Benefits of Drinking Enough Water

Everyone knows water is important, but what exactly does drinking enough water do for you? Let’s go ahead with a few reasons why you must start drinking more water if you are going to increase your fitness levels and healthy life.

Maintaining the Balance of Body Fluids

Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

When you’re low on fluids, the brain triggers the body’s thirst mechanism. And unless you are taking medications that make you thirsty, says Guest – an adjunct professor of medicine at Stanford University, you should listen to those cues and get yourself a drink of water, juice, milk, coffee — anything but alcohol as slcohol interferes with the brain and kidney communication and causes excess excretion of fluids which can then lead to dehydration, according to Guest.

Controlling 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 help.

Strengthening 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.

Good for Skin

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.

Good for Your Kidneys

Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine, explains Guest. “Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate,” he says.

When you’re getting enough fluids, urine flows freely, is light in color and free of odor. When your body is not getting enough fluids, urine concentration, color, and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions.

If you chronically drink too little, you may be at higher risk for kidney stones, especially in warm climates, Guest warns.

Maintaining Normal Bowel Function

Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation. When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration — and the result isconstipation. Adequate combination between fluid and fiber is needed because the fluid pumps up the fiber and acts like a broom to keep your bowel functioning properly.

Choosing Beverages for Your Party

When you are having a party, there are a variety of factors to take into consideration when you are trying to select beverages. What you offer to drink will be very different at Christmastime than in the summer, or if your party is late morning versus early evening. Where your party is located will also help you determine what to serve, as will the type of tone you want to set.

Something for everyone:
It is important when having a party to include everyone’s drink taste and to have something available for all likes and dislikes. This does not mean that you need to offer every beverage known to man or that you need to have a full bar available. However, you might want to have on hand a white wine, a red wine, beer and a couple of hard liquor options, or a mixed drink like pitchers of margaritas or martinis. Be sure to keep a variety of mixes on hand, as well as non-alcoholic options for those who don’t want to drink alcohol.

A formal affair:
If you are striving for a more formal tone, and are perhaps having a sit-down meal, then pre-dinner cocktails are in order. On the table you may have just a bottle or red wine and a bottle of white wine per each 4 guests. This gives your guests the choice. If you have help with serving, they may want to keep an eye on empty bottles and replace them as needed. Another great touch is an after dinner wine or a dessert wine. These wines can be enjoyed on their own or with a dessert, just be careful in matching the dessert wine to the dessert.

Something celebratory:
If you are celebrating a new job, an engagement, a wedding, a new baby, retirement or anything else, then your only choice is champagne or a sparkling wine. Many people find champagne too dry, therefore the sweeter sparkling wines make a great replacement and you still get the fun of the exploding cork. So lift your glass high and make a toast with some bubbly. It’s the perfect way to celebrate.

Fun in the Sun:
If your party is an outdoor one, like 4th of July or Cinco de Mayo, or even just an old-fashioned cookout, there are so many options for beverages. Having something for everyone is essential. Offering a pre-mixed fruity light drink will be a hit definitely. Mix up a batch of sangria with some red wine and fruit or a wine punch to dip into and you’ll have happy partygoers! Make sure you keep your summer party drinks cool for your guests and have lots on hand, especially if you are outside. Another consideration in hot weather is to make sure your guests avoid heat stroke, so keep lots of water on hand also to hand out, maybe alternating it with the alcoholic beverages.