1. Increase Cognitive Ability
Your brain is comprised mostly of water and staying sufficiently hydrated allows your brain to function optimally. Water is also involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Some specific benefits to you brain are improved concentration, memory, cognition, and increased blood flow.
2. Weight Loss
Drinking water aids in weight loss in a few ways. First, by acting like an appetite suppressant which makes you feel fuller and contributes to eating less. Second, by preventing fluid retention. Staying hydrated lets the body know that it doesn’t need to hold onto every bit of fluid you intake. Third, drinking chilled water first thing in morning has been shown to boost metabolism by up to 24% for up to 90 minutes. This means just by drinking water you're likely to eat less, retain less, and burn more calories.
3. Lubricates joints
Cartilage makes up a major portion of joints as well as the discs of the spine. It is made up of approximately 80% water. Long term dehydration could lead to drying out and stiffness of cartilage. This will ultimately lead to friction, swelling, loss of shock absorbing ability, and pain (1).
4. Headache Relief
Dehydration has been linked to headaches and even migraines. Studies have shown that individuals who drink more water have reductions in pain and significant improvements on the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life Scale (2).
Water helps the body to transport waste and toxins in and out of cells. It also helps the kidneys and liver transport these out of the body. Water also balances the lymphatic system which can help your body perform daily functions and fight infections. Drinking water on an empty stomach can also help to purify the colon and allow for better absorption of nutrients.
6. Boost Energy
Water transports oxygen into cells throughout the body. When the body becomes dehydrated the brain receives less oxygen and your heart must work harder to deliver oxygen to the body, both of which lead to fatigue. Staying hydrated helps individuals maintain energy levels throughout the day.
7. Helps with nutrient absorption
Many minerals and nutrients are water soluble. This means that dissolve in water and can then be transported to different areas of the body.
8. Improves Skin Health
Water helps to purge toxins from blood which can help keep skin glowing and clear. Dehydration has also been shown to cause premature wrinkling and can contribute to skin disorders. On top of this, keeping the skin hydrated allows the body to regulate its temperature more efficiently.
9. Athletic Performance
Slight dehydration, as little as 1% of bodyweight, has major effects on athletic performance. Dehydration decreases the body’s ability to perform high-intensity exercise. It also decreases VO2 max as well as endurance capacity. Staying hydrated is critical for optimal function of the human body (3). Other side effects of slight dehydration are increased fatigue, decreased motivation, and inability to properly control body temperature.
10. Stress Reduction
Slight dehydration increases cortisol levels throughout the body. Cortisol is commonly referred to as “The Stress Hormone”, and can cause serious damage if levels are elevated for prolonged periods. Drinking enough water helps the body remain in homeostasis and regulate hormone production as well as release (4).