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Drink Water to Keep Your Body Healthy

Updated on June 19, 2017
watergeek profile image

Susette has a practical, lifelong interest in good physical & mental health, including the environment that sustains us all.

Drinking water is essential for good health, especially where dehydration from diarrhea or dysentary is a serious problem.
Drinking water is essential for good health, especially where dehydration from diarrhea or dysentary is a serious problem. | Source

Did you know that it's possible to dry yourself out, if you don't drink enough water? Then all kinds of things go haywire. In fact, many of the things wrong with your body right now could be partly or wholly because there's not enough water in it.

For those who have a hard time drinking water, this article will help you figure out what to do - from knowing how water makes you feel better to tips for making sure you're drinking enough.

Health Benefits of Drinking Water

Knowing the incredible role that water plays in the body can keep you motivated to keep drinking (until you do it because you like it). Here are benefits you can expect from drinking water throughout the day.

In a nutshell, water moves nutrients in and toxins out of the body. It cleans out cells and keeps them cushioned from damage. It gives us shape, helps our lungs function, and moves signals from neuron to neuron in our brains. It carries our body's warriors (macrophages) and oxygen carriers (red blood cells) where they need to go. And it can help us lose weight.

Brain neurons. Notice all the space between them. Some is flesh, most is water.
Brain neurons. Notice all the space between them. Some is flesh, most is water. | Source
  • Clear thinking - Water pumps up the brain to its proper size and function. Our brains are made up of about 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) and 100 trillion gaps between them (synapses). Each synapse is filled with "brain fluid" made up mostly of water, which carries messages between cells in the form of electrical impulses.

    Without water, neurons shrink closer together and their electrical impulses either lose their aim and start going to the wrong places or are blocked from traveling at all. Many of our brain confusion diseases, like Alzheimer's and dementia, are most likely symptoms of too little water in the brain.

  • Weight loss - Recent research shows that drinking plenty of water while dieting results in a 30% greater efficiency in losing weight. As you know, weight gain has multiple causes. If yours is caused by drinking too much alcohol and/or soft drinks, or eating instead of drinking, you will gradually lose weight as you replace the stored fat with water (which takes up much less room). Water also facilitates weight loss by helping to clean and carry out fat cells that are dismantled, as the body uses the energy stored there.

Four kinds of neurons pass messages back and forth in the body, named by how many "poles" they have.
Four kinds of neurons pass messages back and forth in the body, named by how many "poles" they have. | Source
  • Increased muscular coordination - As with the brain, water in the body is essential in conduction of electrical impulses (messages) that tell our muscles what to do. This includes muscles in the digestive system, lungs, and heart . . . all muscles of all types in the body. Anywhere there are nerves/neurons, there are messages being sent and water involved in the sending. With a dehydrated body, muscles and systems relying on them stop working properly, so with more water in the body we can expect better coordination.
  • Clear, unwrinkled skin - Many people can save a lot of money on dermatology treatments, medications, and cleansing creams just by drinking enough water. The skin is one of four toxin eliminators (along with colon, lungs, and kidneys). Sweat normally rinses the toxins and excess oils out, but if we're not drinking enough water to sweat, they will fester.

    Pimples form when the skin gets infected around irritants it's holding back - usually dead cells cemented together by old skin oil (sebum). Blackheads are the same thing, but with open access to air, so they don't get infected. Eczema (itching) results from toxins that aren't being rinsed off or sweated out, or an imbalance of water and salt in the cells. Water in the form of sweat helps move all of that out.

    Wrinkles form when tissues under the skin shrink, due to lack of water or poor circulation, in the same way that plums become prunes (prunes are dried plums). In addition to regular light massage, plenty of stretching, and plenty of sleep, we need to drink enough water to keep cells fluffed up. This helps reduce problems with aging.
  • Recent research shows that drinking plenty of water while dieting results in a 30% greater efficiency in losing weight.
  • Fewer diseases and faster healing - Blood, which is mostly water, carries oxygen to cells all over our bodies to use for energy. It also carries white blood cells, or macrophages, which fight disease and break down malfunctioning cells. And it carries toxins out of the body through our urine. In all of these ways and more, water is a disease-fighting, healing agent.

Drinking water can reduce or cure:

(click column header to sort results)
mental confusion
muscle cramps
nose bleeds
clogged arteries
dry skin and hair
digestive disorders
heart attacks
acne and blackheads
back pains
stomach ulcers
heat exhaustion
premature aging
dry lungs
high & low blood pressure
acid/alkaline imbalance
excess weight

Nine Water Drinking Tips

All of the disorders above are caused in part by lack of water, hence can all be relieved (if not cured) by drinking more water regularly. To help you do that, here are nine tips for how to drink more water every day.

Just do it. Don't berate yourself for not having done it before. Simply get up and get a glass now.
Just do it. Don't berate yourself for not having done it before. Simply get up and get a glass now. | Source

Water Tip 1 - Create new daily drinking habits.

Start with realizing that you are changing habits. You're letting go of an old, restrictive one (hardly ever drinking) to create a new, healthy one (drinking daily). New habits take just 21 days to form, if you are consistent. Just 21 days. Rather than thinking of drinking water every day as a "lifetime discipline" - which feels like working forever - think of it as a less-than-a-month discipline for a lifetime of benefit. Once it becomes habit (21 days) you will think about it less than you think about getting dressed.

Water Tip 2 - Focus on the health you want.

Per the Law of Attraction (by which all of life operates) what you focus upon you attract more of, including agents that help you succeed. So keep your focus on the health you will get from drinking more water. Write sticky note reminders to put on your computer or some object you see first thing in the day. "Water brings me health." "I am getting healthier." "Water will help me get thin." "When I drink water I heal."

If you're a writer like me, or a programmer or gamer or some another kind of computer nerd, next to the computer is a great place to keep a bottle of water.
If you're a writer like me, or a programmer or gamer or some another kind of computer nerd, next to the computer is a great place to keep a bottle of water.
NALGENE Tritan OTG BPA-Free Water Bottle 24 Oz
NALGENE Tritan OTG BPA-Free Water Bottle 24 Oz

This bottle can be purchased in different colors, other bottles come in clear. Consider the background color, if you decide to decorate.


Water Tip 3 - Make a custom water bottle.

Purchase a special BPA-free water bottle you can keep by your desk, carry through town or to meetings, or place by your bedside at night. Add swizzles or swooshes with glue and irridescent sparkles, or customize it with natural objects, paint, or photographs to add fun to your drinking habit change.

Using a water bottle makes it easy to measure your intake: Fill it up once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once at night. That, plus a small glass of water at meals should be plenty for a fairly sedentary person.

To reduce the risk of water/salt imbalance, add a pinch of sea salt (not table salt) to your water bottle. It makes the water healthier and taste a little sweeter as well. Sea salt contains sodium, as well as a number of trace minerals and metals from the ocean that our bodies need for optimal health.

Water Tip 4 - Drink water instead of eating.

Our bodies give off signals when they're hungry and different ones when thirsty. Most people get them confused and will eat instead of drinking, when it should be the other way around. Here's how that scenario plays out:

Your body: "Thirsty."

You: "I'm so hungry." You go get something to snack on.

Later . . . Your body: "Used water to digest the snack. More thirsty now."

You: "Hungry again (growwwl)." You get another snack and bring it back to your computer.

Soon your body is craving and you go to lunch. This is one of the mental habits that start people eating too much. The best resolution is to drink water when you're "hungry." Wait 20 minutes, then see if you're still hungry. This has the double benefit of preparing your stomach for food, if your hunger is real.

Set up a water filter to clean chemicals from tap water. Not only will it relieve your mind, but the water will also taste better.
Set up a water filter to clean chemicals from tap water. Not only will it relieve your mind, but the water will also taste better. | Source

Water Tip 5 - Filter drinking water.

One reason many people don't drink more water is because they worry about what's in it. Just the idea of drinking chlorine or fluoride from the tap, or phthalates from bottled water is enough for me. An easy and effective way to relieve this worry at home is to set up a water filter that cleans water at the tap. If you can afford it, an even better solution is to get a whole house purifier, which protects your skin and lungs as well.

Water Tip 6 - Drink water before bed

Just before you go to bed is a great time to drink water. It becomes part of your nightly routine and you will remember it out of habit. Most people don't eat just before bed, so drinking water at that time won't interfere with digestion. It will also give your stomach a satisfied feeling, so you don't wake up in the middle of the night wanting food (although you may wake up wanting to pee).

Water Tip 7 - Urine out, water in.

When you pee you're releasing much needed water from your body. Yet it's essential that you do so, since urine carries out toxins that have been filtered through the kidneys. That water needs to be replaced. If every time you go to the toilet, you follow it by drinking half a glass of water, this itself could be enough to provide you with the daily minimum on a fairly cool day. (If it's hot or you work out a lot, you'll need to drink enough to replace sweat as well.)

Note the color of your urine. If it's nearly transparent, you're good. If it's dark yellow, it's not good. Time to drink water . . . a lot of it.

The dark color indicates highly concentrated, acidic toxins that would have been diluted more, had there been enough water in your body. It also means your kidneys might be storing more toxins while it waits for water, which could cause problems with the kidney. Kidney stones are one result of a chronic lack of water. Bladder cancer is another.

Water Tip 8 - Prepare your stomach for food.

At mealtime, the first step in food preparation should be to drink a small glass of water - preferably with a lemon slice or a touch of apple cider vinegar with honey. Both of these additives alert your stomach that food is on its way and also aid in digestion. Make sure you drink a small glass, not a large one. Too much will dilute the power of the digestive juices in your stomach.

Water Tip 9 - Is it better to drink cold water or hot?

Warm water is best. If you add a pinch of sea salt the taste will be a little sweeter as well. Cold water can stiffen your throat and hot water can burn your throat. In restaurants I always refuse ice in water. Not only does it make my throat feel bad, it also makes my body cold after awhile. With hot tea, I test the heat on my lips before drinking. A burnt tongue takes a few days to heal.

Now it's time to put these tips into practice. You know the benefits of drinking water, you have ideas to stimulate you into it, now it's time to get healthy. You will feel so much better, once you make this one change of habit. And it will help you drop other unhealthy habits as well. Good luck!

Your Body's Many Cries for Water
Your Body's Many Cries for Water

This is an amazing, eye opening book that shows how simple mistakes, like not drinking enough water, can lead to complicated diseases and the huge expense of unnecessary medications.



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    • leahlefler profile image

      leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

      This is really great, watergeek. We have special thermos bottles for our boys, and we fill them with water so that we have a supply available no matter where we go. I never thought about drinking a small glass just before mealtime - that is a really good idea!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Seriously, you tip 7 was wonderful.

      I was aware of drinking water before meals but, to add vinegar etc was new to me. Great informative hub, watergeek :)

    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 4 years ago from Florida

      watergeek...well researched and written...being retired from the Medical field, may I suggest, add the squeeze of a fresh lemon to your water and always drink it cold. You can also add cucumber ,coconut in another add ( I pulp mine )..Drinking water also keeps the skin hydrated which in turn helps to slow down the " wrinkle" process..

      Thank you for sharing and bring this issue to can live without food, but not water...voted up/interesting

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 4 years ago

      As a kid in Hawaii, I remember that the skin and hair of Polynesian people is so shiny and smooth because they drink coconut water all the time - fresh from the coconut. Thankfully, coconuts are being sold in Whole Foods now, perforated so you can insert a straw. Soooo good!

      Hmmm. Meant to write something about the skin. Thanks for the reminder, KJ, I'll do that now.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      This is so true and it is hard to drink so much water. These tips should help me drink more. I don't drink soda or tea, but I drink at least one pot of coffee a day. Great tips!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I drink water most of the day. It took a few weeks like you said but it definitely has paid off. I feel better and I don't feel as dependent on food. Great advice!

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 4 years ago from Arizona

      I drink a lot of water throughout the day, but I was not aware of some the the benefits you mentioned. Thanks so much for providing this useful information. Water is amazing!

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 4 years ago

      Oh my, Tammy, I could never drink that much coffee - I'd get too wired! Good for everyone who's already drinking a good amount of water. It's great to have you here to validate its benefits.

    • KellyMediaBest profile image

      KellyMediaBest 4 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Sometimes it is hard to make drinking water throughout the day an actual habit, but our body's really need to stay hydrated to work efficiently. I use the water bottle trick and always have it with me. This has made it almost a subconscious reaction to drink water throughout the day.

    • nylarej profile image

      nylarej 4 years ago from Ph

      I know the huge value of water in our body and it is just frustrating that I sometimes forget to drink water.

      Thanks for sharing these tips, I'd surely keep these in mind!

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 4 years ago

      When you think about it, our bodies are made of fluid with just a little clay to hold the water and nutrients in place - ratio: 2 parts water to 1 part clay.

    • Patkay profile image

      Patrick Kamau 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Nice article and well written. It is sad that most of us are not able to keep our bodies well hydrated by drinking the right aount of water. I am one of the victims and I hope to use the tips you have given here. Thanks for sharing.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Great article. I hope people take your advice seriously. It is hard to get into the habit of drinking water, and your tips are really good. It is true that if you drink a full glass of water before a meal, you will not eat as much.

      I just did some research for my "Brain Hub" and I found out how important it is to keep the brain hydrated.

      I like the way you included a table, too.

      Voted this UP, etc. and will share.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 4 years ago

      Oh nice. I was going to do a brain hub, but maybe I won't now ;-) I'll read yours instead. Thanks for the comments, folks.

    • Crissylite profile image

      Crissylite 4 years ago

      Thank you for such a great article about water! Voted Up & Useful...I'm one of those ones who doesn't always drink as much water as I should. I don't really like the taste. But I do like to keep a water bottle with me so that I can take sips throughout the day and refill the bottle when I run out.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 4 years ago

      Crissy, I add a touch of sea salt to improve the taste. If it's good quality, you get a teeny bit of sweet taste that's not sugary and it's healthy for your body, too.

    • carlajbehr profile image

      Carla J Behr 4 years ago from NW PA

      I drink water ilke it's going out of style. It all started with a medical problem and now I just hydrate constantly. It''s a great habit to get into.

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      I wake up every morning at 5:15am and the first thing I do is drink water. I've also started this habit of drinking water right before bedtime, and I've noticed feeling a lot better in the mornings. Helps with regular and easier bowel movement too.

      Great hub with lots of great tips. Voted up and useful.

    • busillis22 profile image

      busillis22 4 years ago

      Drinking water is so important! Thanks for these helpful tips!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I drink quite a bit of water, almost nothing else (except my morning tea) and actually prefer water over anything else. I haven't tried adding sea salt and might just have to do that. Thanks for your important tips and information.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 2 years ago

      When I first moved to the place I live now I started adding a touch of sea salt, like I always do, and the water tasted strange. Then I realized that my landlady (who lives in the front house) was adding water softener salt to the whole indoor water system.

      I looked at the bag just now to see what the salt was, specifically. It says, "evaporated sodium chloride," whatever that means. My question, "With or without natural trace elements?" I'm guessing not.

      I just hope the sea salt I eat with the rest of my food, combined with plenty of greens for minerals, counteracts anything missing with the evaporated sodium chloride. Or maybe I should just start drinking bottled water and adding sea salt to that (lol).

    • maggs224 profile image

      maggs224 2 years ago from Sunny Spain

      An excellent, interesting and informative hub, I especially think your tip to drink after emptying the bladder is a good idea, it makes such sense to replace what your body has already used. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise :D

      I will be voting up and hitting the relevant buttons on my way out.

    • Jacobb9205 profile image

      Jacob Barnard 2 years ago from Gloucestershire

      I drink water all the time!

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 2 years ago

      Your comments triggered me to get a glass just now. ;) Thanks for reading.

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