Illustrated by Mary Galloway
With the holidays a long distant memory and healthy habits on the forefront of our minds, many of us are trading pitchers of beer for glasses of water. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution you’re keeping to drink more H2O or you’re still fending off that January 1st hangover, we’ve uncovered some convincing reasons to knock back more water all year.
Water It Down: The Need-to-Know
Water is the second most popular beverage in the U.S. after soft drinks. If you’re trying to decrease your sugar intake, make the choice to drink more water. The benefits really are endless — just take a look!
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Roughly 60% of the body is made of water. Drinking enough H2O maintains the body’s fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature, digest food, and more.
Forget other diet tricks — drinking water could also help with weight loss. Numerous studies have found a connection between water consumption and losing a few pounds. The secret reason? Water simply helps people feel full, and as a result they consume fewer calories.
Sweating at the gym causes muscles to lose water. And, when muscles don’t have enough water, they get tired. So for extra energy, try drinking water to push through that final set of squats.
Certain toxins in the body can cause the skin to inflame, which results in clogged pores and acne. While scientific claims that water can make skin wrinkle-free lack clear evidence, water does flush out these toxins and can reduce the risk of pimples.
Our kidneys process 200 quarts of blood daily, sifting out waste and transporting urine to the bladder. So, kidneys need enough fluids to clear away what we don’t need in the body. Let’s drink to that!
When you really need to focus, a glass of water could help you concentrate and stay refreshed and alert.
Related: What’s Actually In Your Tap Water?
Move over coffee — water can help fight those tired eyes, too. One of the most commonsymptoms of dehydration is tiredness, just another reason to go for the big gulp! (Not the 7-11 kind.)
If booze has got the best of you, help a hangover with a glass of water to hydrate the body and stop that pounding headache.
A little water can really go a long way. Aching joints and muscle cramps and strains can all occur if the body is dehydrated.
Keep Things Flowing
Nobody wants to deal with digestion issues. Fortunately, drinking enough water adds fluids to the colon, which helps make things, ahem, move smoothly.
Water may help with decongestion and dehydration, helping the body bounce back when you’re feeling under the weather. Just beware — drinking fluids hasn’t been scientifically proven to beat colds on its own, so don’t swap this for a trip to the doctor or other cold remedies.
A study in London found a link between students bringing water into an exam room and better grades, suggesting H2O promotes clearer thinking. While it’s unclear if drinking the water had anything to do with a better score, it doesn’t hurt to try it out!