It’s one of the most effortless and effective ways to support your good health. Yet most people just don’t drink enough water. Worse yet, they may not know the signs of dehydration. It’s not just about being thirsty… The truth is being dehydrated can create—or complicate—some serious health problems.
Here are five reasons to drink more water every day:
1. Stop Insomnia: It doesn’t seem like they have anything to do with each other at first… But not drinking enough water may be keeping you up at night. Even if you’re falling asleep easily, you may not be feeling rested in the morning. That’s because dehydration can make your body produce less melatonin.1
It’s a vital hormone that regulates your body’s circadian rhythm. Without enough, your body may not know when it’s time to start getting ready for sleep. Of course, don’t drink too much water right before bed. Try drinking about 8–10 ounces of water an hour before bed each night. That’s enough to help keep you hydrated. It should also pass before you get into bed.
2. Fight off Depression: Even mild dehydration may be enough to steal your energy, fog your brain, and bring down your mood. It doesn’t take a drastic change, either. Just losing 1.5% of your body’s total water can do it. Recent studies from the University of Connecticut found that dehydration affects your mood. And you don’t have to be exercising to lose water.
Both at rest and exercising healthy young adults had higher levels of anxiety and tension when dehydrated. They also had greater difficulty with mental tasks. These groups also had less motivation to perform physical tasks—like exercise. In other words, you don’t have to exercise to dehydrate yourself. Researchers believe dehydration may negatively affect key neurons in the brain… The ones responsible for regulating mood.2
3. Alleviate Arthritis Pain: Drinking water isn’t just about keeping your joints “lubricated.” Research in the journal General Practice reveals that it can help lower inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis patients who drank Scottish mineral water had significantly less inflammation than patients who didn’t drink it.3 This can help make the difference between manageable and crippling arthritis pain. And it’s not about the minerals…
Proper hydration can also help you lose weight. Studies by the American Chemical Society show that people who drank more water before and during meals lost an average of five pounds more over 12 weeks.4 Being lighter is always nice… But when you have arthritis, every extra pound you carry puts unnecessary stress on your joints.
4. Prevent a Gout Attack: When too much uric acid builds up in your body, it can crystalize in your joints. One of the best ways to help prevent gout is to drink enough water. It helps flush the uric acid from your body.
One study looked at how much water gout patients drink. It found that those who drank at least five glasses of water a day had 40% lower risk for a gout attack. For many it helped completely prevent repeat attacks.5 And when you think about it, five glasses a day isn’t asking much to help avoid the intense pain of repeat flare-ups.
5. Build a Strong Immune System: One of the most important parts of your immune system is lymphatic fluid. It’s what helps remove the waste products and toxins from your body. You have around four times more of it than you do blood. And not drinking enough water may keep you from producing enough of it. This can also stop the lymph you do make from being effective. The result is more waste and toxins polluting your body.6
This doesn’t only mean you’re more likely to catch a cold… A weak immune system can raise your risk of developing autoimmune diseases…even cancer. But you don’t just have to drink more water to stay hydrated. Foods like kale, cabbage, and spinach are all rich in water. Some tomatoes are as much as 94% water.7 And it doesn’t hurt that these foods are also rich in immune-boosting antioxidants.
You don’t need to drink it by the gallon. You don’t even need to be scientific with your measurements. The easiest way to avoid dehydration is to always have water with you… At your desk during the workday, at the gym, even when you’re unwinding with a book. It’s a simple way to make sure your body has the water it needs to function at its best.
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