The human body is 75% water. For life on Earth to continue, water is the key. Without water, animals, plants and humans would quickly perish. While people consist mostly of water, they still have to continue drinking it to survive. Drinking water keeps your body hydrated and healthy. In order to maintain daily life functions, proper hydration is a must. Grab yourself some cold water and get cozy, because here are six benefits of staying hydrated.

Promotes cardiovascular health

Your heart is a big muscle that is continually pumping to ensure you get enough oxygen to all your cells. A common cause of overworking your heart is dehydration — the act of your body not retaining enough water to function correctly. Dehydration lowers your blood volume, which causes your heart to work harder and faster to make sure the rest of your body has oxygen. An overworked heart is prone to heart attacks, strokes and other heart conditions. Your chances of heart issues decrease tremendously by drinking an ample amount of water per day.

Increases energy and brain function

Studies show hydration plays a crucial role in how well the brain functions. Mild dehydration, ranging from 1%-3% water loss, causes issues with mood, concentration, headaches, memory, fatigue, anxiety and overall brain performance for people of all ages. Everyday activities can cause water loss, so many doctors recommend carrying a water bottle everywhere you go and starting your day with eight to 12 ounces of water. 

Helps joints and muscles function correctly

Have you ever had an uncomfortable muscle cramp, like a charley horse? If you have, the cause behind your discomfort can be dehydration. Your muscles and joints tense up without the right amount of fluid. It is why orthopaedic doctors suggest all patients, especially active patients who participate in sports or intense exercise, continuously drink water throughout the day. The more water you drink, the better your muscles and joints respond to physical activity.

Maximizes physical performance

Staying hydrated maximizes your overall physical performance. Your body works best if you have enough fluids, whether it is for sports or normal activities. The moment you start to decrease your water intake is when your body starts to lose energy. People who participate in high levels of activity should carry enough water and fluids with electrolytes to drink before, during and after any intense exercise. Many athletes drink not only water but also beverages like Powerade or Gatorade.

Cleanses your body

Every day, your body takes in toxins from food, beverages, air and other environmental contaminants. These toxins cause physical imbalances, which makes your body feel fatigued and strange. Drinking water cleanses your body by helping organs like your kidneys filter waste from your blood and dispose of it. The more water you drink, the more toxins your body releases inside and out. This, in turn, makes your body feel energized and refreshed.

Treats ailments

Staying hydrated also aids in treating many different ailments and illnesses. When you are sick, it is vital to continue drinking liquids. Your body is working hard to fight off viruses or bacteria that enter the body, so drinking enough liquids can help you recover faster. Common health issues that hydration helps combat include headaches, kidney stones, colds, flus and seizures.

Tips on staying hydrated

Achieving a well-hydrated body is easy. Your first step is to drink water multiple times throughout the day. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink 13 cups of water, women drink nine cups of water, children and teens drink six to eight cups and pregnant women drink ten cups of fluids daily. While exercising, it is recommended that you drink eight ounces of water every 15 minutes and 16 to 24 ounces after exercise. You can also get water from fresh fruits and vegetables, so it is ideal to eat a good portion of them daily. A good rule of thumb to remember is that you should intake about one to three cups of fruits and vegetables a day. 

Hydration is the primary key to life. We would cease to exist without it. These were just six benefits of staying hydrated, but there are many more, like aiding in weight loss and keeping your skin clear.

If you or a loved one are experiencing muscle pain or fatigue even after staying well-hydrated, contact one of our board-certified orthopaedic doctors today at one of our convenient Triangle locations.