Water is one of the principal component of lymph, which is a transparent fluid of the lymphatic system that helps to filter and eliminate excess fluid and impurities through the urine. It also helps to transport red blood cells throughout the body, which promotes optimal immune system functioning.
Water is also important for maintaining basic functioning of the heart, intestines, brain, muscles and skin. It helps to manage body temperature, prevent constipation, prevent kidney stones and keep the skin hydrated.
To ensure adequate daily hydration, it is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Some people may have difficulty reaching their water goals, and can opt to increase their intake of flavored water, fresh fruit and tea.
The main benefits of drinking water include:
1. Regulating body temperature
Water helps the body to regulate its internal temperature in accordance with the environmental temperature. In high temperatures, for example, our body produces and releases sweat which keeps us cool as it evaporates. Low water levels in the body can interfere with this process.
2. Promoting skeletal health
Water is one of the components of synovial fluid, which is a viscous fluid that lubricates our bones and joints. Synovial fluid is also important for shock absorption in our joints and is important for smooth movements and increased range of motion.
3. Preventing kidney stone formation
Water increases urine production and influences how much urine we eliminate. Increased amounts can help to prevent the formation of small calcium crystals, and therefore can prevent the development of kidney stones in the urinary tract.
4. Facilitating digestion
Water is an essential component of saliva, bile, and gastric juice, which are all necessary for optimal digestion. Water is also important for the absorption and transport of nutrients from the food we eat into our body tissues.
Drinking water is also important for hydrating the stools and preventing dryness, which will make bowel movements easier. Water should be consumed regularly with fiber sources, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
5. Detoxing the body
Water helps to detox the body, as it is one of the primary components of lymph. Lymph is a transparent fluid that helps to filter and remove excess fluid and impurities from the body through urine.
6. Improving blood circulation
Because it dilutes the blood and prevents blood clots from forming, water can improve our circulation. It helps blood cells to reach all organs in the body and prevent problems like high blood pressure, fluid retention, tingling and varicose veins.
7. Maintaining skin health
Water helps to eliminate toxins from the body, as well as absorb and transport vitamin A, vitamin C, collagen and other important nutrients that are important for skin health. It can maintain elasticity and hydration while preventing flaccidity, wrinkles and cellulite.
8. Promoting weight loss
Water can play a role in weight loss. Many times, our body confuses thirst for hunger, leading to increased eating instead of drinking. Therefore, drinking water, particularly before meals, can help to occupy volume in the stomach and reduce overeating throughout the day.
9. Strengthening the immune system
Water helps to transport white blood cells, which is a component of blood that is important for immunity. Water can help to strengthen the immune system to prevent infections, allergies and colds.
10. Preventing mental fatigue
Water prevent dehydration and helps to maintain optimal cognitive function. It can prevent symptoms like fatigue, decreased concentration, attention and memory.
Daily recommended amount of water
The amount of water recommended per day can vary due to certain factors, like age, body weight, time of the year, health status and activity level. Generally-speaking, people are advised to drink 2 L of water per day.
How to increase water intake
Some tips to increase your water take and prevent dehydration include:
- Keeping a water canteen with you and filling it throughout the day. Having a water goal each day can help keep you on track.
- Drink a cup of water before every meal, break, bathroom break or school.
- Drink water with meals and when eating out.
- Use smartphone apps that send notifications to drink water.
Some people may have difficulty drinking still water, and therefore can opt to include flavored water, soups and teas in their daily diet to ensure adequate fluid intake.
Another great tip is to include water-rich foods in your diet, like watermelon, parsnip, pineapple and cauliflower.
Flavored water recipes
Flavored water recipes are great, tasty options that can help you reach your daily water goals. Check-out our recipes below to learn more about how to prepare flavored water at home:
1. Water flavored with oranges, mint and cinnamon
- 1 orange
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 10 mint leaves
- 1 liter of cold, boiled or filtered water
- Ice cubes as desired
How to prepare:
Wash the orange and mint leaves. Cut the orange in thin slices and place in a lidded pitcher with the cold water and cinnamon. Add the ice cubes and mint leaves. Stir and serve.
2. Water flavored with lemon and cucumber
- 1 lemon
- 3 slices of cucumber
- 1 liter of filtered or boiled water
How to prepare:
Wash the lemon and cucumber. Cut the lemon and cucumber into slices and place in a lidded pitcher with the water. Cool in the fridge and drink throughout the day.
3. Water flavored with hibiscus
- 2 tablespoons of dried hibiscus flowers
- 1 liter of water
How to prepare:
Boil the water in a pot or kettle. Remove from heat and add the hibiscus flowers. Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Then strain, pour into a lidded pitcher and drink throughout the day. You can store the pitcher in the fridge on hot days.