Why Drinking Plenty of Water is Important

Consuming enough water can allow your body to function as it should and help you stay healthy. These are some of the many reasons why it’s important to stay hydrated.

Oral Health, Digestion and Weight Loss
Saliva helps to break down food and wash away food particles to prevent cavities. Water is one of the primary components of saliva. Age and some medications and medical treatments may reduce saliva production. Consuming more water may help.

Drinking water before, during and after meals can aid in the digestive process by helping the body break down food and absorb nutrients. If you want to lose weight, consuming more water may help, along with eating a healthy diet and exercising. Drinking water shortly before meals can make you feel fuller so you consume fewer calories. It can also boost your metabolism and increase your energy level.

When you work out, you sweat to regulate your body temperature. Staying hydrated while exercising can help your strength and endurance. It can also lubricate and cushion joints, tissue and the spinal cord and help you avoid injury. 

Losing too much water during exercise can make it difficult for the body to regulate its temperature. Dehydration can also increase fatigue and make exercise seem more difficult, physically and mentally. Even losing a relatively small percentage of your body’s water weight can affect performance. Becoming dehydrated could cause your blood pressure to drop and could cause you to develop hyperthermia.

Cognitive Performance
Mild dehydration can affect mood, memory and brain performance. Dehydration can also cause fatigue and anxiety. Staying hydrated can improve focus, alertness and short-term memory. 

For some people, dehydration can cause headaches. Drinking water may prevent headaches or reduce their intensity and duration.

Other Benefits
Water transports oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and improves circulation. Drinking enough water can keep skin hydrated and may help the body produce collagen. 

Severe dehydration can cause life-threatening conditions, such as hypertension, kidney failure, swelling in the brain and seizures. Drinking enough water daily may prevent those problems. 

How Much Water Should You Drink?
The amount of water you should drink each day depends on your gender and other factors. You should consume more water if the weather is hot, if you are exercising or working outdoors, or if you take a medication or have a medical condition that can cause you to become dehydrated. When you feel even slightly thirsty, that is a sign that your body needs more water.

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