6 Reasons to Drink Water
It's no magic bullet, but the benefits of water are many.
"Alcohol interferes with the brain and kidney communication and causes
excess excretion of fluids which can then lead to
dehydration," he says.
2. Water Can Help Control Calories. For years, dieters have been
drinking lots of water as a
weight loss strategy. While water doesn't have any magical effect on
weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly
"What works with weight loss is if you choose water or a non-caloric
beverage over a caloric beverage and/or eat a diet higher in water-rich foods
that are healthier, more filling, and help you trim calorie intake," says
Penn State researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Weight
Food with high water content tends to look larger, its higher volume
requires more chewing, and it is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps
you feel full. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups,
oatmeal, and beans.
3. Water Helps Energize Muscles. Cells that don't maintain their
balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle
fatigue. "When muscle cells don't have adequate fluids, they don't work
as well and performance can suffer," says Guest.
Drinking enough fluids is important when exercising. Follow the American
College of Sports Medicine guidelines for fluid intake before and during
physical activity. These guidelines recommend that people drink about 17 ounces
of fluid about two hours before exercise. During exercise, they recommend that
people start drinking fluids early, and drink them at regular intervals to
replace fluids lost by sweating.
4. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good. Your skin contains plenty of
water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. But
don't expect over-hydration to erase
wrinkles or fine lines, says Atlanta dermatologist Kenneth Ellner, MD.
"Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be
improved with proper hydration," he says. "But once you are adequately
hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluids."
You can also help "lock" moisture into your skin by using
moisturizer, which creates a physical barrier to keep moisture in.