You’ll have more energy
The cells throughout your body need water to function, which is why we can all use tips on getting more water into your diet. “Water is a basic need for cellular health,” says Ronald Navarro, MD, orthopedic and sport medicine surgeon at Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center in Harbor City, California. “Cells contain water and are surrounded by water. In dehydration, cell membranes become less permeable, hampering the flow of hormones and nutrients into the cell and preventing waste products that cause cell damage from flowing out.” When that’s happening throughout your body, your energy is sapped, and fatigue can take over, according to a review of hydration research published in the journal Nutrition Review.
How much water do you need to boost energy? Depending on who you ask, the exact amount varies. Dr. Navarro points to the most agreed-upon recommendation of six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. This could change though, depending on the climate you live in and the type of lifestyle you lead. “Some adults may need more or less, depending on their overall health, including if they have certain illnesses, take specific medications and more. It also depends on how much they exercise and the level of intensity, and how hot and dry the weather is,” he explains. If you’re interested to know how much water your body is hankering for, talk to your primary care doctor.
Your memory will improve
Your brain is hugely dependent on fluid to work properly. All those synapses and neurons need liquid to fire properly. According to research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, one of the most reliable predictors of decline in memory and mental performance is dehydration. And yet, according to Dr. Navarro, some polls estimate that upwards of 75 percent of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. And that number worsens in summer: “We see the rate of dehydration increase in the summer and fall when temperatures are higher and perspiration is more pronounced,” he says. If you’re concerned you’re among the dehydrated masses, here are the signs of dehydration.
You’ll be stronger and faster
Ever feel sore during a workout, even though you didn’t exercise the day before? You can check out these home remedies for sore muscles, but you should also know that those aches and pains or the difficulty you experience when trying to lift a heavier weight or push through that extra mile can be due to dehydration, and not your lack of strength. Research suggests that even a 2 percent drop in hydration can cause significant losses in strength and motivation while increasing feelings of fatigue. Dr. Navarro says that when we take in the right amount of water for our bodies, our muscles become more relaxed, which increases energy and maximizes our performance.
You’ll be in a better mood
Even dropping 1-2 percent below optimal hydration can start wrecking your mood, according to research from the University of Connecticut. That’s barely low enough to feel thirsty, and yet at that level of dehydration the moods of the women in the study soured and they were more likely to experience headaches and fatigue. So drink up, says Dr. Navarro: If you get tired of drinking good ‘ole fashioned H20, consider upping your hydration game by making your ‘brew’ sparkling or flavored. Water with bubbles offers the same benefits of regular water, and added fruit can make the negative, tasteless sensation of water more interesting.