Water is as important to our health as it is the environment. Drinking enough water protects against dehydration and keeps our bodies looking, feeling, and performing their best. After all, we are composed of 60% water, and losing even 1% of that water can impair mood, memory, and more.
The good news is that, across North America, a growing number of consumers are coming around to this natural, calorie-free drink. In 2017, after years of sitting in second place, bottled water overtook carbonated soft drinks as the beverage of choice in the United States. Even though bottled water is not a sustainable solution, it’s a move in the right direction.
Here are 4 ways staying hydrated improves your body and brain, keeping you active and ready for your next outdoor adventure:
Benefits of Drinking Water
1. Water boosts immune system performance
Because water is known to help with decongestion and (not surprisingly) dehydration, drinking enough water can keep ailments like the flu at bay. It’s one thing to pick up a nasty cough or flu when you’re in the comforts of your home, but the same illness on the road is quite another. Suddenly, your RV is full to bursting with bacteria, and you’re more likely to pass that cold on to your travel mates. If that’s the case, do as the doctors say and bump up your fluid intake to speed up the recovery process, and try out these RV cough and cold survival tips to prevent further outbreaks.
2. Water enhances physical performance
We lose more water than normal following vigorous, intense exercise or spells of high heat and humidity; this puts us at risk of fatigue, demotivation, and dramatic changes in body temperature. Athletes and take special precautions to stay hydrated, but the rest of us—especially if you’re an avid hiker, biker, or boater—can also benefit from monitoring our daily water intake. Water keeps our joints lubricated, reduces oxidative stress (a bodily imbalance of free radicals and antioxidant defenses), and regulates body temperature.
3. Water boosts energy levels
If you’re feeling sluggish, dehydration could be the reason why. Fluid loss contributes to feelings of fatigue, but contrary to popular belief, coffee is not always the answer: a glass of water first thing in the morning can be just as, if not more, invigorating than caffeine. Naturally, staying hydrated throughout the day keeps your energy levels high, helping you to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
4. Water improves brain function
Because your brain is mostly water, and cells require water to function, making water part of your daily routine promotes optimal cellular health and brain function. Researchers have made linkages between proper hydration and decreased anxiety, increased working memory, focus, and mental performance.
Whether you’re setting out for a weekend camping adventure or hiking treacherous terrain, filling a water bottle with cold, fresh, purified water instead of reaching for a sugary fruit juice or soft drink will help you make the most of your time outside.