Get To Know Your H2O
Water: The New Coffee?
Just. Keep. Drinking; you tell yourself as you force down your fifteenth glass of water for the day. Yes, I see you caving to the pressure of current hydrational trends, and yes, dear reader, I commiserate. As proposed by influencers and camp counselors alike, it may seem like drinking water will solve all your problems. Proper hydration has been attributed to everything from weight loss to flawless skin, and ever since no one can seem to get enough water.
While I am surely one of water’s biggest fans, I am also a (debatably) mild skeptic, so I decided to look into the science behind water’s seemingly magical properties in order to deduce its true benefits.
The Science Behind the Magic
On the molecular level, H2O has plenty of well-tracked benefits. It is the primary transporter of nutrients in and out of your body, the contributor to most of your body’s energy, and crucial to just about every bodily function, including flushing your body of toxins. But how do these internal benefits translate into external attributes? Let’s take a look at water’s two most popularized benefits:
#1: Weight Loss
Water is often hailed as the purgative of the gods; just drinking it will supposedly clear out your entire system and significantly reduce your body weight. However, while water is surely important in any weight loss plan, simply drinking it in copious amounts isn’t likely to help you lose weight.
One of water’s most significant attributes when it comes to weight loss is its use as an appetite suppressant – drinking more water can make you feel full, causing you to consume less calories in food. Additionally, staying hydrated while you work out can help you burn more calories and reduce cramps and fatigue. But all of these benefits derive less from drinking more water than from drinking enough water. The recommended daily intake of water varies widely and depends on each person and their environment, but as long as you aren’t water-deficient you can be sure you’re getting water’s natural benefits (as long as it’s the right kind of water).
#2: Clear Skin
This is such a highly touted benefit of water that you may be surprised how little science there is to back it up. There are very few studies that assess the effect of water consumption on skin quality, and even the ones that do find it hard to track. According to a BBC article,
“It doesn’t follow that because drinking too little water is bad for the skin, drinking above average quantities is good. It would be like saying that because a lack of food leads to malnutrition, overeating must be good for us.”
Like weight loss, drinking more water than usual is unlikely to benefit your skin in any particular way. Rather, making sure you’re hydrated and getting your body’s baseline amount of water will give your skin all the moisture it needs in order to look clear and dewy.
How to Stay Hydrated
It’s clear that staying hydrated is important to our daily functioning; but how do we ensure that we’re getting enough water? With all the other options on the market nowadays, it’s almost impossible to settle for plain old H2O.
Good news! Just because it is crucial to stay hydrated doesn’t mean that water is the only hydrating drink! Even tea and coffee can contribute to your daily water intake. In fact, the widespread belief that coffee is dehydrating is a myth. While it might cause you to urinate more, the effect is counteracted by coffee’s water content. Additionally, if water alone isn’t flavorful enough for your taste, try infusing it with your favorite fruits or making a smoothie.
If you prefer pure water above all else but just don’t find yourself drinking it often enough, try investing in a cool reusable water bottle that you’ll want to carry around with you. If you’re an employer, keeping your office hydrated can have some incredible benefits. Installing a sleek, high-quality water cooler in your office encourages employees to keep drinking and keeps everyone at maximum productivity.
Enough is More
So, you may be noticing a common trend: drinking gallons of water will not magically transform your appearance, but simply drinking an adequate amount will allow your body to do what it naturally does in order to make you look healthy.
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