Why Drink Water?

Tap into what water can do for you and why you should drink plenty of fluids every day.
Why Drink Water

At first glance, water doesn't seem to contribute much to your health. After all, it has no vitamins. No fiber. No protein. No carbohydrates. So why bother drinking it? The truth is, water is vital to your well-being — and staying adequately hydrated can even help you control your weight.

Why is water crucial to your health? The average adult body consists of about 50 to 80 percent water and relies on it for many vital functions, from body temperature regulation to nutrient dispersion adn toxin removal. As you breath, perspire and urinate, you deplete your water resources. If you don't replace what you use, imbalances can occur that affect your bodily and brain functions.

Effects of Dehydration
If you're not properly hydrated, you're apt to suffer from dehydration, which can cause symptoms such as headache and fatigue. Drinking enough water — six 8-ounce glasses each day at a minimum — may also help you avoid overeating. If you're hit by a craving, try drinking some water, seltzer or juice and seltzer mixed. This will hydrate you and help fill you up.

Need another reason to drink your H2O? Being even slightly dehydrated can also make you feel irritable and cranky — a mood that leads many of us to eat unwisely. "People tend to seek out comfort foods when they're not feeling their best," says Therese Franzese, MS, RD, director of nutrition for the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

Drink Up
According to a Rockefeller University survey of 2,818 Americans, only 34 percent drank the recommended amount of water daily. To make sure you're getting enough water:

Track your water intake. Record every glass of water or other beverage you drink.

Bring it with you. Buy a large, refillable bottle and take it with you wherever you go. If you fill it with two thirds ice and one third water, it should stay cool for most of the day.

Drink up while drinking. Alcohol is a diuretic that can deplete your hydration level. Drinking water or seltzer between alcoholic beverages can help you stay hydrated — and save calories, too, by filling you up.

Spike your drink. Don't like the taste of plain water? Try a home water-filtration system to improve the quality of your tap water. Or try cutting it with a bit of fruit juice or lemon. Another option is to try mineral water, which has an added bonus: Many brands contain calcium, a mineral that can help prevent bone-weakening osteoporosis.

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