How Drinking Water Benefits Your Health
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A few years ago a friend of mine was experiencing quite a few serious health issues. After consulting with several doctors & changing some habits, the issues thankfully were resolved. But something one of her doctors suggested to her (that will benefit either a sick or healthy body!) has stuck with me in the 5+ years since first hearing it – and it’s a pretty basic suggestion!
Here it is – get more sleep & drink more water. That’s it! And the good news is, these are two simple (and free!) things that are mostly within our control! I had never taken the time to think about what impact sleeping & staying hydrated – or lack thereof – has on our bodies.
I have been through the newborn phase of life twice, so I know the impact of sleep deprivation. It’s rough, and you can see the effects of it pretty quick. But I think being dehydrated is more subtle and we don’t really realize it might be the cause of a lot of the health issues we might be having. I know I didn’t used to give much thought to how much water I was drinking and how that was affecting me. The human body is made of about 70% water, so being well hydrated plays a really important role in helping your body function like it should. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself! (And did I mention that it’s free?!)
Although there are many more, here are 5 benefits of staying well hydrated:
- Healthy Skin– Drinking plenty of water improves the elasticity of your skin by keeping it moist & supple. It will also decrease your chances of developing skin issues like dermatitis, & will reduce the signs of aging. Hydrate your skin from the inside out (by drinking lots of water!) and you won’t need to use lotion & lip balm as often. (If you *do* find yourself needing some good lotion, try making your own with this homemade hand lotion recipe!)
- Better Immune Health– When you don’t drink enough water, toxins can build up in your body & that can weaken your immune system. Drink lots of water to keep those toxins flushed out. Staying hydrated also keeps your eyes, nose & mouth moist, helping them repel dust & parasites that can cause illness.
- Weight Loss– A lot of times people confuse thirst for hunger – meaning that you might feel hungry, but your body is actually just thirsty. When you drink enough water and your body is well hydrated, it can help you avoid overeating because you won’t feel as hungry. It also helps boost your metabolism & remove toxins from your body. Next time your stomach starts to rumble, drink a tall glass of water before reaching for a snack & see if it does the trick!
- Memory Function– Hydration & memory function are directly related. Drinking enough water helps with mental clarity by allowing your brain to work like it should, & by improving the way your nervous system communicates with your body. Staying hydrated can make you more alert, help you stay focused, improve your memory & reduce brain fog.
- Joint Lubrication– If you suffer from joint pain (and even if you don’t!) it’s important to drink enough water every day to keep your joints lubricated. Staying hydrated will allow your joints to move more freely, & even help waste products to be removed from your joints more easily. It may not eliminate joint pain altogether, but it should improve it!
This list only skims the surface of what drinking water can do for your body! If you stay hydrated, you reduce the risk of dehydration which can lead to stomach pain, lack of energy, constipation & feeling dazed. We should be drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day.
I love water & drink lots of it during the day, but I know I could do better. On the days I don’t drink enough water I can see a huge difference in how I feel. So here’s a challenge to us all to drink more water! Drink lots of it during the day & see if you notice any changes in how you feel. Carry a water bottle with you when you head out in the morning & refill it as soon as it’s empty during the day. Leave a glass on your kitchen & bathroom counters & take a long drink each time you walk by them. You’ll be doing yourself a favor & your body will thank you!
I like to give my water some flavor by adding a drop or 2 of a citrus essential oil from Young Living Essential Oils‘ Vitality line. The oils in the Vitality line are approved by the FDA for internal use, & there are lots to choose from! Adding the oils to your water will taste great and help eliminate toxins from your body. Some of my favorites are lemon, lime & Citrus Fresh, a blend of citrus oils with a hint of spearmint. Since essential oils cause plastic to break down & leach harmful chemicals into your water, be sure to use a glass or stainless steel water bottle instead of plastic when adding essential oils. Read more about essential oils here!