Our bodies are around 60% water, give or take.
It is commonly recommended to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule).
Although there is little science behind this specific rule, staying hydrated is important.
Here are 7 evidence-based health benefits of drinking plenty of water.
Water Helps Maximize Physical Performance
If we do not stay hydrated, physical performance can suffer.This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat.
Dehydration can have a noticeable effect if you lose as little as 2% of your body’s water content. However, it is not uncommon for athletes to lose up to 6-10% of their water weight via sweat.
This can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, increased fatigue and make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally.
Hydration Has a Major Effect on Energy Levels and Brain Function
Your brain is strongly influenced by hydration status.Studies show that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function.
In a study of young women, the fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration and increased the frequency of headaches.
Another similar study, this time in young men, showed that fluid loss of 1.59% was detrimental to working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue.
Drinking Water May Help to Prevent and Treat Headaches
Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraines in some individuals (14, 15).Several studies have shown that water can relieve headaches in those who are dehydrated.
Drinking More Water May Help Relieve Constipation
Constipation is a common problem, characterized by infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stool.Increasing fluid intake is often recommended as a part of the treatment protocol, and there is some evidence to back this up.
Drinking Water May Help Treat Kidney Stones
Urinary stones are painful clumps of mineral crystal that form in the urinary system.The most common form is kidney stones, which form in the kidneys.
There is limited evidence that water intake can help prevent recurrence in people who have previously gotten kidney stones.
Water Helps Prevent Hangovers
A hangover refers to the unpleasant symptoms experienced after drinking alcohol.Alcohol is a diuretic, so it makes you lose more water than you take in. This can lead to dehydration (24, 25).
Although dehydration is not the main cause of hangovers, it can cause symptoms like thirst, fatigue, headache and dry mouth.
A good way to reduce hangovers is to drink a glass of water between drinks and to have at least one big glass of water before going to bed.
Drinking More Water Can Help With Weight Loss
Drinking plenty of water can help you lose weight.This is due to the fact that water can increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate.
In two studies, drinking half a liter (17 ounces) of water was shown to increase metabolism by 24-30% for up to 1.5 hours.
This means that drinking 2 liters of water every day can increase your total energy expenditure by up to 96 calories per day.