Water helps your body maintain a normal temperature, helps you digest your food and protects your organs. Water brings nutrients to cells and removes waste products. You can’t live for more than a few days without any water. Keeping your body hydrated is also important for your health because it helps prevent certain diseases and it’s good for you brain. Dehydration occurs when you don’t get enough water.
Kidney stones are small crystals that form in your kidneys and work their way through two tubes called ureters and down to your bladder. A kidney stone can get stuck in a ureter, which blocks urine flow to the bladder, and it can be quite painful. Drinking water or other fluids every day is one way to prevent the formation of these stones.
Keeping hydrated helps you think more clearly and keeps you alert. When your body is dehydrated, your brain doesn’t function as well as it should. Even a small amount of dehydration slows your hand-eye coordination, impairs your memory and makes it more difficult to pay attention to whatever you are doing.
Good hydration might help to reduce your risk of exercise-induced asthma and constipation. Sufficient fluid intake is also associated with a lower risk of several diseases, including urinary tract infections, high blood pressure, blood clots, some types of strokes and fatal heart attacks.
Drinking water improves your endurance so that you’re able to exercise longer, which is especially important for long-distance and aerobic activities. It’s also important for work, especially if you have a physically demanding job or you work in a hot environment.
Prevent dehydration by drinking water and other beverages throughout the day, including before, during and after strenuous physical activity. The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board recommends that women consume at least 91 ounces of water each day, while mean need about 125. Twenty percent of the water you consume comes from the food you eat, and the rest comes from beverages. All non-alcoholic beverages count toward that total, even drinks that contain caffeine.
Sheri Kay has a master's degree in human nutrition. She's the co-author of two books and has been a nutrition and fitness writer since 2004.