I'm not writing today about how or why we need to work on solving the world's water problems. Most of you already know it's a massive global crisis. But for those of us who are lucky enough to have access to clean and safe water, it's high time we appreciate what we have and take full advantage of it's many health benefits. Ideally, humans should drink between eight and ten glasses of water every day. Many people, though, don't drink enough to keep their systems well-hydrated and functioning at peak performance. So, just in case you need to be reminded of the advantages of drinking more water, here are seven excellent reasons that'll convince you to drink up.
1. It boosts your mood. Happiness, as it turns out, can be found at the bottom of an empty water glass. Studies show that people who drink at least ten cups per day are calmer and feel more satisfied with their life than those who drank five or less.
2. You may heal faster. If you cut yourself treat the wound, then treat yourself to a refreshing 16 ounce glass of water. Research has shown the dehydration can slow down the recovery process, but drinking water improves microvascular circulation in your skin - important for healing - and it does so in just thirty minutes!
3. Water can lower your odds of a stroke. A study done at the world-renowned John Hopkins Hospital found that 44% of people who suffered a stroke were dehydrated. Dehydration may cause your blood to thicken and have a harder time passing through blood vessels. Furthermore, the more hydrated these stroke patients were, the better their recovery.
4. It won't ruin your workout. There's a good reason why your fitness instructor keeps reminding you to drink water. Having water before, during, and after any exercise can prevent problems like heat stroke and painful muscle cramps, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
5. Water can quiet a headache. The next time your forehead starts pounding, slowly drink anywhere from one to six cups of water. If your experiencing a migraine triggered by water deprivation, you could be pain-free in as little as 30 minutes!
6. You'll be a better driver. Not drinking enough water before a long ride may cause you to make more mistakes behind the wheel. Now I understand that you don't want to have to stop for a "pee break" but "You might become dehydrated enough to impair your driving," says Ronald J. Maughan, PhD, professor emeritus at Loughborough University in the UK. Ideally, try to sip sixteen ounces of water before departing on your road trip, then drink seven ounces every hour you're driving.
7. Water increases your brain power. Even mild dehydration can suppress blood vessels in your brain. The result? You may experience short-term memory problems, poor attention, and slow reaction times. Refilling your water bottle at work, rather than your coffee cup, might not get you a bonus, but it'll help you stay sharper.
And for all you exercise fanatics out there, here's an extra bonus fact:
Weigh yourself before and after your exercise routine - any weight difference is probably due to fluid loss. Drink 20 to 24 ounces of water for every pound "lost" to replenish yourself.
"Water, thou hast no taste, no color, no odor; canst not be defined, art relished while ever mysterious. Not necessary to life, but rather life itself, thou fillest us with a gratification that exceeds the delight of the senses." ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Be grateful for water every day. Not everyone has it. And now, dear readers, I think I'l show my gratitude by going for a nice swim!