Water makes up about 60% of our bodies and 75% of the earth. Without it, our bodies would not survive. It keeps us healthy and hydrated. The effects water has on our body are astounding, so it is important to drink enough each day. A great guideline for drinking enough water is to follow the 8×8 rule: 8 glasses of 8 oz. of water a day. Getting enough water prevents dehydration and offers additional benefits such as:
- Muscle Energy When you are working extra hard at the gym or pushing yourself to go the extra mile on a run, consuming enough water will give muscles the extra boost they need. Sweating causes muscles to lose water and can result in muscle fatigue and dehydration. Drinking enough water can ensure muscle competence, hydration, and an overall more enjoyable workout.
- Clearer Skin Drinking enough water can clear toxins from the skin. Often, these toxins cause the skin to become inflamed and cause blackheads and pimples. The extra water flushes out the toxins and gives your face a cleaner, glowing look.
- Boost of Productivity Studies show that drinking a glass of water while you work can make you more productive. Water keeps you refreshed and focused on the next big paper you need to write or test you need to study for.
- Mood Improvement Ever have a day where you feel a little off or can’t shake the rain cloud over your head? It could simply be that you haven’t drunk enough water. Studies show that even mild dehydration can negatively impact your mood.
Following the 8×8 rule is not only essential for your body’s everyday health, but it also provides countless health benefits that are vital to college students. Not getting enough water, however, can cause dehydration. Here are a few signs that your body may be dehydrated:
- Bad Breath When your body has enough water, your saliva has antibacterial properties that kill bad breath causing germs. When you are dehydrated, your body cannot produce enough saliva to kill those germs.
- Dry, Hot Skin If there is not enough water in your body, your body cannot cool itself by its usual means: sweating. Therefore, your skin will become flushed and dry, key indicators of dehydration.
- Muscle Cramps If your body does not have enough water and cannot cool down, muscles can become hotter. The muscles will work harder to overcome the deficiency of water, but they will seize up from overwork causing uncomfortable and painful muscle cramping.
Katie Nahay is a junior at Auburn University majoring in nutrition dietetics. She plans to become a registered dietician and then continue on to physician assistant’s school or continue writing in the nutrition field.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Goodman