Your hydrangeas aren’t the only thing you should be watering! While humans can survive without water for around three days, what many people don’t realize is that water is, arguably, more important than food (for reference, you can go three weeks without food). So, the very important question to ask is: am I drinking enough water for healthy skin?
Think about it: On average, 60% of the human body is made up of water.1 To keep our bodies at optimum health, we need to continually replenish this vital chemical compound.
Aside from offering you major satisfaction after a long hike under the sun, water regulates your body temperature, helps with digestion, makes joints healthy and flushes out waste and toxins. 2 Water can even help you lose weight – research has shown that drinking a glass of water before a meal can make you feel more full.3
When it comes to looking your best, remember – your skin is your body’s largest organ. To keep that outer layer healthy and young-looking, make sure you’re drinking enough water.
How Much Water Do You Need to Drink?
Thirst is not a reliable indicator for hydration. By the time you’re thirsty, you may be on the road to becoming dehydrated. This is particularly true for at-risk populations, such as the elderly.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink 13 cups of water each day. Women should drink 9 cups of water daily. 4 This number includes all fluid intake, not just water. We take in fluids from other beverages, soups and fruits and vegetables with high water content. Of course, there are some circumstances where you need to drink more water, such as when temperatures are high or if you are engaging in a high level of physical activity.
And, as with anything, balance is key. There is such a thing as overdoing water consumption. Listen to your body!
What Does Dehydration Do to Your Skin?
Dehydration causes a host of unwelcome issues. For the skin, that can mean dryness and flaking. Dehydration can also cause your eyes to look sunken and your skin to become wrinkled. 5 This can make you look much older than you really are – and no one wants that.
Keep your body healthy by drinking the recommended amount of water each day. Additionally, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends eating a healthy diet (quick tip: eat colorful vegetables), protecting your skin from the sun, and not smoking to keep your skin looking young and healthy.6
What Can Water Do for Your Skin?
A 2007 study from the University of Missouri-Columbia showed that drinking water increases blood flow to the skin.7 Increased blood flow and circulation may make your skin look healthier. The effect of being properly hydrated could be similar to the healthy glow you get from exercising.
Another study, published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, shows that drinking water can increase skin thickness and density.8 Though more research is needed to study the effects of water on skin health and appearance, drinking the right amount of water certainly can’t hurt your skin – or your overall health and well-being.
Replace Other Beverages with Water
One great way to look and feel your best is to make water your beverage of choice. Caffeinated beverages can dehydrate your body and your skin. This can make your skin look prematurely aged. While the amount of caffeine in two to four cups of coffee is safe, many people find that they just feel healthier when they drink fewer caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea, and soda.9
Alcohol can also dehydrate the skin.10 If you’re going to drink, moderate alcohol consumption is best. According to the Mayo Clinic, this means one drink per day for women and men over age 65, and two drinks per day for men ages 65 and under.11
How to Drink More Water
Many people don’t like the taste of water or have a hard time getting excited about something so basic. If you find it hard to drink enough water, try infusing your water with your favorite fruit. Many water bottles have a compartment for fruit infusions. Some fruits to try include lemons, limes, strawberries, oranges, blueberries, watermelon, and cucumber. Fresh herbs can also make water more interesting. Try basil, mint, cilantro, rosemary, or lavender.
Buying a water bottle you like, and carrying it with you throughout the day, can also help you drink more water. Eating foods with a high water content is a nutritious way to help you stay hydrated. Cucumbers have the highest water content of any solid food.12 Some other examples of water-rich fruits and veggies include celery, iceberg lettuce, watermelon, berries, and tomatoes.
Effects of Drinking Too Much Water
Having too much water is rare, but possible. This condition, called overhydration, happens most often to people with kidney problems. Occasionally, it can happen to someone with normally functioning kidneys who drinks too much water, such as marathon athletes, but it is very uncommon.
Overhydration can lead to a sodium deficiency in the blood.13 This can cause a condition called hyponatremia, which can, in turn, lead to serious health issues.14 If you drink the recommended amounts of water, you shouldn’t have to worry about this rare condition.
The Liquid Lowdown
To look and feel your best, you need to properly hydrate your body. People who are healthy inside and out have the added benefit of radiant, beautiful skin!
For more health and wellness tips, keep reading:
1. Howard Perlman, USGS. “Water Properties: The Water In You (Water Science School).” Water.usgs.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 July 2017.
2. “Functions Of Water In The Body.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 July 2017.
3. “Glass Of Water Before Each Meal Could Help In Weight Reduction.” ScienceDaily. N.p., 2015. Web. 26 July 2017.
4. “How Much Water Do You Really Need Every Day?.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 July 2017.
5. “The Benefits Of Drinking Water For Your Skin.” UW Health. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 July 2017.
6. “What Causes Our Skin To Age? | American Academy Of Dermatology.” Aad.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 July 2017.
7. DA, Wipke-Tevis. “Effect Of Oral Hydration On Skin Microcirculation In Healthy Young And Midlife And Older Adults. – Pubmed – NCBI.” Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 July 2017.
8. Williams, S. et al. “Effect Of Fluid Intake On Skin Physiology: Distinct Differences Between Drinking Mineral Water And Tap Water.” N.p., 2017. Print.
9. “Caffeine: Medlineplus.” Medlineplus.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 July 2017.
10. “Here’s How Alcohol Wrecks Your Skin… And How To Choose The Least Damaging Drink.” HuffPost. N.p., 2013. Web. 26 July 2017.
11. “Alcohol: If You Drink, Keep It Moderate – Mayo Clinic.” Mayoclinic.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 July 2017.
12. “Alcohol: If You Drink, Keep It Moderate – Mayo Clinic.” Mayoclinic.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 July 2017.
13. “Caffeine: Medlineplus.” Medlineplus.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 July 2017.
14.”Hyponatremia: When Too Much Water Can Harm You.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 July 2017.