How much water do you drink every day? If you’re like most people I know, you might not give this any thought, but water has a big impact on how you look and feel. In fact, water is one of the best natural mood boosters I know of and it’s amazing for your skin. Here are some things you need to know about water's beauty benefits along with how it impacts your mood, energy levels, memory, and performance. I've also got some tasty ways to make sure you’re meeting your needs.
Water is the best natural mood booster
In a really interesting experiment to determine the effects of changes in water status on your mood, scientists looked at mood scales after giving both low- and high- water drinkers various amounts of the thirst-quencher.
When the high-water-drinkers were forced to drink less water, it impacted their over-all mood and wellbeing. They reported feeling less calm and content with a worsening of their mood and reduction in positive emotions.
On the other hand, when low drinkers were forced to drink more water, the reverse was true. They experienced positive improvements, such as reduced fatigue and confusion with an increase in alertness. They also reported that feelings of anger and hostility decreased.
In plain English, if you aren’t drinking enough water, increasing your intake can help promote a better mood and mindset and help you feel more alert and focused.
Water is also a performance booster
Water isn’t just a natural mood booster, it’s a natural performance booster, too. If you want to perform well on and off the job, making sure you’re adequately hydrated is a smart move. Here’s why: Studies indicate that under-consuming water is a top source of fatigue, and it has also been linked with reduced motivation levels. (Who knew?!) Plus, it can impact your short-term memory and thinking skills. There’s no way you can function at peak performance at work or at home if you aren’t meeting your fluid needs.
Water makes you look better, too
I’m not opposed to a little vanity so it’s worth mentioning that water helps you look better, too. Staying adequately hydrated also helps nourish your skin, which can improve your skin tone and complexion. If you’re suffering from dry and dull skin, it’s possible that drinking water can help. One study among men and women in their 40s and 50s indicated that drinking more water led to beauty benefits, like improvements in softness and smoothness—similar to what you’d expect from a moisturizer.
By keeping the digestive system humming along, water also makes you less likely to get constipated, which in turn, reduces bloating. There are many factors involved in constipation, but drinking more water is a great step toward improving the situation.
How much water do you need?
This can vary depending on your activity levels and the climate (for instance, you require more when it’s hot and sticky outside), but a good rule of thumb is to aim for 64 ounces each day. If you don’t hit it, it’s not the end of the world because you also get water from foods and drinks. Fruits and veggies supply water, as do soups, milk, etc. Still, having a number to reach for gives you a way to check in and see how you’re doing.
Easy ways to drink more water
Some people find it hard to drink enough water so here are some easy ways to make sure you meet your needs and get all of the natural mood, energy, and beauty-boosting benefits water can provide.
Divide your day into parts. I’ve found that people find it easiest to think of their day in two parts: Morning through lunch and afternoon through bedtime. Try to drink a 32-ounce water bottle during each of those timeframes.
Consider sprucing up your H20. If you get bored with ordinary water, try livening it up. A spritz of lime or lemon are easy options, but you can also try herbs (think: mint or basil), spices (like grated ginger), and mashed fruits (such as berries). Look online for easy, no-added-sugar recipes.
Try flavoring your ice cubes. Instead of flavoring your water, you can make flavored ice cubes. These will keep in the freezer, allowing you to liven up your water for days and days. Do an online search for flavored ice cubes and you’ll get a lot of creative ideas, like these from Martha Stewart.
Make it fizzy.When I’m bored of regular water, I turn to fizzy water. You can DIY it in a Soda Stream or buy it in a can.
Combine approaches. Feel free to use a mash-up approach and spruce up your sparkling water. You can add a splash of fresh, 100% juice, flavored ice cubes, or other add-ins. If you’re short on time, Spindrift is a brand that sells canned sparkling water with a drop of fruit puree.
As the temperatures are beginning to rise, it’s the perfect time to think about your water habits. Water is often an under-appreciated part of a healthy lifestyle, but it’s a key component to keeping you looking and feeling more energetic, vibrant, and on point!