Home Gesundheit Warum mehr Wasser trinken? Siehe 6 gesundheitliche Vorteile von Wasser

Warum mehr Wasser trinken? Siehe 6 gesundheitliche Vorteile von Wasser

von NFI Redaktion

Nowadays, it seems like Americans have water bottles with them wherever they go. In fact, it has become the second most popular beverage (behind soft drinks). But water lovers were shaken recently when a new report suggested that the benefits of drinking water may have been overhyped. It turns out the old recommendation of drinking eight glasses per day was just a guideline and not based on scientific evidence.

But don’t put down your water bottle or glass just yet. Even though we might not need eight glasses, there are plenty of reasons to drink water. In fact, consuming water (whether pure or in the form of other liquids or food) is essential for your health.

„Think of water as a nutrient your body needs that is present in liquids, plain water, and foods. All of these are essential daily to replace the large amounts of water lost every day,“ says Joan Koelemay, RD, nutritionist at the Beverage Institute, an industry group.

Kaiser Permanente nephrologist Steven Guest, MD, agrees: „Fluid losses occur continuously through skin evaporation, breathing, urine, and stool, and these losses must be replaced daily for good health,“ he says.

If your water intake doesn’t match your output, you can become dehydrated. Fluid loss is more pronounced in warmer climates, during strenuous physical activity, at high altitudes, and in older adults whose sense of thirst may not be as keen.

Here are six reasons why you should pay attention to drinking enough water or other fluids every day:

1. Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids. Your body is about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, saliva production, nutrient transport, and maintaining body temperature.

„Your brain communicates to your kidneys through the posterior pituitary how much water to excrete as urine or hold onto for reserves,“ says Guest, who is also an associate professor of medicine at Stanford University.

In cases of dehydration, the brain triggers the body’s thirst mechanism. And unless you are taking medications that make you thirsty, you should listen to these signals and indulge in a sip of water, juice, milk, coffee—anything but alcohol, says Guest.

„Alcohol disrupts the communication between the brain and the kidneys and leads to excessive fluid excretion, which can then lead to dehydration,“ he says.

2. Water can help control calories. For years, dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water itself doesn’t have a magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher-calorie drinks can be helpful.

„What works for weight loss is when you choose water or a low-calorie drink over a higher-calorie drink and/or eat a diet with more water-rich foods that are healthier and more filling, helping you reduce calorie intake,“ says Penn State researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan.

Water-rich foods tend to look larger, their increased volume requires more chewing, and they are absorbed more slowly by the body, leading to a feeling of fullness. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.

3. Water helps supply the muscles with energy. Cells that do not maintain their fluid and electrolyte balance can shrink, leading to muscle fatigue. „If muscle cells don’t have enough fluid, they won’t work as well and performance may suffer,“ says Guest.

It is important to consume enough fluids during physical activity. Follow the guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine for fluid intake before and during physical activity. These guidelines recommend that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid approximately two hours before exercising. They also recommend starting to drink fluids early in the exercise and drinking at regular intervals to replace fluids lost through sweating.

4. Water helps the skin look good. Your skin contains a lot of water and acts as a protective barrier to prevent excessive fluid loss. But don’t expect excessive fluid intake to make wrinkles or fine lines disappear, says Dr. Kenneth Ellner, a dermatologist from Atlanta.

„Dehydration makes your skin look drier and more wrinkled, which can be improved with proper fluid intake,“ he says. „But once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluid.“

You can also help „trap“ moisture in your skin by using a moisturizer that creates a physical barrier to hold the moisture in.

5. Water helps your kidneys. Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main waste product in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that can pass through the kidneys and be excreted in the urine, explains Guest. „Your kidneys do an excellent job of cleansing and disposing of toxins from your body, as long as you consume enough fluid,“ he says.

When you consume enough fluid, the urine flows freely, is light in color, and odorless. If your body does not receive enough fluid, the concentration, color, and odor of the urine increase as the kidneys capture additional fluid for bodily functions.

Chronic inadequate hydration may increase the risk of kidney stones, especially in warmer climates, warns Guest.

6. Water helps maintain normal bowel function. Adequate fluid intake keeps the gastrointestinal tract moving and prevents constipation. When you don’t consume enough fluids, the colon draws water from the stool to maintain fluid balance, resulting in constipation.

„Adequate fluid and fiber are the perfect combination because the fluid pumps the fiber and acts like a broom to maintain proper function of your bowel,“ says Koelemay.

If you feel like you need to drink more, here are some tips to increase your fluid intake and reap the benefits of water:

  1. Drink a beverage with every snack and meal.
  2. Choose beverages you enjoy; you are likely to drink more fluid if you like the taste.
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content contributes to your fluid intake. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from food.
  4. Carry a water bottle in the car, at your desk, or in your bag.
  5. Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you are watching calories, opt for calorie-free drinks or water.

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