Drinking water has many health benefits.

5 things you didn't know water could do for you

Our bodies are made up of around 60 percent water—the most important nutrient you consume each day. Daily we lose water from our bodies through perspiration, urination and bowel movements. It’s vital to overall health to replace this lost water to avoid health consequences.

Depending on your gender, weight and activity levels, the amount of water you need to replenish may differ. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink about 13 cups (3 liters) of water/beverages a day and women need about 9 cups (2.2 liters). Heavier people and people who exercise a lot both need more than the average amount of water.

Whatever your intake should be, aim to exceed it. There are an abundance of health benefits, some of which are unexpected, to drinking plenty of water. For instance, here are five things you probably didn’t know water can do for you:

1. Water keeps skin healthy

The outermost layer of your skin, the epidermis, needs water in order to remain healthy and to give it elasticity. Dehydrated skin also will have a rougher texture than skin that has enough moisture.

2. Water flushes toxins from organs

Nearly all major systems in your body need water, and your vital organs are no different. Drinking substantial amounts of water will flush the bad stuff out of your body, especially from your kidneys, and give them the nutrients and oxygen they need to work.

3. Water helps fight allergies

The tissues of the ears, nose and throat are one of the first lines of defense against allergens. Those environments need water to stay moist and to capture (and release) irritants and other foreign objects.

4. Water protects your joints

Without water, the areas around joints and even your spinal cord do not have enough moisture and can erode due to friction. Water will lubricate and protect these areas and keep you moving.

5. Water aids digestion

As your body digests food, water is needed to carry nutrients and minerals to the parts of the body that need them. In the case of foods like soluble fiber, you need water to digest them at all. Properly digested food is more nutritious for you and makes for easier bowel movements.

Getting water from unexpected places

Sure, you can get water from a bottle, a tap or a garden hose if it suits you. You also get water from things like sports drinks, tea and other fluids that are mostly H20. But, did you know that these foods are great sources of water?

  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peaches

Now is a good time to grab a glass, fill it with water and drink to your health! Learn more about nutrition and food choices.