne, Plus Apple Cider Vinegar: add a pinch of cayenne pepper & a splash of apple cider with mother, which contains beneficial enzymes, minerals & acetic acid
- Cucumber: choose cucumber to add a refreshing taste to your water & help keep you hydrated
- Berries: strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are full of vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals for help against oxidative stress
- Fresh Herbs & Spices: combine fresh herbs, spices and fruits for unique flavor infusions, like watermelon and basil, peppermint and blackberry, pear and cinnamon, ginger and peach
Do you have any favorite water infusion recipes? Share them in the comments below!
If you want to learn more natural ways to boost your health and vitality, read 7 Things You Can Do Right Now to Boost Your Vitality, and More Than a Trend: 5 Health Trend Pairs that Should Stay.
Looking for more every day health and wellness tips, check our Swanson’s A-Z Guide to Modern Wellness here.
1 Hydration and cognition: a critical review and recommendations for future research. PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17921465 (01/08/2018)
2 Plasma volume changes during and after acute variations of body hydration level in humans. PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10367716 (01/05/2018)
3 Water: How much should you drink every day? MayoClinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256 (1/18/2018)
4 Water-induced thermogenesis. PubMed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14671205 (01/08/2018)
5 The Benefits of Drinking Water for Your Skin. University of Wisconsin Hospital. https://www.uwhealth.org/madison-plastic-surgery/the-benefits-of-drinking-water-for-your-skin/26334 (01/05/2018)
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Originally published: 07/01/2020 | Updated 11/1/2021