We all know that water is good for us, but often the reasons are a little fuzzy. And even if we know why we should drink water, it's not a habit that many people form.
But there are some very powerful reasons to drink lots of water every day, and forming the habit isn't hard, with a little focus.
The thing about it is, we don't often focus on this habit. We end up drinking coffee, and lots of soda, and alcohol, not to mention fruit juices and teas and milk and a bunch of other possibilities. Or just as often, we don't drink enough fluids, and we become dehydrated -- and that isn't good for our health.
Here are 8 powerful reasons to drink water
1. Heart healthy
Drinking a good amount of water could lower your risks of a heart attack. A six-year study published in the May 1, 2002 American Journal of Epidemiology found that those who drink more than 6 glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from a heart attack during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses.
Being dehydrated can sap your energy and make you feel tired -- even mild dehydration of as little as 1 or 2 percent of your body weight. If you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated -- and this can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness and other symptoms.
3. Headache cure
Another symptom of dehydration is headaches. In fact, often when we have headaches it's simply a matter of not drinking enough water. There are lots of other causes of headaches of course, but dehydration is a common one.
4. Healthy skin
Drinking water can clear up your skin and people often report a healthy glow after drinking water. It won't happen overnight, of course, but just a week of drinking a healthy amount of water can have good effects on your skin.
5. Digestive problems
Our digestive systems need a good amount of water to digest food properly. Often water can help cure stomach acid problems, and water along with fiber can cure constipation (often a result of dehydration).
Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body.
7. Cancer risk
Related to the digestive system item above, drinking a healthy amount of water has also been found to reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45%. Drinking lots of water can also reduce the risk of bladder cancer by 50% and potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer.
8. Better exercise
Being dehydrated can severely hamper your athletic activities, slowing you down and making it harder to lift weights. Exercise requires additional water, so be sure to hydrate before, during and after exercise.
How much water?
This is a debatable question. What's clear is that the old recommendation of "eight 8-ounce glasses a day" isn't right, for several reasons: that amount includes all dietary water intake, including food and non-water beverages; it also ignores a person's body weight, which is an important factor in figuring the amount; it also varies if you are sick or exercise. It's also not good to just drink when you're thirsty -- you're already dehydrated by then.
Best is to form a routine:
- Drink 2 glass when you wake up,
- 1 glass 30min before breakfast,
- 1 glass 30min after breakfast,
- 1 glass inbetweeen your snacks,
- 1 glass 30min before lunch,
- 1 glass 30min after lunch,
- 2 glass 2hrs before workout,
- 1-2 glass during workout,
- 1 glass 30min before diner,
- 1 glass 30min after diner.
Try to generally keep yourself from getting thirsty.
Drink 8 to 16 glass of water a day (2 to 4 liters)