"Make sure and drink plenty of water," is a phrase we probably all have heard before at some point in time, whether leaving a massage parlor after a vigorous rub down or while feverishly fighting off a cold or other illness.  But why?  what are the reasons and benefits of "drinking plenty of water?"  As a matter of fact what exactly is the correct amount to drink daily?

Most people don't drink enough water through out the day; only about half of the daily recommended intake as a matter of fact.  8 glasses or 64 oz is the generally accepted amount of water health professionals recommend.  I've read recently there is a more precise way to measure the amount an individual should drink and its based on weight, activity and climate.  You need to drink anywhere from a half to one oz of water per pound. Oh and by the way other fluids count toward your water intake.  Water just happens to be the best most pure fluid for your body.

So, lets take me as an example.  I currently weigh 140 lbs, therefore I should drink between 70 and 140 oz of water per day.  I am fairly active and live in New England, which has a very varied climate.  In the summer on a hot, humid,  and particularly active day I should drink close to 140 oz.  That is WAY more than the previous one-size-fits-all 64 oz per day.  Conversely in the winter I tend to be less active and therefore should drink less water.

Knowing how much water to drink is great, but what are the reasons we need it in the first place?  If people knew all the benefits I think more people would actually drink more.  So I've listed some of the benefits of getting in those ounces.

  1.  To maintain healthy skin.  If you don't drink enough water you will have dehydrated skin, which looks dull and wrinkled.  Yes, water prevents wrinkles!  Water combats skin disorders, such as eczema and flushes toxins for clearer skin.
  2. Heathy flowing hair.  Dehydration immediately halts all your efforts to grow long beautiful hair.  One single strand of hair is composed of 25% water.  Water helps hydrate your hair cells.  Properly functioning hair cells will result in longer, thicker hair.
  3. Keeping your mouth healthy through saliva production.
  4. Lubricates and cushions joints.  Drinking enough water can actually lessen the pains associated with arthritis and other joint related issues.
  5. Helps excrete waste more easily and efficiently.  Constipation is a sign that you are not drinking enough water.
  6. Maximizes strength, power and endurance
  7. Aids in digestion
  8. Helps you lose weight and maintain ideal weight.  Drink at least 7oz before each meal and you will feel fuller and may eat less food.  Drinking water through out the day will also help you feel more satisfied and less hungry or "snacky."
  9. Nutrient absorption
  10. Blood circulation
  11. Improve focus and other brain functions.
  12. Fight off illness
  13. Brighten your mood.  Dehydration can cause anxiety, confusion and fatigue, all of which are total bummers.  Drink water to help you feel alert, comfortable and confident, in turn making you happy.