The Benefits of Drinking Water Go Beyond Quenching Thirst

One year, it was an MP3 play­er. Anoth­er year, it was $100 ear­buds. This year, the acces­so­ry you can’t be seen with­out is a top-of-the-line over­sized stain­less steel cup. This par­tic­u­lar craze may come with some health ben­e­fits — accord­ing to cus­tomers, they’re stay­ing hydrat­ed more than ever before. 

With this new trend, it’s a great time to vis­it the ben­e­fits of drink­ing water. Here are 5 things to know about drink­ing H2O and how it affects your body: 

1. You might not need 8 glass­es a day. 

How much water do you need? The answer is, well, a lit­tle watery. Many peo­ple have heard the rule” that they should drink eight 8‑ounce glass­es of water per day, but that’s actu­al­ly an old myth that has been debunked. 

For some peo­ple, 8 glass­es is a rea­son­able and achiev­able goal. How­ev­er, every­one is dif­fer­ent, and so are everyone’s needs. 

Peo­ple who are in over­all good health can typ­i­cal­ly get by on 4 to 6 cups a day. Your indi­vid­ual water needs depend on sev­er­al dif­fer­ent fac­tors, such as: 

  • How much phys­i­cal activ­i­ty you get 
  • Out­side temperature 
  • Age
  • Oth­er health conditions 
  • Weight
  • If you’re preg­nant or breastfeeding 

There isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly a way to cal­cu­late how much water you need, but it’s impor­tant to at least get enough that you don’t get dehy­drat­ed. If you become severe­ly dehy­drat­ed, your body can’t func­tion nor­mal­ly. Know the warn­ing signs — dark urine, low blood pres­sure, dizzi­ness, weak­ness, and con­fu­sion — and drink more water right away if they occur. 

Also read: Wake-Up Your Metab­o­lism

2. If you don’t love plain water, you’re in luck. 

Drink­ing water might be the most straight­for­ward way of get­ting in your water in, but it’s not the only way. Oth­er bev­er­ages, like herbal tea, milk, and juice, can count toward your dai­ly water intake. 

And it’s not just drinks — there are plen­ty of foods that are high in water con­tent and can keep you hydrated. 

Just be care­ful about how much sug­ar you’re con­sum­ing. While sports drinks and juices can be hydrat­ing, they can also be filled with sug­ar and high in calories.

To learn more about healthy eat­ing habits like drink­ing more water, sched­ule an appoint­ment with a Duly Health and Care pri­ma­ry care provider.

3. The myths about water being bad for diges­tion are just that — myths. 

In the past few years, a myth has been cir­cu­lat­ing (much thanks to a 2020 Insta­gram post) that drink­ing water while eat­ing pre­vents you from absorb­ing nutri­ents, caus­es bloat­ing, and increas­es your risk of fat build­ing up in your body. 

These claims have been debunked by the experts who reit­er­ate what they’ve known for years: Water is crit­i­cal for diges­tion. Your body relies on the water that you drink dur­ing or after a meal to break down and process food. Drink­ing water dur­ing a meal can also pre­vent bloat­ing and, if sipped slow­ly, can help peo­ple avoid overeating. 

Also read: Small Changes for Healthy Eat­ing

4. More water can mean less joint pain. 

Water helps your body make syn­ovial flu­id, which is a lay­er of liq­uid that cush­ions your joints, low­er­ing fric­tion when you move them. Water also makes up about 65 to 80% of your car­ti­lage, which is tis­sue that cov­ers the ends of your bones. Car­ti­lage reduces fric­tion when you move, and helps your bones glide over one anoth­er with­out rub­bing against each other. 

If you have a prob­lem like arthri­tis that caus­es joint pain, your body relies on syn­ovial flu­id and car­ti­lage to act as a cush­ion and keep aches and pains at bay. And if you don’t stay hydrat­ed, you might not make enough syn­ovial flu­id or have car­ti­lage that func­tions as it should. 

5. Your heart will thank you for drink­ing water. 

Your heart pumps about 2,000 gal­lons of blood every day. It does the most phys­i­cal work of any organ in your body, which means it needs to be as strong as pos­si­ble. Water makes it eas­i­er for your heart to pump blood through­out your body and improves your mus­cles’ effi­cien­cy. With enough water, your heart’s job is eas­i­er. On the oth­er hand, not get­ting enough water can lead to heart prob­lems such as dan­ger­ous­ly low or high spikes in blood pres­sure and an irreg­u­lar heart­beat, like heart pal­pi­ta­tions (the feel­ing that your heart is flut­ter­ing in your chest).Your whole body will ben­e­fit from stay­ing hydrat­ed, so make sure that you’re get­ting enough water every day — whether it’s from a giant steel cup or a good old-fash­ioned glass. 

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  • My work experience includes 15 years of outpatient Family Medicine clinical practice. I like to treat patients with complex chronic medical conditions as well as manage any acute illnesses. My practice includes preventative care, including routine checkups, health risk assessments, immunizations, screening tests and personalized counseling on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I can provide comprehensive health care for people of all ages starting from newborns to seniors. I respect cultural diversity and would like to provide compassionate care and empathy to all my patients.