Water is just so fabulous, isn’t it? All that taste and texture is sure to expand your palate. Well…sort of.
Okay, water isn’t the most exciting drink, especially when compared to flavorful juice, soda, beer, or wine (although Jesus did turn water into wine, so they are practically the same thing). Water is necessary for all functions in the body and our ultimate survival. Like it or not, we have to drink it. With summer right around the corner, staying hydrated is more important than ever, especially if you live in a hot area.
The amount of water you need may differ based on activity level, clothing, and local climate. According to the American Heart Association, “Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may also mean you need to drink more water.”1 For a good idea of how much water you should drink, divide your weight in half and drink that amount in ounces. For example, a 180-pound man should drink about 90 ounces of water per day. Unfortunately, most of us are not drinking the amount we should be. A study conducted between 2005-2010 found that the average youth drank 15 ounces of water per day and the average adult drank 39 ounces of water a day.2
If you aren’t yet convinced, here are four reasons you should always carry a water bottle.
Water helps regulate blood pressure
High blood pressure is a damaging to blood vessels. Consuming water can help regulate blood pressure, which in turn can improve heart rate. When heart rate is normalized, stress and inflammation can be managed, improving physical performance as well as recovery.3
Water helps keep weight off
According to Harvard Health, research shows that drinking water is correlated with a lower calorie intake compared to those who drink sweetened beverages. One study found that, “…increasing plain water consumption by one to three cups a day could decrease calorie intake by 68 to 205 calories a day.”4
Water is a natural mouth cleanser
Water washes away cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth that produce enamel-destroying acids. In addition, it also dilutes the amount of acid produced in the mouth.5 Water is the best choice for mouth health because it is naturally free of sugar, making it a teeth-friendly beverage.
Water keeps the kidneys healthy
When the body becomes dehydrated, waste and acid cannot be excreted and begin to build up in the kidneys. Dehydration can also lead to kidney stones and urinary tract infections, both unpleasant experiences that often require medical attention.6
Are you ready to drink more water but don’t know how to mix it up? Here are our favorite ways to make boring water your favorite go-to.
- Add lemon, cucumber, and mint to a pitcher for a refreshing summer drink.
- Try sparkling water with flavored essences such as grapefruit or berry.
- Steep an herbal tea in hot water and pour it over ice to cool down (or drink hot!).
- Add a naturally-sweetened flavor to your water. Look for flavored stevia drops to create a quick and easy refreshment.
- Staying Hydrated – Staying Healthy. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Staying-Hydrated—Staying-Healthy_UCM_441180_Article.jsp#.Wv8QKC-ZPq0. Updated June 25, 2015. Accessed May 18, 2018.
- Get the Facts: Drinking Water and Intake. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/data-statistics/plain-water-the-healthier-choice.html. Updated May 12, 2017. Accessed May 18, 2018.
- How Hydration Affects Performance. American Council on Exercise. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/5397/how-hydration-affects-performance. Published April 29, 2015. Accessed May 18, 2018.
- Marshall M. The big benefits of plain water. Harvard HealthPublishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/big-benefits-plain-water-201605269675. Published May 26, 2016. Accessed May 18, 2018.
- 4 Ways Drinking Water Improves Your Smile. UIC College of Dentistry. https://dentistry.uic.edu/patients/drink-more-water. Published February 23, 2017. Accessed May 18, 2018.
- Can Dehydration Affect Your Kidneys? National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/newsletter/can-dehydration-affect-your-kidneys. Accessed May 18, 2018.