You probably already know you should drink more water.
We’re told from a young age that water is good for the body and a must-have if you work out.
But you may not know the true importance of hydration.
For example, did you know it’s an incredible anti-aging tool? Or that it may help keep chronic diseases away?
That’s why we’re diving into the real reasons you should drink up (water, that is) in this article, and we’ll share exactly how much is enough to stay hydrated.
The Importance of Hydration: Why We Need Water to Survive and Thrive
When it comes to health and fitness, there’s a ton of attention on eating essential macronutrients like protein and fat and maximizing your micronutrient intake through fibrous fruits and veggies (or protein bars).
But the real nutrient superstar is water.
According to researchers, it’s the most important nutrient for humans to survive.
That’s because you need water to carry out crucial biological processes.
Without it, you wouldn’t be able to survive, and without enough of it, you won’t thrive or feel your best.
You can forget about reaching your health and fitness goals, and you’ll have a much harder time feeling great on a day-to-day basis if you’re not drinking enough water.
Some critical functions that water provides that you may not have realized include:
- It expels waste from the body
- It gives our cells their supportive shape
- It helps your body get rid of excess heat
- It lubricates your joints and tissues
- It transports nutrients
And that’s just a few of its crucial functions.
Scientists have recently discovered that getting enough water in each day leads to a plethora of positive perks, which you’ll learn about next.
The Connection Between Health and Hydration
Here are a few reasons why it pays to stay well-hydrated each day:
1. It May Help Slow Down Aging and Increase Your Quality of Life
Several studies have looked at the correlation between hydration and health.
One in particular studied close to 12,000 adults over 30 years and found some surprising results.
The well-hydrated study participants developed fewer chronic diseases, were healthier overall, and lived longer than their less-hydrated counterparts.
Those who didn’t consume enough water over that period also aged faster from a biological perspective.
So consuming enough water may have the power to keep you young and live longer.
2. Staying Hydrated Means You May Develop Fewer Chronic Conditions
That same body of research explored a 2022 study that found that people who didn’t drink enough water increased their risks for developing serious conditions like:
- Chronic lung disease
- Heart failure
- Peripheral artery disease
It’s important to note: this research showed a correlation, not causation.
So not consuming enough water didn’t cause these chronic conditions in people.
However, researchers could see a connection between not drinking enough water and simultaneously having chronic conditions.
From a biological standpoint, feeding your body enough water each day is one surefire way to help optimize how it’s running and your overall health, which gives you another reason to drink up.
3. Drinking Enough Water May Aid in Weight Loss
Lastly, but just as important if you’re trying to lose weight, drinking enough water can aid in shedding some pounds.
One study discovered that drinking about 16 ounces of water shortly before each meal led to a 4.4-pound weight loss.
That may not seem like a lot, but over time and with some consistency, it can add up.
Plus, one of the best things about drinking water is that it’s an easy and affordable way to optimize your health in the short and long term.
In saying that, the next question that often comes up is:
How Much Water Do You Really Need Each Day?
The answer really depends on the person and a few specific factors.
- Are you sweating a ton when you exercise?
- Do you live in a hot climate?
- Do you have some weight to lose?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you might need more water than the average person.
But, under normal conditions, the current water intake recommendations are:
- Around 125-130 ounces, or 16 cups, for men
- About 91-95 ounces, or 12 cups, for women
Keep in mind, these figures include hydration from foods, which is usually around 20% of intake.
So that 125 ounces for men is about 100 ounces of water on the low end and about 70 ounces of water for women (again, on the low side).
Another good hydration tip if you work out is to weigh yourself before and after exercise to see how much you’ve lost.
Then, you replace that amount with water to replenish your stores.
On top of that, if you’re working out under an hour, you should be fine to use plain ol’ water to rehydrate.
But, if you’re sweating profusely, working out outside and it’s hot, or your workout lasts longer than an hour, you may want to add in electrolytes to replenish your minerals and hydration post-workout.
You can also find the Goldilocks sweet spot for your specific water intake by checking your pee.
If it’s a pale yellow, you’re staying hydrated.
A darker colored yellow means you need some more fluids and water.
Stay Hydrated And You May Live Longer and Enjoy a Better Quality of Life
You probably already knew you should drink more water but now you really understand the importance of hydration after reading this article.
Not only can it help with weight loss, it may also be one of the best-kept anti-aging secrets, and it could be one of the keys to keeping chronic diseases away.
So take this as your sign to drink more water if you aren’t getting enough, and you’ll be glad you did.
Drink up, my friends!
Author: Devan Ciccarelli