Water Is Life

Keep those glasses filled.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Keep those glasses filled.
My Reading Room

According to the USGS Water Science School, roughly 60 per cent of the human body is made up of water, and people typically drink between 500 and 1,000 litres of water a year to stay hydrated. And for good reason too: Water is essential for survival and benefits your health in so many ways. Here are seven reasons to drink up.

1 Regulate your temperature

One of the most crucial functions of water is helping to maintain your body’s temperature. Dehydration increases your heart rate and temperature, and may cause your body to overheat.

2 Fuel your workout

When you’re exercising, it’s even more important to drink up. When your cells are dehydrated, muscle function and stamina can be compromised, and this can affect your performance. When you work out, you’ve also got to drink more water to replenish the fluids you’ve lost.

3 Boost your weight loss efforts

You’ve probably heard that drinking a glass of water before meals helps you feel fuller and prevents overeating. But beyond just filling your tummy, this also helps rev up your metabolism by 30 per cent! This is according to a study previously published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

4 Prevent kidney stones

One of the easiest ways to lower you risk of developing kidney stones is to drink more water. If you don’t drink enough, your urine will have a higher composition of waste and crystal-forming substances, which can lead to the painful condition.

5 Maintain regular bowel movements

You know that you need to eat more fruits and vegetables to prevent constipation, but drinking enough water is actually a key way to regulate bowel movement as well. When you’re dehydrated, your colon sucks water from your stools to maintain fluid levels, making poop harder.

6 Keep headaches at bay

The next time you start to feel a pounding in your head, pour yourself a glass of water. In a small study published in the journal Headache, migraine sufferers felt total relief from their pain 30 minutes after drinking an average of 500ml of water.

A possible explanation is that dehydration causes your brain tissue to lose water and shrink, and this triggers pain receptors in the area.

7 Focus better

Your crankiness when you haven’t been drinking enough water is real. Research by the University of Connecticut shows that even mild dehydration (defined as an approximately 1.5 per cent loss in normal water volume) can affect your energy levels and ability to think clearly.

Lawrence Armstrong, lead scientist and an international expert on hydration with over 20 years of research in the field, explains: “Staying properly hydrated is just as important for those who work all day at a computer as it is for marathon runners, who can lose up to eight per cent of their body weight as water when they compete.”

More: water drink