Given that our bodies are made up of more than 50% water, it probably comes as no surprise that good ol’ H20 is one of the most important energy sources for your body. We lose water in large amounts every single day and these fluids need to be replenished on a regular basis, but here’s the catch—simply drinking water means that it will reach other parts of your body before it reaches your skin. Sure, re-hydrating your body is just as important as re-hydrating your skin (there’s no arguing that fact), but applying lost hydration directly to your skin is crucial for the sake of its health and appearance. Before we dive into that part, though, let’s explore how proper hydration can directly impact your body.
The Importance of Hydration for Your BodyStaying well-hydrated can offer a number of benefits for the body, both inside and out. These include:
- Maintaining weight. Did you know the feeling of hunger you get might just be a result of thirst? That’s right. Your cells tend to send “fat signals” to the brain when your body isn’t properly hydrated, so regularly sipping from that glass of water on the table next to you keeps you feeling satiated (while all that fluid intake can also help your body flush out the byproducts of fat and other toxins). For bonus points—and bonus benefits—try starting each morning with a glass of lemon water.
- Mental benefits. Not only does staying hydrated help balance your mood by aiding in body regulation and brain function, but it also offers some big-time benefits for your memory. Yep, it’s true. Proper hydration can help improve the flow of both blood and oxygen to your brain, ultimately helping strengthen cognitive function and memory.
- Fighting fatigue. The equation here is a simple one—a well-hydrated body is a well-energized body. Combine that with the fact that hydration can also contribute to better sleep, and you may be able to kiss the need for that regular cup of joe each morning goodbye. (Sip mindfully as you enter the evening hours, though, since consuming liquids too close to bedtime could leave you running for the bathroom in the middle of the night).
- Reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol. You already know the importance of keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels low for better heart health, and staying well-hydrated can help keep both of these in check. How? Not only does it help keep the blood flowing through your veins and arteries, but it also helps prevent your body from producing more cholesterol (which can often happen when your body hasn’t had enough water).
- Assist in joint cartilage and repair. Since much of the padding within our cartilage is made up of water, you can only imagine the effect not drinking enough water can have (hello, stiff-feeling bones). Proper hydration can also help keep our muscles lubricated, strong, and energized, which is why it’s so important to replenish those fluids lost during exercise.
- Slow the aging process. Our organs need water to maintain their peak levels of functioning. When our bodies become dehydrated, our organs are left working harder—the result can be a fast-track to aging.
The Importance of Hydration for Your SkinOf course, your skin needs proper hydration just as much as your body. Why? The answer is simple--just like any other part of your body, your skin is an organ (the largest in our bodies, in fact) that requires adequate hydration to perform at its best. Keeping your skin properly hydrated can help:
- Slow the aging process. Well, not every aspect of the aging process, but at least the visible signs of premature aging. Staying well hydrated can help maintain your skin’s elasticity and combat the appearance of those dreaded wrinkles.
- Improve the appearance of your skin. This one goes hand-in-hand with the point above. It probably comes as no surprise, but a lack of hydration can make your skin look dry, flaky, and tight. Not only does keeping skin moisturized help it appear more plump and supple, but it also helps address surface dullness by combating the buildup of dead skin cells.
- Rid your skin of toxins. When properly hydrated, your skin takes on a more radiant-looking glow. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for skin that’s lacking in the hydration department. That’s because your skin can’t rid itself of toxins without adequate hydration, resulting in irritation and inflammation.
- Fight oil and acne. While it may seem counterintuitive at first, dehydrated skin sends signals to the glands to produce more oil as a defense mechanism of sorts. By keeping skin well hydrated, it becomes less oily and acne tends to be less aggravated.