What causes some of the most destructive natural disasters known to man, yet covers 70 percent of the Earth? What is a crucial element in everything from cooking and summer camp games to electrical power?
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The obvious answer is water, the force that wipes out entire populations when it is in excess and when it is lacking. It can cause mass destruction or provide a home for a developing fetus in a mother’s womb. There is a reason the phrase “life-giving water” exists; water is a priceless, yet overlooked element of human life.
Why is water so important? According to the Advanced Physical Medicine website, water helps manage weight, gives energy boosts, provides stress relief, and contributes to the coveted “healthy skin glow.”
Helping with Weight Loss
Studies prove that water boosts metabolism, which in turn contributes to weight loss. Plus, some medical research argues that water tricks a fussy stomach into feeling full and therefore causes the person to eat less.
Another reason water aids in weight loss is the part it plays in muscle health. While exercise burns calories, muscles burn fat all the time, even when a person is asleep, according to “Weight Training for Life.”
Water is the most inexpensive, most effective weight-loss “drug” in the world. People do not actually need diet pills or special foods. Yet water is also the best kept weight-loss secret, the hidden-in-plain-sight health tool that people tend to avoid at all costs. Now the truth is out about this benefit, but drinking water offers many advantages beyond weight loss.
Caffeine, Stress, and Skin Health
Perhaps caffeine is keeping you awake to read this article, but news flash, you do not need caffeine! Water can actually replace coffee and energy drinks as an energy booster. The human brain is 90 percent water and water deprivation causes it to slow down. Plus, dehydration causes fatigue, according to the Advanced Physical Medicine website.
Humans register fatigue as the body’s call for caffeine, so they often try to overcome it with coffee, soda, or 5-Hour Energy that only lasts so long. What people really need is water, not other drinks.
Think not drinking your morning coffee will cause more stress throughout your day? Water even prevents stress. This is because stress is often brought on by headaches, which are often caused by dehydration, according to the Advanced Physical Medicine website. Drinking water keeps hydration levels where they should be, so people feel less stressed.
Besides the internal benefits of stress relief and energy boosts, and the long-term gain of losing weight, water helps immediately with skin health. It provides the skin with needed nutrients, which create a glow and help the skin be more efficient in protecting the body from outside bacteria. Plus, water enters skin cells and “plumps them up,” which is the cause of a “younger” look.
Water is healthy for many other reasons, too. WebMD says that it “keeps every part of your body working properly. It helps your body flush wastes and stay at the right temperature. It can help prevent kidney stones and constipation.”
Other Benefits of Water Consumption
A visual at visual.ly shows that, on top of the other benefits, water helps with high blood pressure and cholesterol, asthma, allergies, bladder and kidney problems, and digestive disorders. An American Journal of Epidemiology study even found that people who drank five glasses of water per day rather than two or less were 41 percent less likely to die from a heart attack.
Water has many clear benefits, but it is an undervalued beverage compared to colored and flavored drinks. Sodas, coffee, energy drinks, and even “zero-calorie water drinks,” which actually have little water in them, have taken water’s place in people’s hearts—quite literally—but they don’t provide its benefits. Despite the studies proving their dangers, people tend toward the flavor and the fizz rather than the long-term health benefits of water. How can this be helped?
Bodybuilding.com suggests adding a lemon to water for people who do not like the taste of plain water. Water is also found in fruit and vegetables, and even in teas and other liquids, but these foods—even healthy ones—come with calorie and financial costs that water does not, according to WebMD. Therefore, the safest way to ensure getting enough water is to drink water—pure, unflavored water.
How much water is enough? According to Bodybuilding.com, the International Sports Medicine Institute suggests half an ounce per pound of body weight if a person is not active, and two-thirds an ounce if the person is athletic. For example, a 200-pound person would need to drink 100 ounces of water, or about 12.5 glasses, if they are inactive, and 134 ounces, about 17 glasses, if active. That’s a lot of water, and most people do not get enough, but habits can be built to help get enough water daily. People can drink water before coffee each morning and at meals, and carry a water bottle around during the day. Drinking small amounts throughout the day helps people get enough water and stay hydrated, and drinking water at meals, especially in restaurants, saves money.
The health benefits of water are obvious. It helps with everything from skin appearance to internal organ function. While other drinks often have more appeal, or people feel too busy to drink water, there are ways to slip water into any diet. Water is worth it.
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