Health Literacy – The Benefits of Drinking Water

The following article is shared from Integris Health and includes helpful information regarding drinking water and its importance to our physical wellbeing.

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: drink plenty of water. But how much? How often? Bottled or tap? Are eight glasses a day a good goal or is that a made-up thing?

It’s completely true that water is good for you – and important for every part of your body. Every system in our bodies need it. Water helps to:

  • Regulate your body’s temperature
  • Carry oxygen and nutrition to your cells
  • Cushion your joints
  • Wash bacteria out of your bladder
  • Keep you regular and not constipated
  • Balance your electrolytes
  • Keep your heartbeat stable
  • Protect tissues and organs
  • Keep blood pressure in a normal range 

You are considered hydrated when you’ve given your body enough fluids for all of this to happen. When you are underhydrated or dehydrated, systems cannot properly function.

Other benefits of a healthy water level are a decreased appetite, better physical performance during exercise, higher energy levels and optimal brain function. Yes, indeed. Drinking enough water can yield better brain function. Studies indicate brain function can show impairment with even mild dehydration in the range of a 1-3 percent loss of body weight.

A mild fluid loss in the range of 1-3% can cause fatigue, anxiety, memory difficulty, decreased ability to concentrate and headaches. It doesn’t take much to become mildly dehydrated. For a person weighing 150 pounds, a fluid loss of 1-3% translates to 1.5 to 4.5 pounds.

The CDC offers tips to help us drink more water: 

  • Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day. 
  • Freeze some freezer safe water bottles. Take one with you for ice-cold water all day long. 
  • Choose water over sugary drinks. 
  • Opt for water when dining out. You’ll save money and reduce calories. 
  • Serve water during meals. 
  • Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water. This can help improve the taste and help you drink more water than you usually do. 
  • Make sure your kids get enough water too.

Dehydration can be sneaky. Seniors can be at extra risk for dehydration for a few reasons. They’re more likely to take medications that contribute to dehydration. Specifically, some medications for blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney conditions have diuretic effects—meaning they increase the amount of water and salt expelled from the body through urination, which can lead to – you guessed it – dehydration. Learn more about senior citizens and dehydration.

Additional information covered in the article includes additional information

  • Bottled or tap?
  • How much?
  • Mid to moderate dehydration symptoms.
  • Severe dehydration symptoms
  • Should I worry about drinking too much?

For the complete Integris article: