Water: it fills out the lakes, rivers, and oceans we love to enjoy. There’s nothing quite like sitting by the ocean reading a novel, relaxing on a kayak in the middle of a lazy river, or doing a few swim strokes in the nearby lake. The water that makes up about 70 percent of our earth’s surface nourishes us in so many ways.
You’ve probably heard the old adage: drink 8 glasses of water a day for optimal health. But why exactly do we need to intake so much water? What are the benefits?
We set out to find a few main reasons why water is touted by medical professionals as so necessary. Here’s what we found.
- Water aids in digestion by dissolving fats and fiber to make them easier for the body to digest. This helps reduce the burden on the liver and kidneys by helping to flush waste products. Not only does it keep your digestion moving smoothly, it keeps key organs healthy and active, too.
- Water may protect against bladder cancer, and perhaps even breast and colon cancers. Studies show that the greater one’s fluid intake, the lower risk that individual has of bladder cancer, perhaps because urinating more frequently releases the bladder of possible carcinogens.
- Water energizes you and keeps you focused. Fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration, and sipping a few glasses of water may in fact have the same effect as a cup of coffee would. Dehydration can also weaken your attention span and memory, so having lots of water when you’re trying to concentrate may be just what you need to finish that big task.
- Water prevents headaches. Oftentimes those headaches people get mid-day are caused by dehydration. Step up your water game to avoid that aching pain. Even worse – a lack of water can also trigger migraines. If you do get a dehydration headache, chugging ample water (more than you’d even think you need) can help it go away.
- Water keeps the cartilage around our joints and bones healthy. Cartilage – the rubbery material that protects our bones and joints – is made up of about 85 percent water, so keeping it hydrated is key. With hydrated cartilage, your bones and joints stay ultra protected, which can help you avoid injury.
- Water can soothe you mentally. All day long, we’re exposed to non-stop noise in the form of music, car horns, emergency vehicles, crying children, screeching trains, and more. This large amount of noise – particularly if you live in a city – can increase blood pressure and stress levels. Counteract this noise pollution with the sound of a bubbling brook, which has actually been cited to have therapeutic effects on the brain.
Water has ample positive health effects that extend well beyond those listed above. How does water make you feel healthier? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.