Warmer weather and increased activity brings the need for additional hydration. Many of us are mildly dehydrated year round. The summer months exacerbate our hydration and demand that we increase the fluid levels in our body to stay healthy. The benefits of good hydration are experienced through better mental, emotional, and physical health and help us understand why hydration is important for wellness.  

Better energy

Without good hydration, you will experience energy dips throughout the day. Often, when you are feeling most tired, your body is craving water. Before you take a nap or turn to food to revive you, start by drinking a tall glass of water. According to Healthline, mild dehydration, or fluid loss of 1-3%, can impair energy levels, impair mood, and lead to major reductions in memory and brain performance. Staying well hydrated will provide longer lasting energy during the day.

Mental clarity

Brain fog is another sign that you may be dehydrated. Another benefit of good hydration is providing greater clarity and focus. Mindy Millard-Stafford, director of the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology, says that,”We find that when people are mildly dehydrated they really don’t do as well on tasks that require complex processing or on tasks that require a lot of their attention.” For better performance at work, it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Improved digestion

Your body needs adequate water to aid in the digestive process. When you are lacking the support of good hydration, you may experience constipation and other difficulties processing meals. The Mayo Clinic explains that water helps break down food so that your body can absorb the nutrients from the food you eat. Eating fruits, vegetables, and other foods that have a higher water content can also aid in digestion and provide a notable benefit of good hydration.

Healthy skin, hair, & nails

When your body doesn’t get the water it needs to function optimally, it borrows it from the places in your body that are less important to your survival. Hair and nail growth and skin appearance are a few of the places that suffer as water is redirected to more primary body functions. As a result, your skin doesn’t eliminate toxins and leaves you more susceptible to dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin problems. A visible benefit of good nutrition is healthy nail growth, strong hair, and a glowing complexion. 

Maintain a healthy weight

Your body’s demand for water can often be mistaken for hunger, resulting in eating unnecessarily to quench the craving. The extra calories consumed lead to extra pounds when this becomes a regular habit. Good hydration alleviates the cravings that are often mistaken for hunger. Drinking a glass of water before a meal can help you eat less because your satiety is increased more quickly. A good practice is to include a glass of water in your morning routine to start your day well hydrated. 

Ideally, drinking half your body weight in ounces will provide the greatest benefits of good hydration. If you’re currently falling short of this daily need, start slowing by adding just a few extra ounces each day. Your body will quickly adapt and respond well to this good hydration habit.