It’s crazy to think that something as ubiquitous as water is of such great value to you. But, it’s true. Water is vital in your quest for overall health. You lose water constantly as the day goes on, through sweating and evaporation, going to the bathroom, even by breathing—every sip you take goes to replenish your supply of this life-giving liquid. After all, a substance that makes up nearly two-thirds of the human body has to be important.
There are more reasons why water is important, though—it’s more than just part of your body’s make-up. The following four truths show that most of your other beverage options can’t quite compare to water. Read on and start sipping.
1. Sugary beverages are really bad
Water quenches your thirst without adding any additional calories onto your daily tally. When you veer into juices, sodas, and coffee-based drinks, you run the risk of putting on hundreds of calories to your end-of-the-day numbers.
As you can imagine, this additional load of sugar and calories does nothing to help your body. For one, you’re likely to gain weight because of it; you also increase your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease down the line.
The sugar can even become addictive. One study looked at rats that first became addicted to cocaine through an IV. Once researchers introduced them to sugar, most of the rodents dropped their initial addiction in favor of the sweeter option.
If you’re ready to break your own addiction to sugary beverages, start small — you’ll still see results even if you drop one drink from your regular rotation. Over time, you can continue to wean yourself off of sugary drinks and reap the rest of water’s body-bettering benefits.
2. It improves your mood
It’s hard to believe, but being just the slightest bit dehydrated can have a big effect on your mood. Researchers at the University of Connecticut put this theory to the test by putting participants through a series of cognitive tests; half of them were dehydrated, while the others were hydrated.
The results showed the dehydrated women felt fatigued, had headaches, and had a hard time concentrating on the tasks; they suffered no reduction in cognitive ability. The men did, though, especially tasks relating to vigilance and memory.
Dehydration can strike anywhere, too, so don’t skim over this tip if you’re not an active person. Your mood at the office, for example, can also be affected by a lack of water, so get a big water bottle for your desk and sip, sip, sip.
3. It helps you lose weight
Water is potentially the most important tool when it comes to weight loss. Those who consciously drink water while consciously losing weight find the task to be a bit easier. That could be because water makes them feel fuller, which prevents overeating or feelings of hunger that throw diets off course. Whether you drink steadily throughout the day or down a glass before a meal, you’ll find you feel more satisfied if you’re hydrated.
Drinking water has also been linked to an increased metabolism One study showed that subjects who drank water saw a 30% increase in their metabolic rate. The boost started 10 minutes after drinking water and hit its peak after about 30 minutes. Imagine the power water could have if you drank it all day long.
Finally, water can help you lose weight in out-of-the-box ways, too. Imagine, for example, that you can’t work out in a traditional gym because you have joint pain. In that situation, you could take your workouts into the pool, where water relaxes sores muscles and boosts your buoyancy, thus making movement easier than it would be otherwise. The gentle environment doesn’t mean that you won’t be burning calories or building muscle, either; in other words, don’t write off aquatics workouts just yet.
4. It keeps things running well
Being well hydrated by drinking water helps the kidneys clear wastes and toxins and helps you avoid constipation.
This list has only scratched the surface as far as water’s benefits go. You can find water in just about everything you eat and drink. But one thing is for sure, your best bet is making sure to get as much of it in its true form as you can so that it can do its job in the purest way possible.
Your health and happiness will thank you for it.