9 reasons why water is the greatest drink... in the world
Water benefits your healthy living in ways most people are not aware of – could you give up every drink except water?
Why just water?
Let's get this out of the way, since every single drink contains water. While our species was evolving, there weren't any fizzy drinks around, coffee and tea were non-existent, and the only alcohol was coming from eating the actual fermented fruits. Our ancestors didn't have the luxury to make carbonated and sweetened soft drinks. We've managed to evolve a certain alcohol tolerance (which is slowly disappearing), but since the evolution is a slow process, our bodies aren't used to deal perfectly (or beneficially) with today's soda, for example. Water on the other hand is an essential part of life, so our body knows how to get the best out of a seemingly useless fluid in this day and age. Let's dive deep (pun intended) in the wonderful world of this life-nourishing drink.
If you don't touch other drinks but water for the next 10 days, you can burn as much calories as running 8 km every day. That is without the actual running. Because water helps your body to work more efficiently while idle, so you'll burn 24-30 percent more calories while reading this article, compared to drinking soda and doing the same. Not only that, but you won't replace those calories, since water contains none. Up to date, it's still the only calories-free drink. And if you drink cold water, the results are even more impressive, because your body needs extra energy to warm it up before processing.
Improved metabolism and more energy
A glass of water right after you wake up will boost your metabolism by the astonishing 24 percent! Since water is essential to metabolism (getting the energy out of your food), having a glass before putting your metabolism hard at work is like pouring some cooking oil in the pan before the eggs and bacon. It prepares your body to readily absorb the useful stuff from your breakfast and converts that into energy. There are multiple studies, concluding that the effect of a glass of water after waking up is comparable to coffee or tea in the morning, but I love my morning brew way too much to give that theory a try.
Supercharging your brain
The thinking unit in our heads is made of 75 to 85 percent water and to maintain its functions properly, every drop counts. Ever wondered why one of the first signs of severe dehydration is a headache (or dizziness)? Now you know! The brain wants his aqua and if it gets it pure - it works best. Not sugary, carbonated or with alcohol in it - just pure water can increase your concentration up to 50% on a daily basis! Now, to be clear - water won't make you the next Einstein, but it won't harm your chances either, unlike carbonated soft drinks with excess of sugar or alcoholic beverages.
Just to clarify, eating less is different from weight loss. With all the processed food, stuffed with chemicals that our body is not equipped to deal with or with the so called "comfort" food, full of unhealthy oils, eating less means spearing your body. A glass of water right before a meal reduces your food intake, because as mentioned above - your metabolism works more efficiently and your body requires less food for the energy it needs. This translates into less work for your internal organs to deal with your meal, which means that your body is conserving energy from previous food intakes. A simple scientific tip, the benefits of which are so much more than just weight loss.
Helps you clean the chemicals
It's almost impossible to live without any processed food at all and while our bodies have the means to get the useless stuff out, they won't work without water. And those means (your liver and kidneys) work best with pure water. Think of water as the waste manager for your body. When you have it pure, it helps you liver to produce enzymes more effectively and to break down or pack those pesky food processing chemicals into waste. Then your kidneys, thanks to the water, literally flush them out. And you don't add artificial sweeteners to go the same road, as you would do with a soft drink. Water also helps your body to maintain sodium balance, as your cells will flush their stored water to dissolve too much salt in your meal. That explains why you're thirsty right after you've gone too far with salting your stake.
Keeps your blood pressure in check
Our blood is a liquid, so naturally it needs liquids to retain the flow. So far - so good, but not just any liquid. Pure water not only keeps your blood from thickening and overloading your heart, but it keeps your blood vessels from narrowing, as it prevents your body from retaining too much sodium, which makes them to narrow. We have a pretty delicate internal machinery and even the slightest imbalance can have consequences. The simple fact is that pure water works best at maintaining that fragile balance. And a short example of how your brain is signalling when your balance is lost - eating a burger and fries, drinking a large soft drink and you're still thirsty. That's because you've had a salty (sodium-rich) meal and that soft drink does not contain enough pure water to balance things out. Ever thought about it this way?
Easy on the heart
Since your heart is a muscle with its own blood vessels, it can suffer all the same from any imbalance. But pure water can reduce chances of failure. In fact, 10 days of drinking water and leaving on the side any other beverages can reduce the risk of a heart failure with the whooping 41 percent! Because all of the above applies to your heart - blood pressure, metabolism, chemical balance, even weight. The less pressure you put on your heart - the better. Granted, there are other, outside factors that can put stress on this particularly vital muscle, but having at least four glasses of water per day, instead of pumping sugars in your heart's blood vessels can only be a benefit.
Keeps your skin younger
I will admit, that's a bit shallow, compared to all that has been mentioned above, but bear with me - it's worth your time. Sticking only to water helps your skin to better retain elasticity over the years. This means you'll be less likely to get scars, wrinkles, soft lines or show signs of ageing early on. More to the point - water helps to retain the pH balance in your skin, so you'll be less likely to get acne or pimples at any stage of your life. The correct pH skin balance means your pores won't absorb toxins from the environment as easily. Which isn't the case with any other drink, because nothing, except of water is pH-neutral. Most drinks would raise acidity and lower your pH value below the balance point. Oh, and those "neutral pH 5.5" shampoos are actually acidic, because the neutral pH level for a human body is 7 - right in the middle of the 0-14 table. Just to keep it in mind as a false advertising.
Saves you money
The most trivial point for some, but it's still a solid argument. Water is still by far the cheapest drinking liquid you can consume. Don't believe me? Do the math yourself. I found out I'm spending upwards of 200 Euro per month on soft drinks and coffee. Safe to say, I won't be doing that from now on. I know people who are spending on fizzy drinks more than they spend on food! And if you think that having a litre of soda will make you drink a litre less water per day - you're horribly wrong. A litre of a fizzy drinks delivers just around 166 ml of usable water in your body. So your brain will tell you to drink the rest in the form of pure water and then some more, to deal with the sugars and sugar-substitute chemicals. So you're spending a lot more than you think. And that special and expensive Fiji water will make no difference, compared to the tap, because your body is treating it like regular water (which it is).