3 Interesting Benefits of Drinking Water

For the most part, we were told to drink 8 glasses of water a day to keep ourselves “hydrated” ever since we were in school. I can bet that most of you don’t actually do this (neither did I). Guilty…

What’s the point of drinking so much water if you’re not thirsty to begin with? Besides, that just calls for more toilet breaks, and most of us don’t work under the scorching sun.

But, there’s more to water than just keeping us hydrated. Here are some of the cool benefits of drinking water that a lot of us have never heard of!

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Besides, a lot of us work indoors and aren’t exposed to deadly heat. What’s the fuss?

It turns out, water does more than just help us get clear skin and keep us hydrated. Here are five interesting, but less-known benefits of drinking water!

  • Water Helps You Lose Weight!!

Yeap, you heard that right. There are a few reasons why water does this.

A study was conducted for 12 weeks and concluded that adults who drank 500ml of water before a meal lost 2kg more than those who did not drink water, following the same hypocaloric meals[1].

Water acts as a natural suppressant that tricks your body into thinking it’s full, so you don’t have to take another pizza slice or plate of mashed potatoes.

Water boosts your body’s ability to burn fat too! This is because drinking 500ml of water can increase metabolic rates by 30% in healthy men and women[2]. This means that you burn calories off faster!

Drinking cold water is known to aid this process. A lot of the energy used by the body is to raise the temperature of water from 22°C to 37°C.

  • Water Improves Brain Function

75-80% of our brain is water. You wouldn’t think being dehydrated didn’t affect your brain power, did you?

When you’re dehydrated, you’re mental performance and cognitive function decreases[3]. This means that any intellectual process such as attention, learning and memory, processing speed and so on will be greatly hindered. Dehydration also affects your mood!

You’ll be at a disadvantage in your work or studies if you’re frequently dehydrated.

Chronic dehydration has also been known to shrink your brain!

  • Reduce Backaches

This comes as a surprise for many people, but yes, drinking more water can reduce backaches.

Our bony vertebrae that make up our spine are separated by discs. Think of them as shock absorbers. The center of these shock absorbers, nucleus pulposes are mostly made out of collagen and water.

As we get through the day, our body loses water. This reduces the ability for the shock absorbers to absorb any shock and impact, and create an imbalance between the soft, center part of the discs and the harder outer part. Eventually, it will lead to back pain.

How Much Water Do You Really Need?

So, do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water? The real answer is: it depends.

The amount of water you need depends a variety of factors. If you naturally sweat a lot, obviously you will need to replenish those fluids quicker and drink more. If you’re in a hot climate, then it’s even more important to stay hydrated.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends men to drink 3 liters of water a day, and a little over 2 liters for women. Pregnant women should drink more.

You don’t have to drink 2-3 glasses in one sitting. In fact, it’s better to take a couple of sips here and there throughout the day, so you won’t be needing the toilet as much!

References:

[1] Dennis, E., Dengo, A., Comber, D., Flack, K., Savla, J., Davy, K., & Davy, B. (2009). Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention in Middle-aged and Older Adults. Obesity, 18(2), 300-307. doi: 10.1038/oby.2009.235

[2] Michael Boschmann, Jochen Steiniger, Uta Hille, Jens Tank, Frauke Adams, Arya M. Sharma, Susanne Klaus, Friedrich C. Luft, Jens Jordan; Water-Induced Thermogenesis, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 88, Issue 12, 1 December 2003, Pages 6015–6019, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2003-030780

[3] Wilson, M., & Morley, J. (2003). Impaired cognitive function and mental performance in mild dehydration. European Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 57(S2), S24-S29. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601898