Seven benefits of drinking water to stay healthy

During World Water Week, how much do you need to consume per day and why this information may vary. Why it is a key habit to achieve longevity and stay healthy.Since the time of Hippocrates, the beneficial properties of certain waters have been known. However, only in the 20th century were epidemiological links established between its consumption and health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have called on all nations to once and for all accelerate action to ensure that water, sanitation and Hygiene (ASH) are a reality for everyone. The figures are alarming: around the world, 2 billion people lack safe drinking water and 3.6 billion people, almost half of the world’s population, use sanitation services that do not treat human waste.

Water , that transparent and essential liquid, is the source of life, the nutrient that drives every cellular function and the medium that allows our body to function optimally.

Since ancient times, water has been considered a vital element. Our ancestors settled near water sources, understanding their importance for survival. Today, although we have easy access to water, we often forget its intrinsic value.

Our body is made up mostly of water . It is the main component of blood plasma, which in turn transports nutrients, oxygen and wastes through our system. Water also regulates our internal temperature, lubricates our joints, and is essential for digestion.

As we age, the importance of water in our health becomes even more evident. Proper hydration may be the key to preventing chronic diseases, improving skin health, and maintaining mental acuity.

Additionally, water plays a crucial role in preventing age-related diseases such as kidney stones and urinary tract infections.

Hydration challenges

Despite abundant information about the benefits of water, many people still struggle to consume enough each day. Whether due to lack of access, preference for other beverages, or simply forgetfulness, dehydration remains a common problem.

The doctor Guillermo Rosa Diez, president of the Argentine Society of Nephrology and head of the Nephrology Service of the Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires, had said in dialogue with Infobae that hydration with drinking water should be appropriate for each person. “Thirst varies depending on age, sex, weight and physical activities,” he said.

The 8 glasses of water rule: myth or reality?

The specialist mentioned “the eight glass rule” as a general recommendation to underline the relevance of hydration. Rosa Diez highlighted the need to “pay attention to thirst”, but without falling into excessive consumption. In addition, she emphasized that a healthy diet should incorporate fruits and vegetables, which also provide water. Likewise, she pointed out that elite athletes should drink water with mineral salts.

Rosa Díez stressed that people with kidney stones should consume more than eight glasses of water to avoid the formation of new stones, emphasizing that the appropriate amount varies depending on the individual. Kelly Anne Hyndman of the University of Alabama at Birmingham highlighted the importance of hydration, but debunked the idea that drinking more water automatically leads to better health.

Joel Topf, a nephrologist at Oakland University, pointed out that the true indicator of hydration is the balance between electrolytes, such as sodium, and water in our body.

Tamara Hew-Butler of Wayne State University mentioned that factors such as body size, climate , and intensity of physical activity influence how much water should be consumed. She suggested that during doctor visits, patients should ask what the ideal amount is for them.

However, there are numerous strategies and tips that can help people increase their water consumption. From “eating” water through water-rich fruits and vegetables, to setting reminders and always carrying a reusable bottle, there are many ways to ensure adequate hydration.

The renowned Argentine doctor, obesity specialist, health educator, writer and lecturer, Alberto Cormillot, maintained that “you should drink around 10 or 12 glasses in winter and a little more in summer . In reality, there is no measure that establishes how much should be consumed, but traditionally one and a half or two liters are indicated in winter and between two and a half and three in summer.

Does sparkling water have more benefits?

The benefits seem to derive from the minerals contained in this type of carbonated water. Carbonated waters could offer advantages with certain considerations.

It is suggested that sparkling water improves swallowing and relieves stomach discomfort, and may also help in weight reduction. However, some studies indicate that it could increase appetite and cause gastric discomfort.

A 2022 study suggested that sparkling water prevents kidney stone formation due to its bicarbonate content. However, it has also been noted that it could increase the risk of incontinence in women over 40 years of age.

Proper hydration is essential for metabolic and cardiovascular health , according to another study . Mineral-rich waters, including carbonated ones, can be beneficial in regulating blood pressure. Although other studies suggest cardiometabolic benefits, no significant changes are observed in certain indicators such as triglycerides.

Several studies suggest that consuming a liter of sparkling water daily could reduce cardiometabolic indicators such as cholesterol and glucose. However, no alterations in triglyceride levels, weight or body mass index have been noted. Consuming sparkling water does not appear to affect bone health in postmenopausal women. However, it could affect dental health in young people, although its erosive potential is much lower than that of soft drinks.

7 benefits that the body obtains from drinking water

  • Hydration and energy: Water is essential for keeping us hydrated, allowing our body to function efficiently, preventing fatigue and improving energy levels.
  • Digestion and waste elimination: Drinking water facilitates digestion, saliva production, and proper elimination of waste and toxins, promoting kidney health.
  • Skin health: Water keeps our skin hydrated, supple and free of toxins, reducing problems such as acne.
  • Thermal regulation: it is essential to regulate our body temperature, especially in situations of exercise or heat.
  • Cardiovascular health: consuming enough water promotes blood circulation and prevents heart diseases.
  • Physical and mental performance: adequate hydration improves physical performance and, by avoiding dehydration, enhances concentration and memory.
  • Strength and weight control: Water strengthens our immune system and, at the same time, helps control appetite, promoting weight loss.

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