What is clear and shiny that can drastically change the quality of our lives?
The answer is water.
It’s definitely no secret that the human body needs water to survive.
But beyond being a necessity to live, water can do so much more for our lives – far more than we may know.
The major benefits of water on our body
Water has the ability to help us lose weight, improve our moods, make us more alert, and can even help to decrease risks of depression and anxiety.
We’ve all heard the advice to drink at least eight glasses per day.
Research has revealed that an increase in water consumption can have an effect on weight-reduction. Not only does this help to keep you in shape, but it helps to keep your mind healthy as well, as there is a link between excess body weight and mental disorders.
From the outside, drinking may simply help our mouths feel less dry, but there’s actually quite a lot that is going on deep within. Water helps to:
- Lubricates our joints — Believe it or not, the cartilage that is found in the joints and disks of our spines contain about 65-80% water. The lower the water intake, the less likely our joints can absorb shock easily, and thus leading to more pain, especially as we get older.
- Delivers oxygen through the body — Considering that blood is more than 90% water and its blood itself that carries oxygen to different parts of the body, it’s only natural that without water, we won’t be able to get the oxygen we need properly.
- Maintains blood pressure — Adding to the point above, the less water we have in our system, the thicker our blood can get. If this happens, we can have increased blood pressure.
- Improves skin and general beauty — Our skins wrinkle due to dryness and without water, our body, and in turn our skin will become vulnerable to such wrinkling.
- Regulates body temperature — Water is usually stored in the middle layers of our skin. When we are active or sweat, this then emerges to the surface and evaporates, cooling us. However, when we have little water in the body, this heating storage increases, thus making it harder on our bodies to cool off and endure heat.
- Improves performance — There is some research that shows how a lack of water can reduce performance in physical activities. The more water you drink, the greater blood flow and in turn, activity in our brains and body — thus leading to an increased performance.
Beyond what is listed here, there are plenty more reasons why our body needs water to function. In the end, any form of dehydration is bad for us and the less we drink, the worse it is on our mental states as well.
“Our thirst sensation doesn’t really appear until we are 1 [percent] or 2 percent dehydrated. By then dehydration is already setting in and starting to impact how our mind and body perform.”— Lawrence E. Armstrong, Lead Scientist & Professor of Physiology
Drinking water and decreased depression
We’ve all heard the saying, “healthy body, healthy mind.”
This is undoubtedly true when it comes to drinking water. One of the fundamental effects of all the bodily benefits listed above is that in turn, water helps to clear and clean the mind.
Water plays a huge role in carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain, maintaining nourishment. The act of flushing out negative toxins from our body can clear out things that are preventing us from focusing — freeing you from the constraints of brain fog.
The brain is made up of 73% water, so of course, any form of dehydration will cause you to process things slowly, and drastically decrease cognitive functions.
There has been accumulated evidence suggesting that there is a beneficial relationship between drinking water and decreased mental disorders. In one study, they found that greater water consumption had associations with lower levels of anxiety and depression compared to those that fell in the lowest category of water intake (less than 2 glasses per day).
To no surprise, with greater water consumption, there were higher intakes of energy, protein, fat, carbohydrate, fibre, magnesium, and more.
Exploring water and our emotions
The findings in the study above is further supported in research from the World Journal of Psychiatry that surveyed 3300 individuals. They found that participants who drank more water daily had reduced risk of depression and anxiety as a whole, with those who consumed very little water reported to have doubled the risk of having these mental disorders.
Now if you are someone who is physically inactive, this does not make you exempt from the detriment of dehydration.
Dehydration affects all people. Staying properly hydrated is just as important for those who work all day at a computer as it is for marathon runners.— Lawrence E. Armstrong
A study done by University of Connecticut demonstrated how even mild dehydration could affect a person’s mood and energy levels. Even when we are not physically active, little water intake — which leads to dehydration — can result in less control of mood swings and even put strain in working memory.
There have been countless research showing how neurons in the brain send signals to other parts of the body to help regulate mood when we experience even mild dehydration. Some scientists believe that this may be part of a biological system that existed since ancient times, as it serves to help protect humans from dire situations — acting as sort of an alert for survival.
When our moods change for the worse, this can trickle down to our feelings of motivation and affect our everyday activities.
In both sexes these adverse mood changes may limit the motivation required to engage in even moderate aerobic exercise, interfering in other daily activities.— Harris Lieberman, Research Psychology for Military Nutrition Division of US Army
Finding happiness through water
With all that being said, there is no doubt that simply drinking water regularly can vastly improve our lives.
As we make this more of a habit, we are bound to feel a whole lot happier. Proper hydration is a key to a happy life, boosting energy levels, clarity in mind, and overall bodily functions.
And so, while this simple, clear crystal-like Elixir may not be some magical potion that leads to eternal youth, right now, the habit of drinking water frequently is definitely one of the closest things to help our body and mind feel forever young.