Open Accessibility Menu

7 Science-Based Benefits of Drinking Water

Author: Massage Heights
Hand holding cup of water

Since the body is about 60% water it is common to hear the recommendation to drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water every day. There may not be an abundance of science behind this specific amount of water but here are 7 science-backed benefits of drinking water.

Optimize physical performance

If you are dehydrated, you may notice a decline in physical performance especially when you are trying to exercise or work in the heat. If you lose even 2% of your body’s water content it can negatively impact your body and it’s common to lose up to 6–10% of water through sweat when working out or participating in sports.

Dehydration changes body temperature control, decreases energy and motivation, and leads to fatigue. These factors can make exercise or tasks feel more challenging, physically and mentally.

Hydration helps prevent water loss and helps you avoid the negative effects of dehydration. It may even have the ability to lessen oxidative stress that develops during high-intensity physical activity. As our bodies are about 60% water muscle itself is about 80% water so staying hydrated while you sweat during physical activity can help you perform at your best.


Positively Impacts Energy and Brain Activity

Studies indicate that a mild dehydration level (loss of 1–3% of water weight) can diminish many functions of the brain. In one study of young women, researchers discovered that a slight fluid loss of 1.4% post-exercise negatively impacted mood and concentration. This loss also escalated the occurrence of headaches.

Members of this same research team also conducted a related study with a group of young men. This study showed that fluid loss of 1.6% hurt working memory and increased a sense of fatigue and anxiety.

Similar studies, in those who are children all the way up to older adults, show that even mild dehydration can negatively affect memory, mood, and brain function.


Can Be Used as a Remedy For Headaches

For some dehydration may cause headaches or migraines and research shows headaches are a common symptom of dehydration. In one study of 393 people, 40% of subjects reported a headache when they were dehydrated. The good news is that some studies indicate drinking water can provide relief from headaches if you experience them frequently.

One study of 102 men found that consuming 50.7 more ounces of water per day above their normal amount led to improvements on the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life scale, a system used for organizing migraine symptoms. Additionally, 47% of the men who consumed extra water more water noted improvements in headaches.

However, not ever study about water and headaches agree and researchers still believe that more research should be conducted to continue learning how hydration may decrease headache symptoms and their frequency.

May help relieve constipation

An Increase in fluid consumption is often recommended when treating constipation. Low water intake appears to increase the risk for constipation in individuals both young and old.

So increasing hydration may help decrease constipation.

Mineral water may especially hold benefits for those who struggle with constipation.

Studies report that mineral water that has sodium and magnesium improves the frequency and consistency of bowel movements and consistency for those with constipation.


May Help Treat or Prevent Kidney Stones

Urinary stones are pain-causing pieces of mineral crystal found in the urinary system.

The most common urinary stone that you’ve probably heard of is kidney stones.

Higher fluid consumption can increase the amount of urine flowing through kidneys which helps dilute any buildup of minerals, making it less likely that they will crystallize or form clumps. It’s also possible that water can help prevent stones from forming, but additional studies need to be conducted to confirm this.


Hangover Symptom Prevention

Since alcohol is a diuretic you lose more water than you consume when you drink alcohol. This effect can lead to dehydration and while dehydration is not what causes you to experience a hangover, it leads to some symptoms like fatigue, thirst, dry mouth, and headache.

To use water to help prevent hangover symptoms drink water between drinking alcoholic beverages and drink a full glass of water before you go to sleep.

A Tool for Weight Loss

Drinking lots of water can aid in weight loss efforts water can help increase feelings of satiation.

Some studies also suggest that drinking more water promotes weight loss by giving a small boost to your metabolism, which increases the amount of calories your body burns throughout the day.

A 2013 study of 50 young women who were considered overweight, exhibited signs that drinking 16.9 more ounces of water multiple times during the day before they ate meals for an 8 week period led to a decrease in body fat when compared to their measurements before the study.

The timing of your water consumption is also important. If you drink water half an hour before your meal it can give you a sense of fullness that leads to eating less calories. A study showed that those who were dieting over a 12 week period who also consumed 16.9 ounces (0.5 liters) of water before eating a meal lost 44% more weight than those who did not drink water before eating.


Even a low level of dehydration can impair your mental and physical capabilities. Drink water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated. Whether your goal with water intake is 64 ounces or an overall better habit of drinking water more frequently it’s one of the most effective steps you can take to help your general health.