The Benefits of Water

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

The Benefits of Water

There has been an email circulating lately that deals with the benefits of drinking of drinking water. While this email has the right message that drinking water is very good for you, it is full of myths that don’t ‘hold water’.

The email breaks down optimal times to drink water and what it can achieve. However, this is simply not proven and the claims are vague at best.

If you want to read a good breakdown of this email, visit

Meanwhile, let’s give you real facts, backed up by real doctors. It is true that drinking plenty of water is good for you, but what does it really do?

Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD suggests six reasons to drink water.

1)  Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids

Your body is made up of about 60% water. When your body needs water for hydration your brain will usually send a signal that says, “I’m thirsty” which, unless you’re taking medication that is known for making you thirsty, should always be listened to so you will avoid dehydration. It’s also important to note that when you drink alcohol, it sends mixed signals to your brain and can dehydrate your body much quicker than normal since the body flushes out the liquid faster than non-alcoholic drinks. Did you know that dehydration is often a symptom of a hangover

2)  Water Can Help Control Calories

While drinking water can’t on its own help you lose weight, it can certainly help if you’re substituting it for a higher calorie drink, such as pop. Likewise, substituting water-rich foods that are healthier and more filling for higher calorie foods can also help. Some examples of these types of foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal and beans.

3)  Water Helps Energize Muscles

When cells in your body don’t receive proper hydration, they shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. For this reason, it’s always important to stay hydrated, specifically if you’re doing something physically demanding otherwise you will get tired much sooner. The old adage “drink 7-10 glasses of water” is too vague a guideline because a glass isn’t a unit of measurement. Instead, try drinking around 17 ounces of fluid two hours before exercise. During exercise, drink fluids early, and drink them at regular intervals to replace fluids lost by sweating.

4)  Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good

Properly hydrating yourself will prevent your skin from drying out and appearing more wrinkly than usual. However, excess hydration will not remove all wrinkles; your kidneys will get rid of extra fluids once your skin has been hydrated. Using moisturizer can also help ‘lock’ the moisture into your skin so it won’t dry out as quickly.

5)  Water Helps Your Kidneys

Your kidneys are fascinating organs and do an amazing job at flushing your body of toxins and waste, but only so long as your body is properly hydrated.

Did you know that your urine should be relatively light in colour and odour? If your urine is darker and has a strong smell, your body isn’t receiving enough hydration. This is because the kidneys are forced to hold onto the waste fluids for longer periods of time in order to perform other bodily functions. Also, by not drinking enough fluids, you are at a higher risk of developing kidney stones, which can be extremely painful.

6)  Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function

Much like your kidneys, your colon needs proper hydration to purge waste from your body. When your body is not properly hydrated, you can become constipated because your colon is pulling water from stools to stay hydrated, and thus the stool cannot be flushed from the body as easily. Eating a proper diet of fibre will also help prevent constipation.

Kathleen also gives 5 tips to help you drink more water:

1)  Have a drink every time you have a snack or meal.

2)  Don’t feel pressured to drink a certail type of beverage. By drinking something you enjoy, you’re more likely to drink larger quantities.

3)  Remember what your parents told you? Eat your fruits and vegetables! Not only are they full of vitamins to help your body function, their high water content will add to your hydration.

4)  Take a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag, but don’t leave the water in your car in warm weather.

5)  Choose beverages that meet your needs. If you’re watching calories, go for drinks with little or no calories. Did you know fruit juice tends to be high in calories?

You can read Kathleen’s full article at

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