Goodbye 2021 and hello 2022! We wanted to dedicate the first Wellness Wednesday post of the new year to something that all of us can easily incorporate into our daily routines – drinking more water! Water may be the least exciting of all the beverages in our lives, but it’s by far the most important when it comes to health benefits. Keep reading to learn more about water’s effects on wellness and get a few helpful tips on how to add more H2O to your life.
Did you know that the cartilage in our bodies is made up of 80% water? Water is extremely important to joint health. Just like a car needs motor oil, our bodies need water in order to reduce friction and keep moving smoothly. Keeping yourself hydrated not only lubricates the cartilage in your joints, but it also helps the muscles that protect your joints by preventing cramps and sprains.
When cartilage becomes dehydrated, it can lead to pain and inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “If there’s a magical elixir to drink, it’s water. Hydration is vital for flushing toxins out of your body, which can help fight inflammation. Adequate water intake can help keep your joints well lubricated and prevent gout attacks.”
Next time you feel like you have bad breath, ditch the Tic Tacs and grab a bottle of water instead! The American Dental Association states that 50% of adults suffer from halitosis (a.k.a. bad breath) at some point in their lives, and dehydration is one of the leading causes. Drinking water stimulates the production of saliva, which is the body’s natural way of ridding the mouth of the bacteria that causes bad breath.
Our mouths are a perfect environment for these bacteria to grow. When we eat, leftover food particles serve as an all-you-can-eat buffet for oral bacteria. In addition to stimulating saliva, drinking water throughout the day will help to flush out any leftover food particles which reduces the levels of bacteria by depriving them of their food source.
Our brains are made of 73% water, so it’s no surprise that a lack of water would hamper the way our brains function. Water helps to facilitate communication between the brain’s cells, and it also carries nutrients to and wastes away from the brain. If you’re dehydrated, your cognitive function, motor skills and short-term memory can all begin to suffer.
Drinking water also increases oxygen and blood flow to the brain which can reduce headaches, improve cognitive function and reduce mood swings, stress and irritability. Staying hydrated can also boost your energy levels, so before you reach for that cup of joe, you may want to grab a water bottle instead.
According to the Mayo Clinic, women need about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of water a day and men need about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of water a day. Let’s face it – most of us struggle to drink that much water. Luckily, there are many simple ways that you can incorporate water into your daily diet. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
Staying properly hydrated is beneficial to every one of us, and it’s easy to do. So, if you don’t have a New Year’s Resolution, drinking more water might be a good one to try! To learn more about the benefits of drinking water, check out these articles from Medical News Today and Elemental. For more ideas on how to increase your daily water intake, check out this Healthline article.