Drinking water first thing in the morning when you wake up and then throughout the day and then before going to bed at night gives you health benefits that can only be described as miraculous. No other natural element in the world can give your body so many health benefits. No wonder then, it is referred to as “nature’s wonder drug”.
Water is the liquid of Life. There is not an inch of exaggeration in this statement. We all know the value of water for our existence. Now let us evaluate what are the advantages and benefits of drinking water, in keeping us healthy and ailment free. Just off-hand, I could remember 14 benefits of drinking water. These uses of water to your health just cannot be ignored.
This subject is vast and we shall briefly state the various health benefits of drinking water in a way for the non-experts to understand its importance. Nothing would please me more than to converting you into “ waterholics”.
How Much Water to Drink
The normal requirement of water every day, in ounces, is weight in lbs divided by 2. So if you weigh about 180 to 200 lbs, you require about 100 ounces of water every day, which is roughly = 3 litres, which again is roughly = 13 cups.
Though 3 litres is the requirement as per the say of some medical books, there are some who advocate 4 to 5 litres. And, in my opinion, a little extra water will not harm but only benefit. I personally consume 4 to 5 liters of water every day.
However, this quantity increases in certain circumstances. For example, in hot weather you perspire more and thus tend to lose more body fluids through sweating, or a laborer working in the sun similarly sweats more and loses more body fluids. Such extra loss of body fluids has to be replenished with extra intake of water.
In certain diseases affecting the heart, the kidneys, the thyroid, the liver and the adrenal glands, there are limitations to the intake of water and your physician should be consulted in such cases.
How to Drink Water
This amount of water is to be drunk, spaced over the time that we are awake and not in just 2 or 3 sittings. Space it between
- From the time you get up in the morning to breakfast.
- Breakfast to lunch
- Lunch to snacks
- Snacks to dinner
- And dinner to bedtime.
Today, we see people carrying mineral water bottles and the embarrassment of carrying water bottles does not exist any more. So carrying a bottle of pure and clean water from home in your briefcase or your purse should not pose a problem.
Benefits of Drinking Water
1. Helps in weight loss
Do not wait to feel thirsty to drink water because thirst indicates dehydration. Many a times, thirst is mistaken for hunger and the person tends to eat more leading to weight gain. Drinking water to lose weight at regular intervals as stated above, will prevent thirst and overeating and thus helps to lose weight and maintain weight.
2. Prevents heartburn
Gastric acid in the stomach, which helps in digestion of food, aggravates acidity due to reasons such as regular and long hours of fasting, when the inner lining of the stomach is exposed directly to the gastric acid or stress or eating spicy and oily food. Water drunk as recommended keeps diluting this acid and prevents aggravation of acidity and peptic ulcer.
3. Prevents constipation
Drinking adequate water prevents hard stools and facilitates proper evacuation of the bowels.
4. Drinking water prevents kidney stones
Kidney stones are formed due to regular deposits of uric acid and calcium oxalate crystals in the kidneys. New deposits keep on getting deposited on the previous deposits growing in size over a time and forming stones. Regular drinking of water keeps flushing the crystals through the urine and prevents stone formation.
5. Prevents gallbladder and hepatic stones
Proper evacuation of stools, promotes the secretion of bile. This helps to flush the gall bladder and the liver and prevents stone formation.
6. Prevents headache
As a result of proper flushing of the kidneys and the gall bladder, the toxins from the blood are eliminated. There are some toxins which cause headache and their removal prevents headache.
7. Prevents rheumatism and gout
The increase in uric acid levels in the blood gives rise to the two problems: gout and kidney stones. Drinking adequate water as mentioned above, flushes the kidneys and prevents excessive accumulation of uric acid in the blood and the onset of these problems is prevented.
8. Prevents atherosclerosis
Excess of uric acid in the blood causes the platelets to clump together. These get deposited on the inner walls of the arteries. They form plaques on the walls and reduce the lumen of the arteries. This is called atherosclerosis. Drinking plenty of water flushes out the excess uric acid as mentioned above and prevents atherosclerosis.
9. Drinking water prevents heart attack
Atherosclerosis is the main reason for a heart attack because the reduction in the lumen of the artery leads to a reduced blood supply to the heart. As explained above, drinking plenty of water greatly reduces the chances of a heart attack by preventing atherosclerosis.
10. Benefits on high blood pressure (hypertension)
Patients with adequate intake of water, respond better to anti hypertensive medicines due to loss of sodium through urination and sweat. Sodium is taboo in high blood pressure and that is why salt, which contains high amounts of sodium, is contraindicated in hypertensive patients.
11. Effects on body temperature
Body stays cool due to more sweating.
12. Benefits on skin
Skin stays healthier and attains a healthy glow due to loss of toxins through more sweating when you drink more water. Drinking Water is a major factor to help improve skin appearance.
13. Drinking water improves metabolic rate
Your metabolic rate gets a boost and the person feels more energetic when you drink an adequate quantity of water.
14. Benefits on cancer
Alternative medicine advises drinking water in the treatment of certain types of cancer because a well hydrated body means better blood circulation. And a better circulation means your immune cells are able to reach more corners including the cancer cells in a growth — in short a better immune force against the cancer cells. A better circulation also means the medicines which you take are able to reach the diseased part better.
What else is there in the world that is available so freely, and yet bestows so many health benefits! Drink water – Benefits of water are too useful to ignore.