7 Problems You Can Wash Away By Drinking More Water

You’re thirsty and you instantly reach for that carbonated soda packed with sugar, aspartame or other artificial sweeteners. Not so fast. Your body needs water not sugar to hydrate properly. And drinking unadulterated water during the day can address a number of surprisingly common problems—like these seven:

1. Failure to Focus

If you fail to drink enough water during the day, you’ll have trouble concentrating at work. Poor hydration can even leave you confused and impair your ability to remember things. noted that just a 2 percent drop in body water can result in fuzzy short-term memory, impair your basic math abilities and make it harder for you to focus on your computer screen or printed page. Research carried out by scientists at the University of East London show that drinking a glass of water when you’re thirsty could help your brain work 14 percent faster.

2. Losing the Mood noted that Jennifer Aniston feels “cranky” if she doesn’t drink enough water. So if you’re feeling a little cranky at home or work, you can blame some of it on being dehydrated. It turns out that even a little dehydration can affect your mood. As reported in the Journal of Nutrition, mild dehydration affects mood in healthy young women. In a study of 25 women, degraded mood, increased perception of task difficulty, lower concentration and headache symptoms resulted from just 1.36 percent dehydration.

3. Chapped lips

Dehydration is the most common reason for dried-out lips. As noted in SymptomFind, unlike your skin, lips lack oil glands, so they can dry out and get chapped very quickly. Fail to drink enough water during the day and your lips will show it. If you’re active out in the sun, the wind and UV rays can result in even more water loss and chapping. Many people try to keep their lips from drying out by simply licking them, but this just compounds the problem. As saliva evaporates, moisture escapes from your lips, eventually leaving a rough, dry, shrunken upper layer of skin separated from the moist layer below. The solution? Water. Plain and simple.

4. Migraine Trigger

When your body becomes dehydrated, the blood vessels in your head narrow in an effort to regulate your body’s fluid levels. This results in a headache, since blood and oxygen can’t reach your brain as easily. As cited in HealthCentral, dehydration can be a major headache or migraine trigger, and losing as little as 1 percent to 2 percent of your body weight can result in dehydration.

5. The “Fatigue Crash”

Many blame their afternoon crash on sugary juices, energy drinks or candy bars they may have had for lunch or mid-morning break. Others point to not getting enough sleep due to too much coffee. But the real culprit may just be dehydration. As noted in WiseGeek, every cell in the human body is mostly water and needs to be replenished to function properly. During dehydration, the body must work extra hard to function. This is because the blood becomes slightly thicker forcing the heart to pump harder to move it through your veins, which requires more energy and subsequently results in fatigue and sluggishness.

6. Weight Control

Water can’t burn fat but drinking more of it before a meal can keep you from overeating. A study referenced in WebMD noted that drinking just two 8-ounce glasses of water before meals helps keep those extra pounds from building up. The study included 48 adults between age 55 and 75. One group drank two cups of water before meals and the other didn’t. All participants ate a low-calorie diet throughout the study. After 12 weeks, water drinkers lost about 15.5 pounds, compared to non-water-drinking dieters, who lost only 11 pounds.

7. Kidney Stones—Ouch!

Kerry Willis, chief scientific officer at the National Kidney Foundation said, “drinking water is an effective way to cut one’s risk for developing kidney stones in half.” The Kidney Foundation notes that about one in 10 people in the U.S. develop kidney stones and that drinking lots of water keeps urine less concentrated with waste products.