It is generally recommended that we should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule). Although there is little science behind this specific rule, staying hydrated is important!
Here are 7 evidence-based health benefits of drinking plenty of water.
1. Water Helps to Maximize Physical Performance
If we do not stay hydrated, physical performance can suffer. This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat.
2. Hydration Has a Major Effect on Energy Levels and Brain Function
Your brain is strongly influenced by hydration status.
Studies show that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function.
3. Drinking Water May Help to Prevent and Treat Headaches
Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraines in some individuals.
Several studies have shown that water can relieve headaches in those who are dehydrated.
4. Drinking More Water May Help Relieve Constipation
Constipation is a common problem, characterized by infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stool.
5. Drinking Water May Help Treat Kidney Stones
Urinary stones are painful clumps of mineral crystal that form in the urinary system. Higher fluid intake increases the volume of urine passing through the kidneys, which dilutes the concentration of minerals, so they are less likely to crystallize and form clumps.Water may also help prevent the initial formation of stones, but studies are required to confirm this.
6. Water Helps Prevent Hangovers
A hangover refers to the unpleasant symptoms experienced after drinking alcohol.
Alcohol is a diuretic, so it makes you lose more water than you take in. This can lead to dehydration. A good way to reduce hangovers is to drink a glass of water between drinks, and to have at least one big glass of water before going to bed.
7. Drinking More Water Can Help With Weight Loss
Drinking plenty of water can help you lose weight.
This is due to the fact that water can increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate.
In two studies, drinking half a liter (17 ounces) of water was shown to increase metabolism by 24-30% for up to 1.5 hours. This means that drinking 2 liters of water every day can increase your total energy expenditure by up to 96 calories per day.The timing is important too, and drinking water half an hour before meals is the most effective. It can make you feel more full, so that you eat fewer calories.