Aside from quenching that annoying thirst, did you know that there are several other benefits to keeping your body hydrated? Science says that the more hydrated you are, the happier and healthier your lifestyle will be. Let’s take a look at some of the ways water and electrolytes keep you up and running.
Being hydrated improves focus and brain function. Water and electrolytes have many jobs, and one of the most important of those jobs is to keep your brain functioning properly. Brain cells need water (among other things) to maintain a delicate balance. If there isn’t enough water in the brain, that balance may shift and you will find yourself not able to focus or function at the highest level possible. Dehydration also can affect your blood pressure, because you don’t have enough fluid to maintain a normal blood volume. Low blood pressure caused by dehydration can also affect your ability to focus.
The more hydrated you are, the better your body will be at detoxing. When we talk about your body detoxing, we are talking about your liver and kidneys. The liver and kidneys filter toxins out of your blood. To get those toxins to reach your kidneys and liver and to flush them out, you need to take in a decent amount of water.
You’ll have more energy. Because your brain requires water, as does your heart, these can both drastically affect your energy levels. Hydration status has also been linked to mood, with studies showing that you are likely to be in a better, more stable mood if you are properly hydrated.
You’ll have better weight control. Another added benefit to staying hydrated, you won’t be as hungry if you’re taking in the recommended amount of water. By drinking 64 ounces of water (or 8-8 ounce glasses), you may quell the need for that mid-morning or afternoon snack, therefore reducing your calorie intake. Reducing that calorie intake will, in turn, help you to have better control over weight gain and weight loss.
Your heart will thank you! Remember earlier, when we talked about how your brain needs water to function? It’s not the only important organ that needs to be hydrated. Your heart needs water and electrolytes to maintain optimal function. If you are dehydrated, your blood volume decreases and your heart has to work overtime to pump the blood that you do have. If you are chronically dehydrated, this can lead to palpitations, low blood pressure, and enlarging of your heart. Without the important electrolyte balance that good hydration provides, your heart may not be able to properly circulate electrical impulses, leading to irregular, fast, or even slow heart rate. These changes in your heart’s function can cause dizziness, loss of consciousness, chest pain, and other more serious symptoms.
Muscles will recover faster. When you do a hard workout or use muscles that you haven’t used in a while, muscle fibers break down and lactic acid can build up. This causes you to experience muscle soreness, and makes it annoying to use those muscles for a few days. Water to the rescue! Water gets the byproducts of that muscle breakdown out of your system, enhancing and speeding up your recovery from working out or partying.
Joints will be stronger. Water lubricates your joints by way of synovial fluid, which provides a nice cushion while they’re in use and provides a layer of protection. If you’re not taking in enough water and you’re using your joints, you may experience pain or may do lasting damage down the road.
Your complexion will improve. Skin cells need water, too! Just like every other cell in the body, skin cells require you to be hydrated so they can do their jobs. With good hydration, you can have radiant, healthy skin. When dehydrated, your skin can become flaky and dry – not a good look for anyone!
The point is, there are huge benefits to staying hydrated. If you need some tips on how to keep up with water intake, see our post with hydration tips. Happy hydrating!
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