What Are the Health Benefits of Being Hydrated?

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Seventy-five percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated, according to the Idaho-based Panhandle Health District. This number is alarming because the health of every system in your body relies on water. Drinking enough water can improve your mood, make your skin glow and keep you regular. Staying hydrated also plays a role in appetite suppression and weight management.

Glowing Skin

Although you may not think of it as such, your skin is an organ; in fact, it’s the largest organ in -- or on -- your body. Just like any of your other organs, your skin needs an adequate water supply to stay healthy. When you don’t drink enough water, your skin becomes dehydrated. This manifests as dry, flaky skin that feels tight. Dry, dehydrated skin is more prone to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. The Panhandle Health District notes that drinking enough water also helps prevent sagging skin, especially after weight loss. Water fills the spaces between skin cells, plumping the skin while reducing drooping and the appearance of wrinkles.

Appetite Control

Drinking water before a meal can decrease your appetite and help prevent overeating. Researchers from the American Chemical Society found that dieters who drank 2 cups of water before each meal lost 5 more pounds over a period of 12 weeks than dieters who ate without hydrating first. In addition to diminishing your appetite, drinking enough water may also keep your metabolism working efficiently. According to the Panhandle Health District, mild dehydration can slow your metabolism by 3 percent.

Keep Things Moving

Insufficient fluid intake is one of the primary causes of constipation. When you don’t drink enough fluid, your body gets the water it needs by pulling it out of its internal sources, like your colon. This leads to a dry colon and dry, hard stools that are difficult to pass. When you drink enough water, your colon stays hydrated and lubricated, which keeps stools soft and easy to pass.

Drink and Smile

Researchers at Tufts University studied the effects of mild dehydration on college athletes and found that a lack of water can affect your mood. Participants who engaged in aerobic activities for 60 to 75 minutes but didn’t properly hydrate reported feeling more depressed, tense, confused, angry and fatigued than athletes who drank enough. The researchers concluded that inadequate fluid balance -- not drinking enough water -- has a negative effect on your mood.