Ever feel the urge to better yourself, only to become overwhelmed by the prospect? After all, self-improvement encompasses the hopes and dreams we have about our future. Trying to transform those goals from imagination to reality can be daunting.
That’s why we’re introducing a new series: The Power of One. In each edition, we’ll look at a single, small change you can begin implementing right now to experience immediate benefits. Instant gratification, baby!
To kick it off, we’re diving into a seemingly banal topic that impacts almost every area of our wellbeing. That’s right—it’s time to examine that crystalline manna from heaven: water.
Before we get into the wonderful things water can do for us, let’s first discuss how much we must guzzle to wring out every last perk.
You’ve likely heard the oft-cited statistic that humans are supposed to drink eight glasses of water per day. As it turns out, there’s no real evidence to support that claim. What the science actually suggests is that we need even more water in our daily life—2.7 liters for the average woman and 3.7 liters for the average man (or roughly 11.5 cups for women and 15.5 cups for men). And the recommended dosage is even higher for those with an active lifestyle or who are living in a region with extreme temperatures.
Though water-rich consumables like fruits, vegetables, coffee, and tea can all contribute to this cumulative daily total, it’s safe to say many of us still aren’t getting the full amount our bodies need.
But that’s okay, because you can immediately boost your intake by following these two simple steps:
Step 1: Drink more water today.
Step 2: Repeat tomorrow.
Simple, right? (Right!)
Read on to find out how following this trusted two-step program every day can lead to huge improvements in both body and mind.
Drown Out Sickness
Here we have one of water’s lesser-known superpowers: the ability to prevent sickness.
Our bodies depend on water for many things, including saliva production. And if our spit factory is operating as intended, it can trap germs before they even enter our body. Gross, but effective.
Water also keeps our skin moisturized and healthy. When we’re dehydrated, our skin is more likely to crack… and cracked skin is nothing more than a portal for pathogens to enter and wreak havoc on our bodies.
Refresh Your Mind
Want to think sharper, clearer thoughts? All you have to do is—you guessed it—drink more water!
Strong blood flow is crucial for proper brain function. And this flow is highly dependent on how much water is in our system. The less hydrated we are, the less blood gets pushed to our noggin.
This can even lead to our brain tissues shrinking… and who wants to go through the day with a shriveled-up mind?
Dampen Head Pains
Clarity of thought isn’t the only head-related issue water is good for. That’s because headaches and migraines are also tied to the amount of blood flowing throughout the body. When your brain gets less blood than it needs, vessels dilate to compensate… often causing a headache in the process.
Don’t Lag Behind
Jet lag is one of the worst parts about traveling. Nobody wants to feel exhausted and run down in the middle of a trip… especially if you just spent more money than you should on a flight because you didn’t know how to score a discounted ticket.
Dehydration can greatly exacerbate symptoms of jet lag, and flying through the high, arid atmosphere is a perfect storm for drying us out. But if you’re diligent about staying hydrated, you can drain jet lag of its day-ruining powers.
Never Back Down
Back problems are a tragically common phenomenon that can make daily life a minefield of aches and pains.
Spinal discs, which cushion our backs, are sometimes the culprit. These discs are composed largely of water, which drains as we move around throughout the day. Thankfully, spinal discs replenish their liquid reserves as we sleep… as long as we have enough water in our system. Otherwise, they shrink and lose their effectiveness over time. This leads to less support for the lower back, which can result in short-term or even chronic back pain.
Open the Floodgates
No matter how plain you may find it, the evidence is clear: water impacts almost every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. And considering how easy it is to add more of it to your life (remember the trusty two-step program at the beginning of this article), there’s no reason not to do it.
This month make proper hydration the one small thing you incorporate into your life. You’ll reap plenty of rewards, and the only thing it will cost is a few extra trips to the restroom.
This article is for informational purposes only.