water hydrate

7 Health Benefits Of Staying Hydrated

More than 70% of the human body is made up of water. Water plays a very crucial role in the proper functioning of body cells, tissues, and organs. Hence, staying hydrated is very important for the smooth functioning of the entire body. However, every day we lose a significant quantity of water thanks to the body’s normal daily metabolic processes like sweating, urinating, respiration, and passing out feces. If we are not properly hydrating daily to replace the water we lose, then many body processes will be impaired (1).

Benefits of staying hydrated

Drinking enough water and/or fluids does much more than just quenching thirst and some of the benefits of staying hydrated are as follows.

  1. Regulation of body temperature. Water functions as a thermoregulator which helps to dissipate heat, hence regulating the overall body temperature. When the body is too hot, we lose water through sweat. When sweat evaporates, it creates a cooling sensation on the skin surface which consequently reduces body temperature (2).

 

  1. Transport nutrients to cells. Water helps to transport oxygen and nutrients to cells. In the cells nutrients are used to produce energy to fuel body activities. Water also is vital to transport waste which is eliminated in the urine (3)

 

  1. Lubricates the joints. Water lubricates the joints, cushioning them and ensuring their proper functioning. (2).

 

  1. Enhances cognition and mood. Water helps transport nutrients, blood flow and oxygen to the brain, boosting the communication of brain cells with each other. Staying hydrated has been demonstrated to positively improve decision making, cognitive capacities (such as memory) and mood (4).

 

  1.  Prevents constipation. Constipation is a condition characterized by reduced bowel movements, hard stool, and difficulties in stooling. The treatment protocol for constipation recommends the increase consumption of fluid increase bowel movements and soften stool. Staying hydrated has been demonstrated to help prevent or reduce constipation (5, 6)

  2. Prevents kidney stones. Staying hydrated helps to prevent the formation of kidney stones. Kidney stones are hard crystals consisting of mineral and salt that get glued up together inside the kidneys. When passed out in urine, the give a painful sensation, making urination unpleasant. Drinking plenty of water helps to dilute the salts and minerals thus helps dissolves kidney stones as well as prevents the formation of new ones. Dehydration has been linked to an increased risk of developing kidney stones. (7).

  3. Helps blood flow. Staying hydrated can help a person maintain a healthy blood pressure by making blood less viscous and easing blood flow. Besides when a person is dehydrated, the kidneys reabsorb water instead of eliminating it in urine. High concentrations of sodium (as is the case when a person is dehydrated) or low blood volume triggers the secretion of the hormone vasopressin. Vasopressin has a vasoconstriction (narrowing) effect in the blood vessels which intend increases blood pressure (8).

Staying hydrated is very important for the smooth functioning of the body. Since they body does not store water, we need to regularly drink water every day. The water we need to stay hydrated can come from the foods we eat (about 20%), though the greater proportion comes from direct fluid intake (about 80%). We are therefore encouraged to drink plenty of fluids daily. Fluids here include plain water, tea, sodas, and juices amongst others. Hydrating with plain water is most advised as water adds no calories to your diet. It is recommended that women drink at least 2.7L and men 3.7L of water a day to stay properly hydrated (9).

 

REFERENCES

  1. Liska, D., Mah, E., Brisbois, T., Barrios, P. L., Baker, L. B., & Spriet, L. L. (2019). Narrative review of hydration and selected health outcomes in the general population. Nutrients, 11(1), 70. doi:10.3390/nu11010070

  2. The importance of hydration. (n.d.). Retrieved August 1, 2022, from Media Relations website: https://www.wku.edu/news/articles/index.php?view=article&articleid=2330

  3. The human body and water. (n.d.). Retrieved August 1, 2022, from Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd website: https://www.otsuka.co.jp/en/nutraceutical/about/rehydration/water/body-fluid/

  4. Ganio, M. S., Armstrong, L. E., Casa, D. J., McDermott, B. P., Lee, E. C., Yamamoto, L. M., … Lieberman, H. R. (2011). Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men. The British Journal of Nutrition, 106(10), 1535–1543. doi:10.1017/S0007114511002005

  5. Schuster, B. G., Kosar, L., & Kamrul, R. (2015). Constipation in older adults: stepwise approach to keep things moving. Canadian Family Physician Medecin de Famille Canadien, 61(2), 152–158.

  6. Arnaud, M. J. (2003). Mild dehydration: a risk factor of constipation? European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 57 Suppl 2(S2), S88-95. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601907

  7. Kidney stones. (2022, June 3). Retrieved August 1, 2022, from Mayo Clinic website: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/kidney-stones/symptoms-causes/syc-20355755

  8. Bouby, N., Clark, W. F., Roussel, R., Taveau, C., & Wang, C. J. (2014). Hydration and kidney health. Obesity Facts, 7 Suppl 2(Suppl. 2), 19–32. doi:10.1159/000360889

  9. How much water do you need to stay healthy? (2020, October 14). Retrieved August 1, 2022, from Mayo Clinic website: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256

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