One of the main causes of headaches is dehydration, so reach for the water before you pop an aspirin. A study published in the journal Neurology found that migraine sufferers who added six cups of water to their daily intake experienced 21 fewer hours of pain over two weeks. Drinking water can also sooth back pain.
Helps kidney function
Your kidneys work hard to rid your body of toxins, but in order to do their best job of cleansing, they must have a regular supply of water. The main toxin your kidneys have to deal with is called blood urea nitrogen, and it may not be excreted properly if you don’t get enough water. A warning sign that you’re not ingesting enough fluids is urine that is darker; more concentrated and has an odor. Chronically drinking too little water can also result in kidney stones.
Research has shown that staying well hydrated can cut the risk of bladder cancer by 50% and colon cancer by 45%. Drinking enough water may also reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Drinking enough water every day can strengthen your immune system, which will help you fight off flu bugs as well as lessen the effects of arthritis, rheumatism and intestinal problems.
Promotes a healthy heart
If your body doesn’t get enough water, your heart has to work harder to pump fresh oxygenated blood to your organs. Over a period of time, this can cause severe health issues. A study by California’s Loma Linda University found that people who drank enough water every day were much less likely to have a heart attack.
Your gastrointestinal tract requires sufficient fluid intake to keep things moving smoothly. If you don’t drink enough water, the colon will pull water from your stools, resulting in constipation. To stay regular, give your body both plenty of fluids and adequate fiber.
How to get all the water you need.
If you’re not taking in as much water as you should, start making it easier to quench your thirst the right way, no matter where you are or when you need a drink. Pick up a case of those 12-16 ounce bottles of water and make sure you always have one nearby. Get in the habit of tucking one into your bag or briefcase, and keep others in your car and desk at work.
If you hate the idea of all those plastic bottles clogging up our landfills, carry your water in a reusable sports bottle to cut down on waste. Put a water cooler in your kitchen and have refills delivered weekly. Or save more money by buying a filter and getting your drinking water out of the tap.
Always have your favorite healthy beverages in the fridge. Stock it up with juices, milk and home-brewed ice tea so you won’t be tempted by those sugar-laden soft drinks or caffeine-loaded energy drinks. Have water or another drink with every meal or snack.
With all the great health benefits to be had just by drinking more water, isn’t it time you made getting those eight glasses a day a new and healthy habit?