Scientifically speaking, water is the basis of life, but beyond being essential to your very existence, water serves all sorts of purposes that help you feel your absolute best.

1. It boosts metabolism: Trying to lose weight? Drinking water can boost you body’s ability to burn fat. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking water (about 17oz) increases metabolic rate by 30 percent in healthy men and woman. Tip: Drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can naturally fill you up so you eat less.

2. It safeguards your heart: Speaking of Essential for life…drinking a good amount of water could lower you risk of a heart attack. A six-year study published in the American water journal or Epidemiology found that people who drank more than five glasses of water a day were 41 percent less likely to die from a heart attack during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses. Bonus: Drinking all that water may reduce cancer risk as well. Research shows that staying hydrated can reduce risk of colon cancer by 45 percent, bladder cancer by 50 percent, and possibly reduce breast cancer risk too.

3. It prevents headaches: The most debilitating kind as well: Migraines. In one study published in the journal of Neurology, scientists recruited migraine sufferers and divided them into two groups: one took a placebo, the others were told to drink 1.5 liters of water (about 6 cups) in addition to their usual daily intake. AT the end of two weeks, the water group had experienced 21 fewer hours of pain than those in the placebo group, as well as a decrease in pain intensity.

4. It boosts brainpower: Your brain needs a lot of oxygen to function at optimum levels, so drinking plenty of water ensures that it’s getting all it needs. In fact, drinking eight to ten cups of water per day can improve your levels of cognitive  performance by as much as 30 percent. The door swings both ways: Research shows that a dehydration level of just 1 percent of your body weight reduces thinking functions, so staying well-hydrated is super important for your mental performance.

5. It makes you rich: Making water your go-to drink saves a lot of money in the long run. Even though 60 percent of the U.S. population buys bottled water, it’s still cheaper, on average, than juices, sodas, and Starbucks- especially when you buy it in the case. What’s even cheaper: buying a filter and drinking out of the tap. To put it in perspective, replacing your daily can of soda at lunch with a free form the tap glass of water (or Scott Pure Water filtration machine if you have one, which you should!) can save you about $180 a year.

6.It keeps you alert at work: Dehydration is the single most common cause of daytime fatigue, so if your afternoon slump is more like a desperate need for an afternoon nap, guzzle a glass of water. It can also make you better at your job, or at least prevent you from being bad at it. Just a 2 percent dehydration level can trigger short term memory problems and difficulty on focusing on a computer screen or printed page.


this article is credited to Elizabeth Goodman Artis for, SHAPE magazine
printed 7/15/13