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Health Benefits Of Staying Well-Hydrated

Last updated April 23, 2016

The human body is made up by 50% to 75% water. It needs water in order to perform as a medium for conduction for our bodies’ reactions that are vital for life. People who live in warm, moist climates will need to drink more water than individuals who live in mild, dry climates.


Our bodies love water, which makes perfect sense, because the human body is made up by 50% to 75% water. It needs water in order to perform as a medium for conduction for our bodies’ reactions that are vital for life. For example, water helps us drain out toxins from the organs, transports nutrients to our cells, and provides a wet environment for ear, nose, and throat tissues, which prevents friction damage.

Dehydration is a condition that occurs when you do not have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you fatigued. We must constantly drink water, because it is constantly being lost through daily function, whether it is through breathing, sweating, urinating, or bowel movements.

Each person must drink a certain amount of water depending on the individual’s physical activity. An athletic person who exercises often will need to drink more water than individuals who live a sedentary lifestyle. People who live in warm, moist climates will need to drink more water than individuals who live in mild, dry climates. According to the Institute of Medicine, an adequate intake for men is approximately 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day; sufficient intake for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.

Your muscles do not work well when there is a disturbance in the balance of fluids and electrolytes. Water has the ability to help energize the muscles. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends people should drink around 17 ounces of fluid two hours before exercise.

Your body also converts the food material into useful products and creates waste products that can be detrimental to the body. In order to flush these chemicals out, your kidneys need water to filter waste from blood and expel it through urine. Staying hydrated may also help prevent conditions urinary tract infections and kidney stones. If you are severely dehydrated, it can cause numerous complications including kidney failure.

Additional Resources:

http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/food-nutrition/nutrients/hydration-why-its-so-important.html (accessed on 04/02/2016)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9303999 (accessed on 04/02/2016)

http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=365&sectionid=43074918&Resultclick=2 (accessed on 04/02/2016)

http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html (accessed on 04/02/2016)

Popkin BM, D’Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, Hydration and Health. Nutrition reviews. 2010;68(8):439-458. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x.

Steve S. Guest, MD, nephrologist; medical director, Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara, Calif.; adjunct clinical professor of medicine, Stanford University.

CDC. Beverage Consumption Among High School Students — United States, 2010. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011;60(23):778-780.

Ann C. Grandjean (August 2004). "3". Water Requirements, Impinging Factors, and Recommended Intakes (pdf). World Health Organization. pp. 25–34.

Barbara Rolls, PhD, Guthrie Chair of Nutritional Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa; author, The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan.

Shipway, R., & Holloway, I. (2016). Health and the running body Notes from an ethnography. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 51(1), 78-96.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: April 23, 2016
Last updated: April 23, 2016