Drink Up! How Drinking More Water Can Help You Stay More Alert
Water is perhaps one of the most important substances in the world. We rely on it to stay alive, to bathe in, to carry our waste away, to clean, and so much more. Almost every animal needs water to survive and we suffer the effects of dehydration if we don’t drink enough water. Indeed, did you know that we’re composed of about two-thirds water and that it influences 100% of the processes that our body carries out? However, there can be differences in your drinking water and the water that comes out of your pipes. Although experts can’t agree whether or not hard water is linked to causing health problems, it can certainly become a nuisance in terms of cleaning and mineral buildup. Many people who have hard water will use a water softener to help fix the problem or will use a chlorine removal system or other filtration system. Making sure that you have good drinking water and water that won’t cause corrosion or damage to your pipes or other appliances is important! Find out why below.
Why Is Water So Important to Us as Human Beings?
Even if you’re only mildly dehydrated (1-3% of body weight), you can feel low energy and tired, and affect your mental clarity and can impair many different parts of brain function. If you lose 9-12% of total body weight in water loss, it could have fatal results. Indeed, health experts call chronic dehydration the “hidden epidemic” and estimate that three-quarters of all North Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. Research has also shown that if you stay hydrate, your risk of colon cancer could be cut by as much as 45%, bladder cancer by 50%, and could even help reduce breast cancer risk. Even if you’ve lost only 2% of your body’s water content, you’ll still be able to notice the effects.
What Can I Do to Stay Better Hydrated?
The obvious answer is to drink more water. It can be tough if you don’t have readily accessible drinking water or just don’t think about it. But if you have a headache, one study showed that people had “total relief” when they drank an average of two cups of water, within 30 minutes. Additionally, drinking 16 ounces of water before you eat can lead to increased weight loss — perhaps because you feel fuller, which helps you decide what you eat (and how much).
Carrying a water bottle full of drinking water with you wherever you go can help encourage better hydration. You’ll always have it on hand and if it’s nearby, you’re probably more likely to go ahead and drink it. There are also apps that provide incentives if you drink enough water over the course of the day and ways to track how much water you drink. Simply being more mindful can also help. If you’re a fan of your home’s drinking water, you could install whole house filtration, which can help eliminate the minerals or other chemicals that might make your water taste bad to you.
What’s the Issue With Hard Water?
Around 85% of American households are impacted by having hard water. Hardness is measured in grains per gallon as calcium carbonate; one grain is equivalent to 17.1 milligrams per liter. Even if you don’t live in a water zone that has very hard or extremely hard water, you can often see hard water effects if it reaches seven grains of hardness.
Gas water heaters can run less efficiently if there are five grains per gallon of hardness (up to 8% less efficient) and can increase costs by 8% if there are 100 gallons of hot water used every day. Clothes can be stained gray if washed repeatedly in hard water, there can be residual scum on wash or bath water after using soap or detergent and soap may not lather as well. There can also be mineral buildups on surfaces that use hot water, which can reduce water flow and look unsightly.
Making sure you have good quality water is important to your health and overall wellbeing. Measures like filtration can help improve your quality of water and encourage you to drink more water overall.