drinking waterShare on Pinterest

If you don’t already have a sweet water bottle that you love, it might be time to invest. We’ve found some convincing reasons for you to knock back more H2O.

Water’s the most popular beverage in the U.S., according to data from the Beverage Marketing Corporation. This is an encouraging stat, because as recently as 2016, carbonated soft drinks took the top spot.

Sugary drinks are a huge health hazard, upping the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems.Hu FB. (2013). Resolved: There is sufficient scientific evidence that decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption will reduce the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related diseases. DOI: 10.1111/obr.12040

Choosing water over soda, juices, and other sugar-laden “soft drinks” can reduce your risk. Plus, it has a bunch of benefits for your body — even some you might not expect. Take a look.

1. Keeping in balance

Water makes up about 60 percent of your body. Drinking enough H2O maintains your body’s fluid balance, which helps with nutrient transportation, temperature regulation, digestion, and more.

2. Munch control

Drinking water could also help with weight loss. Studies have found a connection between water consumption and losing a few pounds.Thornton NS. (2016). Increased hydration can be associated with weight loss. DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2016.00018 The secret reason? Water simply helps people feel full and, as a result, consume fewer calories.An R, et al. (2016). Plain water consumption in relation to energy intake and diet quality among US adults, 2005–2012. DOI: 10.1111/jhn.12368

3. Muscle fuel

Sweating at the gym causes your muscles to lose water. And when your muscles don’t have enough water, they get tired. For extra energy or to push through that final set of squats, try simply refilling your water bottle and taking a few slugs.

4. Kidney helper

Your kidneys process about 150 quarts of blood daily, sifting out waste and transporting urine to your bladder. But they need the right amount of water to clear out the stuff your body doesn’t need. Let’s drink to that!

5. Productivity boost

A glass of water may be just what you need to really focus at work. Research has shown that even mild dehydration can have negative effects on attention and memory.Adan A. (2013). Cognitive performance and dehydration. DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2012.10720011

Plus, the more you drink, the more often you’ll need to take bathroom breaks. Those quick walks to the loo will help you stay alert, too.

6. Fatigue buster

Move over, coffee — water can also help fight fatigue. One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is tiredness. Just another reason to go for the big gulp! (Not the 7-11 kind.)

7. Hangover helper

If booze has gotten the best of you, help a hangover with a glass of water to hydrate your body and stop that pounding headache.

8. Keep things flowing

Nobody wants to deal with digestion issues. Research has shown that dehydration contributes to constipation in some people, so drinking more water may help make things, ahem, move smoothly.El-Sharkawy AM, et al. (2015). Acute and chronic effects of hydration status on health. DOI: 10.1093/nutrit/nuv038

9. Sickness fighter

Water may help with decongestion when you’re feeling under the weather. But drinking fluids hasn’t been scientifically proven to beatcolds, so don’t swap this for a trip to the doctor or other cold remedies.

10. Brain washer

A 2013 study found a link between students bringing water into an exam room and better grades, suggesting H2O promotes clearer thinking.Pawson C, et al. (2013). Drink availability is associated with enhanced examination performance in adults. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1013601

While it’s unclear whether drinking the water really had anything to do with getting a better score, it doesn’t hurt to try it out!

The amount of water we need is up for debate, but the Institute of Medicine recommends 9 to 13 cups per day for adults. Your needs vary depending on your activity level, your age, and how much water you consume in coffee, tea, or water-rich veggies and fruit.

Here’s how to keep yourself hydrated: Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up and a glass 30 minutes before eating any big meal. This will help control your appetite, too, if that’s something you’re looking for.

Get in the habit of keeping a water bottle on hand at all times. If the taste begins to bore you, try adding a squeeze of citrus or infusing water with other flavors.

Before you know it, all the benefits of water will be right at your fingertips… and in your body.