We all know water is good for us, right? Right. But what isn't always so obvious is exactly why it's important to stay hydrated. Turns out there's a huge connection between great digestive health and drinking plenty of water.
Water and Digestion
Your digestive system needs water to function. Drinking liquids as you eat can help break down chunks of food. In your stomach, water (along with digestive enzymes and gastric acid) breaks down what you eat. Finally, plenty of water is necessary to move waste through your intestines. Without enough water you run the risk of constipation. Not great.
Water also plays an important role in your gut's microbiome. Dehydration (when your body is low on liquids) can shift the environment in your gut. In some cases, this creates room for sugar-loving bacteria to thrive. You may find yourself craving sugar, which in turn can lead to weight gain, tooth and gum disease, and diabetes.
Now we're absolutely not saying that there's a direct line between dehydration to any of these conditions. What we are saying is that your body is an immensely complicated, interconnected system. A deficiency in one area can absolutely impact another, and this is especially true of your gut microbiome.
And if that's not enough, drinking plenty of water has many other impacts. It can help improve energy, regulate your sleeping habits, boost your mood, keep you thinking sharper, and even boost your metabolism. That's plenty of reason to get your eight cups a day!
Working More Water into Your Day
Struggling to get enough fluids? We hear you. Try these tips to get a few extra sips in:
- Eat hydrating foods: Water rich foods like watermelon, celery, tomatoes, and spinach can help you hit your fluid goals as you eat. As a bonus, these healthy fruits and vegetables can help maintain balance in your digestive system.
- Try smoothies: Add a daily smoothie to your diet to hydrate while nourishing yourself. Extra points if you add a digestion-supporting greens powder to the mix.
- Make a routine: Get in the habit of drinking a glass of water at certain points throughout the day. Maybe it's before you go to the bathroom. Maybe it's every other hour. Maybe it's whenever you get up for a cup of coffee. Find a rhythm that works for you.
- Keep it fun: Gift yourself something that makes drinking water more pleasant. An attractive water bottle, a fun straw, or an infuser that adds flavor to your drink can all make sipping more rewarding.