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6 Amazing Health Benefits of Drinking Water with Mary Scalf, PA-C

6 Amazing Health Benefits of Drinking Water

Are you ready to take charge of your health? Schedule your free 20-minute discovery call with our New Patient Coordinator to see how you can become a patient at MaxWell Clinic and start your healing journey today.

You’ve probably heard that drinking water is good for your health. But what does it really do, and how can you make sure to drink enough every day? We know how hard it can be to get your daily dose of H2O. So, join me and learn the importance of hydration and some easy ways to increase your water intake!

Hydration is a topic that holds great importance for both our hearts and our health. In this article, we will explore six amazing health benefits of water and delve into how hydration intersects with our overall well-being. From understanding the significance of hydration to recognizing the symptoms of dehydration, we will uncover the crucial role that water plays in supporting our bodily functions. Furthermore, we will discuss effective strategies to improve hydration and ensure optimal health.

Watch the video and learn how water is so much more than just a beverage.

Staying hydrated can help you maintain a healthy weight, improve digestion and even boost your immunity. But how much should you drink? And what happens if you don’t drink enough? If you’re ready to find out, watch the video now.

The Importance of Hydration:

Water is an essential component for all living organisms. While humans can survive for weeks without food, our bodies can only endure a few days without water. With our bodies comprising around 60 to 75 percent water, maintaining proper hydration is vital. Even mild dehydration, caused by a mere 2 percent loss of water, can lead to noticeable symptoms. Severe dehydration, at 15 percent water loss, can have severe health consequences, including death. Therefore, replenishing lost fluids is crucial to support the body’s functions.

Symptoms and Effects of Dehydration:

Dehydration can have adverse effects on the body. When we are dehydrated, our ability to regulate body temperature is compromised, leading to discomfort and intolerance to heat. Additionally, dehydration reduces blood volume, hindering the transportation of essential nutrients, minerals, and waste products throughout the body. It can also increase the viscosity of our blood, making it thicker and more prone to clotting. Mild symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, thirst, lightheadedness, fatigue, and headaches, while severe dehydration can result in hospitalization or even life-threatening conditions such as rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, and confusion.

6 Amazing Health Benefits of Drinking Water:

  1. Improved Digestion: Inadequate water intake can contribute to constipation, as water is essential for proper bowel function. Ensuring sufficient hydration can help alleviate this issue.
  2. Enhanced Cognitive Function and Mood: Mild dehydration can lead to a decline in cognitive function, brain fog, and mood instability. Staying well-hydrated supports mental clarity, cognition, and stable mood.
  3. Headache Relief: While hydration may not prevent headaches, it can help reduce their severity and duration. Proper water intake can contribute to headache management.
  4. Weight Maintenance: Opting for water over sugary drinks or high-calorie beverages can help reduce calorie intake and support weight management. Additionally, drinking water before meals can help distinguish between thirst and hunger signals, preventing unnecessary calorie consumption.
  5. Strengthened Immune Function: Proper hydration aids in detoxification, digestion, and nutrient transport, which are vital for a robust immune system. Well-hydrated individuals are less susceptible to infections, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections.
  6. Joint and Muscle Health: Adequate hydration supports joint lubrication, reducing friction and preventing joint pain. Water is also crucial for muscle function, helping to form proteins and stabilize muscle tissue, reducing muscle aches and weakness.

Strategies to Improve Hydration:

To improve hydration, it is essential to consume an adequate amount of water daily. While the exact quantity varies depending on various factors, such as age, activity level, and overall health, a general guideline is to aim for 60 to 80 ounces of water per day. Starting the day with a glass of water upon waking can kickstart hydration.

It is important to prioritize water consumption over sugary drinks, as they can counteract the health benefits of hydration. Herbal teas, coconut water, fruit infusions, and naturally flavored sparkling water are viable alternatives. Tracking your water intake through apps or carrying a reusable water bottle can help you stay on top of your hydration goals. Habit stacking, linking water consumption with existing daily routines, can also aid in developing the habit of regular hydration.


Hydration is a fundamental aspect of maintaining optimal health. Water plays a crucial role in supporting digestion, cognitive function, immune response, joint health, and muscle well-being. By recognizing the symptoms of dehydration and implementing strategies to improve hydration, individuals can enhance their overall well-being and mitigate the risk of related health concerns. Remember, staying hydrated is not only essential for bodily functions but also contributes to increased energy, productivity, and overall vitality.

Are you ready to take charge of your health? Schedule your free 20-minute discovery call with our New Patient Coordinator to see how you can become a patient at MaxWell Clinic and start your healing journey today.

today we’re going to talk about a topic
that is so very important to my heart so very important to my health
and that is hydration so i’m going to talk about the six amazing health benefits to water
and how water hydration and health intersect
so just some housekeeping to begin with
so everyone will be on mute but if you have a question please type the question into the q a box
i will address questions at the end of our visit if the internet goes down for some
reason i will switch to a hot spot so just sit
tight stay there give me some time five ten minutes and we’ll get back and going so
so what i hope to get covered today is the importance hydration what is
hydration symptoms of dehydration the health benefits of hydration
and strategies to improve hydration so
so what is hydration so just frankly it’s the body’s ability to absorb water
i want you to think about your body like a sponge and if you’ve all had a sponge sitting
on your kitchen sink and it hasn’t been used in a few days what does it look like
gross dry shriveled up versus when you’re using it when water
has filled its pores and it’s pull up it’s looks luscious
and it’s ready to do its job so likewise our body is a sponge
and it desires to have the right balance of fluids electrolytes minerals
nutrients to support our health
so what is your body like a dry sponge or a hole sponge
so why is hydration important water is essential for all living things
we can survive many weeks without food but we can only survive a few days
without water our bodies are composed of about 60 to 75 percent water
infants tend to be on that higher end that are composed of 75 percent water while the elderly their bodies are on
that lower end and actually around 55 water
your body uses water in all of its cells all of its organs and tissues when we lose 4 of that water this leads to
dehydration some people will start to notice mild sensitive dehydration after losing two percent of that water they
have to be really sensitive to that if we lose 15 of that water that can
lead to serious health concerns including death
you’re going to naturally lose water through normal body processes like elimination
think urination defecation sweating respiration
breathing so if we’re expiring liquids
water through those processes it’s important to replete those fluids in order to support bodily functions
so i’m going to talk about the effects of dehydration and in
doing so i’m going to give away some of the benefits that i’ll discuss thereafter
so if we’re dehydrated our body’s going to have trouble regulating body temperature
we may find it difficult to cool down if we’re hot and we may find it very intolerant to
heat when we go outside we’ll get tired easily we might get
sleepy this is going to decrease we’re dehydrated decrease the amount of blood
volume that’s available to circulate through our body so our blood is going to be responsible for
transporting proteins nutrients minerals uh waste
the right mechanisms out of our body or around the right things around to our body to our organs to support our health
we’re dehydrated bodies will be less efficient at doing so
dehydrated is also going to increase the thickness or the viscosity of our blood kind of making it more sticky and sludgy
and good prone can make us prone to plots so but dehydration alone typically is
not going to cause that so
i noticed that as i talk i’m i’m feeling a little thirsty every time i talk about water with my patients
i end up drinking some so it’s
crazy so in the early signs of dehydration you may not notice anything
so it may progress as it progresses you may feel
that dry mouth you might feel thirsty you might feel lightheaded you might
feel tired you might get a headache you might have dry skin
you might feel dizzy you might notice that your urine you haven’t gone in a while or you have a
really dark urine we don’t want that golden amber colored urine or anything like that
dehydration is severe it can put you in the hospital or take a trip to the er
because it can cause your heart to race it may cause your blood pressure to drop
which is going to make you more likely to things like falls
passing out may lead to confusion coma seizures
so what does water actually do in our bodies and what are the benefits
and how do we know when we’re hydrated enough well
the benefits to drinking water are very many and they’re not limited to what i’m going to discuss today
some of them are more science sciencey and i think might
be more but they’re still interesting so the first i’m going to talk about is how hydration aids in digestion
so namely many my patients deal with constipation and there are many different reasons for
constipation but inadequate water intake fluid intake is going to be one reason
so what happens the bowel is going to help reabsorb water or
put water back into the body or into the bowel if our body is not hydrated well enough
it’s going to reabsorb water into the body to help support other processes which may leave the stool
bulky may leave it hard may lead to impaction it’s not going to give good transit
through the large intestine so having proper hydration
relieve some some instances of constipation
i also wrote a study came across a study that was interesting noting how
hydration you affect some of the enzymes during digestion specifically those that
may may lead to acid reflux symptoms so that water intake was good to help
relieve those so that was interesting also want to note i recommend fiber at
least 25 to 35 grams a day to my patients it’s going to be very important when you’re doing so that you’re going
to increase your water intake gradually as you increase your fiber intake so that you don’t have significant
gastrointestinal symptoms with that another benefit of good hydration
it’s gonna be support of good memory cognition
mood so there are studies that show some decline in cognitive function and brain
fog and abilities to perform when under
dehydrated states and mild dehydration you may not always see that as it progresses is when it’s
more likely to be seen adults that reported high like had mild
dehydration reported higher rates of
tiredness of confusion of anger those that were taught and that were
well hydrated did not have those things they also had more stability in their mood and didn’t have these fluctuations
in their mood
want to note while we are on our brain more or less our head that
being hydrated can improve headaches so there hasn’t been a study that shows
that a good hydration status will help prevent headaches or migraines but there
are some there’s some pretty decent evidence that says it will help and reduce the severity of the headache or
the duration of the headache so some good news for those srf headings
another benefit is for weight maintenance this one might seem like a no-brainer
one of the reasons i say that is because if we’re not hydrating through sugary drinks or sodas
we’re going to be drinking water and it’s going to have significant less calories than the caffeinated soda or a
juice or other beverage or alcohol so
we’re consuming less calories through our drinks then hopefully that helps us to maintain our
weight also there’s a lot of times where our body
we get a signal of hunger but we’re not good at distinguishing what that actually is
and so instead we think we’re really thirsty but instead we think we’re hungry
so we go and we get food or something sugary out of trying to satisfy that
that urge but that’s not what the body needed so i encourage you that if you get that
that signal of hunger try to think how about have i drank anything have i drank any water in the past hour if the
answer is no i encourage you drink somewhere between 8 to 16 ounces of water before you grab whatever meal
you’re going to if it’s time for meal time then you likely are hungry otherwise i would definitely try to
have a glass of water before you eat
four benefit to good hydration and water intake is it’s gonna support your immune
function this one might be a roundabout way to think about it but
if we are well hydrated we have the right blood volume things are flowing well for our bodies
we are having good urinary function and kidney function that’s one of our major detox organs so we’re going to be able
to properly dispose of waste for our urine we’re going to support our digestion and
gut health so we’re able to get rid of whatever it’s gathered any toxins viruses bacteria and then eliminate it
as waste we’re going to support respiration exhaling carbon dioxide
out into the environment
also we have already said this but blood status is
important to help supply nutrients to the rest of our body and if our body has the right nutrients it’s supporting
the health of it and also supporting the immune function we can’t properly transport those nutrients
to each organ system then we may see a decline in that immune
function with good hydration we’re also going to
support lymphatic drainage which is going to help us clear out waste and foreign invaders
number five benefit to good hydration and water is going to be
the support of joint health and improvement of muscle aches and pains so
our joints are lubricated something called synovial fluid
that synovial fluid helps prevent friction between our joints that synovial fluid is supported by
water water intake snow fluid will cushion the joint
and the cartilage surrounding it and keep your bones from rubbing together and hopefully reduce pain
so your muscle tissue consists of about 75 of water
and that helps to form protein and muscles to stabilize and protect your joints
if you’re dehydrated this is going to reduce your muscle tone and keep your muscles from contracting
pain may improve with hydration as that hydration is going to cause your cartilage to be hydrated make
it soft and smooth while you have dehydrated cartilage that can cause friction
and that can lead to pain so just like that sponge i mentioned
earlier cartilage when it’s dry it’s stiff and it’s dry and
fluffy and comforting when it’s not water also may help to reduce swelling
when we have inflammatory mediators that go to our joints that water can help kind of
push things out the last benefit that i’m going to talk about today is the support of your
urinary health and your kidney health so one of the labs that we will do on all
of our patients that looks at liver function and renal function or kidney function it’s going to be a
complete metabolic panel one of those markers for
kind of nutrition status or hydration status will be albumin so my patients you have an elevated albumin and that
tells us that your body will be a little bit dehydrated and thus it’s asking you to drink more water
also your creatinine is a marker of how hard your kidneys are having to work
you don’t want your creatine to be too high ideally like it to be under one when the kidneys are not dry
and they’re well hydrated they’re able performance functions well you’re giving the kidneys an easier job
to do its elimination processes to help decide on what to keep and what to lose through
urination so also if we’re well hydrated we may
reduce incidence of kidney stones also when we’re all hydrated we have a
reduction in urinary tract infections if we have how we have like urinary tract
infections is that the bacteria whether introduced from an outside source climb up
our kind of urinary tract upper bladder wall and make it to the kidneys to keep that
from happening those bacteria we have good hydration status we’ll keep a good area from where the bacteria cannot
climb this is gonna be more so in women
so now that we know about how this is gonna support your health
how much do you need how much do you need to drink well
i scoured the literature to try to find an exact number and
you know what it’s kind of disputed and there’s not really a
decided upon amount because it’s going to vary so much between the individual
the age of the person their activity their health status what conditions they
deal with if they’re pregnant or breastfeeding the weather outside the body temperature
there are some studies that reported that they just didn’t feel that there are enough adequate biomarkers or labs
to measure hydration status and a general population to be able to give information about this
so it’s just more study is needed
i will say i did find that the u.s national academies of sciences engineering and medicine
they determined that adequate daily fluid intake which is going to include all sorts of
sources is going to be about 3.7 liters for men
which is about 125 ounces or 91 ounces or 2.7 liters for females
so this is going to cover all sources other beverages foods even about 20
of your daily food intake is going to come from foods so namely if you’re going to eat
at least three servings of vegetables a day and two servings of fruit you’re going to get a good amount of
your water intake from there so what i actually recommend to my
patients and you know you know this well if you see me i have recommended a few different
things so i recommend at least 60 to 80 ounces consumed a day
i also have recommended about half your body weight in ounces of water a day kind of depends on who you are
what your health is what your activity level is what i just want you to get the habit
started so if you’re not drinking any water currently you you consume that water through other sources or other
beverages then i want you to at least start with drinking 16 ounces a day
then i would gradually work up to 60 or 80 ounces a day but if you’re not my patient please talk
to your clinician in order to decide how much you should
so there are other beverages that can contribute to hydration but they may be
working against your health goals they may be high in calories or lead to inflammation
so even things like milk and juice are pretty high in water
but they may be contraindicated in what we’re trying to do with to help improve your health
caffeinated drinks there is this thought that caffeinated drinks may dehydrate you
so caffeine does act as a diuretic in your body so it will cause you to
urinate it’s not going to cancel out all the water that is consumed in things like caffeinated coffee or tea
but i do want you to be mindful of that maybe you’ll need to drink maybe a little extra water that for every
um caffeinated beverage or coffee you consume a dedicated coffee shrinker
so how can you get it in because like i said water
is not the only thing that contributes to hydration and
there’s so many questions you may have for me at the end of this and what to drink and what not to drink so i don’t
want to demonize anything i just want to be mindful of what are we doing to support our health
and many drinks are laden with sugar or derivatives of sugar that can
be pro-inflammatory that can lead to chronic disease that
can work against what we are working on so generally i’m going to say water
first and foremost so many bottled preparations of water are going
to be stripped of any electrolytes so we have to be mindful of reintroducing those you can do mineral water
um you can do sparkling water spin drift is a sparkling water that has
a little bit of fruit juice if you don’t like other sparkling waters like mccrory or aha also
aha and lacroix their water and natural flavors what are natural flavors you don’t know
it could be anything so we don’t know what we don’t know until we know it so
we may not want to just go with only those but it’s just a variety
i also recommend herbal teas green tea while caffeinated has some other health benefits
i like to drink tulsi tea or ginger tea and that can
be added to your your water you can do fruit infusions into your
water if you’re not a big water fan there’s a brand called hint that does that
also know that true lemon are these kind of micronized like crystals uh you
can add into your water they tend to be pretty clean they have you have other brands and make sure that they don’t
have added sugars or questionable ingredients but that may help
if you don’t like taste water
so i’m also going to say
god you know what i want you to walk away with
an actionable thing today so if you’re having trouble consuming water
you know what are ways to help with to remember to do it so
i already showed it to you but i carry a a big kind of
glass or water bottle that i know how much is in it i know there’s about 32 ounces in it
um and i will refill that two more times in a day
so that lets me know as you know that i’m hitting my water intake so i do recommend you get a water bottle you like
one that’s in front of you if you need a straw then get a straw
there are water bottles that have lights to remind you know when to drink water
there’s ones that are bigger that have like a cold for every hour just whatever appeals to you or whatever
is going to help you there are apps one called water log which will help you keep track of water intake and then
remind you when to drink some more as well you also could do if you have like a
smaller bottle of water every time you finish it you can put a rubber band around it
until you meet your goal for that day so one thing that may help you to
get water in is to habit stack it meaning if i’m going to brush my teeth in the morning i’m going to
drink water right before i do it or right after something else you already do every day
that triggers another habit the habit stack i will also recommend
so that you drink water the first thing when you wake up in the morning because before you drink coffee or anything
because your body’s going to essentially be in some sort of mild very mild dehydration after
sleeping all night you’ve been fasting for at least eight hours you haven’t drank anything respiration you will lose
water so i recommend you do yourself a favor and to help uh replenish some of that water when you
wake up this may help with productivity this may help with motivation as you start your
morning so so do that before your morning coffee
i also want to say that you can’t have too much of a good thing we have so much of a good thing this
happens because of a process called osmosis so when something’s diluted in water
that that concentration that substance wants to move from an area of higher concentration to lower concentration so
if we chug a lot of water in a small amount of time we’re going to cause a dilution of our electrolytes
electrolytes our elements such as
sodium chloride potassium magnesium phosphorus that help with
other metabolic reactions in our body if we dilute those in the body this can cause
a condition called hyponatremia this may cause nausea and vomiting
headache confusion loss of energy fatigue restlessness irritability coma seizures
muscle cramps weakness so
this more likely is going to happen with endurance athletes or marathoners so i don’t want you to be scared to
to drink water um everyone should be mindful of what could happen if we’re just like oh
mary said that we i water’s really good for you well i’m gonna go drink two gallons in an hour don’t do that
your body’s gonna handle about maybe 33 ounces in an hour um
so you’re likely not going to have too much at a time so just don’t go out and drink
a gallon
so hydration is more than just water hydration is also
how well our cells absorb water so kind of talking about
how we can dilute our nutrients our electrolytes
we may need to add some electrolytes back in in order to help support hydration status in our body
so in order to do that i would recommend adding something that
we carry called body bio elite solution it looks like a bottle of water don’t drink the entire thing you put one
capful into eight ounces one to two times a day also coconut water has good amount of
electrolytes and you can have that as part of your water intake as well i use a brand of dried coconut water
that’s kind of cheaper from the brand layered i don’t recommend the beet flavored one
tastes like dirt so if you like dirt there you go so there’s other preparations on the
market to add in electrolytes into your body um just be mindful of what are they
sweetening it with are there any dyes what else is in it is it made with corn
gluten soy just be mindful of that also
be mindful of that so
well i think that is all i have for you today
so i just want to remind you hopefully i have covered
you know why is hydration important the symptoms of dehydration that may
negatively affect your health benefits of hydration
and strategies to help improve it
so please let me know if you have any questions for me
so what is the preferred or better
creatinine number so grandin is a balance ideally we want to
see this less than one but we don’t want it zero right it’s the normal ranges are
going to be somewhere between point six and one if you go above that it’s not that you’re in kidney failure um
but it is so nice that you’re having a decline in kidney function and so there’s other things that can cause
rises in creatinine that is going to be high blood pressure
it can be infections it can be a renal stone something’s either blocking water from
flowing through the kidneys or the vessels are constricting impeding flow or
there’s not enough flowing through the kidneys to support function
what about neum added to water do you mean none
have to look that up to be honest i’ve used none in the past i get concerned again i’d have to look for
you have to give me a reading list um such as
oh oh is there any extra excess sugar so i wanted to bring this up so all of our
lives we’ve heard that like gatorade or powerade is the course the thirst quencher
and it’s going to help replenish your electrolytes mainly what’s in gatorade is going to be dextrose
so essentially it’s sugar sugary drinks and do not drink gatorade or power aid or something
that’s just a sugar derivative if you’re not competing in
sports so just adding more sugar and calories into
your diet would hydrating batter help my knee
problem i definitely won’t hurt it it may make it a little bit better
depending on what the knee problem is so if cartilage is already worn down and worn away then we can’t hydrate that
cartilage if the joints are already bone on bone there
there may be some loss there but i would recommend increasing your water and tape just to see
it will not hurt you and that you so
powdered coconut water that i’m saying is layered it’s l-a-i-r-d
i got that right
all right any other questions
now the brand is layered superfood usually a la ird it’s uh made by american surger
but he tends to have a low inflammatory very mindful product so
i’m going to look at the non tablet ingredients while we’re on here
it looks like none might be fine again i would just make sure there’s no inflammatory foods not processed with
soy gluten dairy corn gluten and
what’s the sugar that’s added is the sugar high fructose corn syrup then no
is it some thing like sucralose or aspartame then no dextrose may have its place
and just only do that
all right
i just want to say again that this is something that i do for myself and maybe
i’m kind of boring or plain jane but i am very much a fanatic about water
consumption to support health i’ve noticed in myself if i don’t hit my water intake that i
feel tired i do not function like as well meaning i cannot think through
questions as well i get tired and sleepy
i don’t have good digestion so
all right well if there’s not any other questions
i will just say thank you for joining me today i hope this was helpful if you have any further questions please
please reach out to me and i would be happy to answer or to research something for you regarding
this topic or to present at a later time so
i hope you all have a wonderful wonderful rest of your day and that you enjoy the weekend
i appreciate you spending time with me

This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This blog does not constitute the practice of any medical, nursing or other professional health care advice, diagnosis or treatment. We cannot diagnose conditions, provide second opinions or make specific treatment recommendations through this blog or website.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website or in any linked materials. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or call for emergency medical help on the nearest telephone immediately.

Mary Scalf, PA-C

Mary is passionate about addressing the whole person and not just an isolated set of symptoms. Witnessing what traditional medicine has offered her mother’s chronic disease battle as well as her father’s dementia diagnosis, Mary is driven to use a science-based approach which strongly emphasizes root cause analysis and harnessing the body’s natural healing powers.