The human body comprises around 60% water. It's commonly recommended that you drink eight 8-ounce (237-mL) glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule).
If you don't stay hydrated, your physical performance can suffer. This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat. If you exercise intensely and tend to sweat, staying hydrated can help you perform at your absolute best. Losing as little as 2% of your body's water content can significantly impair your physical performance.
Your brain is strongly influenced by your hydration status. Mild dehydration (fluid loss of 1–3%) can impair energy levels, impair mood, and lead to major reductions in memory and brain performance.
Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraine in some individuals. Research has shown that a headache is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration. For example, a study in 393 people found that 40% of the participants experienced a headache as a result of dehydration. What's more, some studies have shown that drinking water can help relieve headaches in those who experience frequent headaches.
Constipation is a common problem that's characterized by infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stool. Increasing fluid intake is often recommended as a part of the treatment protocol. Drinking plenty of water may help prevent and relieve constipation, especially in people who generally don't drink enough water.
Urinary stones are painful clumps of mineral crystal that form in the urinary system. The most common form is kidney stones, which form in the kidneys. Higher fluid intake increases the volume of urine passing through the kidneys. This dilutes the concentration of minerals, so they're less likely to crystallize and form clumps. Increased water intake appears to decrease the risk of kidney stone formation.
A hangover refers to the unpleasant symptoms experienced after drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic, so it makes you lose more water than you take in. This can lead to dehydration. Although dehydration isn't the main cause of hangovers, it can cause symptoms like thirst, fatigue, headache, and dry mouth. Good ways to reduce hangovers are to drink a glass of water between drinks and have at least one big glass of water before going to bed.
Drinking plenty of water can help you lose weight, because water can increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate. Increasing water intake can promote weight loss by slightly increasing your metabolism, which can increase the number of calories you burn on a daily basis. Drinking water half an hour before meals is the most effective. It can make you feel more full so that you eat fewer calories.
Even mild dehydration can affect you mentally and physically. Make sure that you get enough water each day, whether your personal goal is 64 ounces (1.9 liters) or a different amount. It's one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
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