The benefit of drinking water for health and younger looking skin has often been stated. However, is drinking several glasses of water daily essential for healthy skin care? Many have stated that the benefit of drinking water in large amounts is to produce skin that is healthy and younger looking. However, is this a myth or a fact?
Also visit our best food for healthy skin page for more information on how diet and food can affect skin.
Drinking an adequate amount of water daily is important for overall good health because water is involved in and helps improve many bodily functions. These functions include digestion, absorption, circulation, and excretion. There are other more specific benefits for drinking water as well.
Water assists in the flushing or removal of harmful toxins from the body. If the body does not have sufficient water, then metabolic wastes will not be removed as efficiently as they should. In essence, the body would be holding in toxins instead of expelling them as is required for proper health. Much of this toxin removal is performed in the kidneys. Therefore, the benefit of drinking water in this case is to allow the kidneys to perform their task properly.
Another benefit of drinking water is to carry nutrients into the cells of the body. In addition to helping nutrients get into the cells where they are needed, the benefit of drinking water in adequate amounts also helps to keep the cells well hydrated so they can function properly and efficiently.
Drinking water is also beneficial for muscles. It helps maintain proper muscle tone and prevents painful muscle cramping.
The prevention of kidney stones or at least the reduction of risk of developing kidney stones is another benefit of drinking water in the right quantities.
Drinking water helps to increase the energy level in people and helps to lubricate the joints in the body.
There is a belief that one benefit of drinking water in large amounts is that it curbs the appetite and therefore can be an effective tool for weight loss. Unfortunately, there is no solid evidence that water plays this role. Certainly, drinking water in large amounts will fill the stomach, but this is only temporary. Once the water exists the stomach, the hunger sensation returns, perhaps with even more strength.
The benefit of drinking water in large amounts for proper skin health is a controversial area. Many believe and have stated that water is very beneficial for proper skin care. The main stated benefit is that drinking a large quantity of water keeps the skin hydrated and prevents dry skin. Claims are also made that drinking water gives the skin a radiant, healthy, younger looking complexion with no wrinkles, and allows skin to maintain its elasticity and suppleness.
However, many experts are now refuting the above-mentioned benefits. Unless the individual is severely dehydrated, drinking large quantities of water will not prevent dry skin. Basically the moisture level of skin is not determined by internal factors. Instead, it is external factors such as skin cleansing, the environment, the number of oil glands, and the functioning of these oil-producing glands that determines how dry the skin is or will become. The water that is consumed internally will not reach the epidermis. In fact, the water moves through the body system rather quickly. If the skin is dry, the best solution is to treat the skin from the outside with a suitable and dry skin moisturizer or dry skin lotion. This forms an effective barrier to water loss from the skin.
It appears there is no significant benefit of drinking water to cure or prevent dry skin. How about spraying or misting water on the skin to help reduce dryness? This once again is a treatment where there are significant differences in opinion. Some argue that misting water on the skin will help hydrate it and help prevent dryness and skin aging. Others argue that water misting has no significant hydrating effect. This latter opinion appears to be the truth. It is best to prevent moisture from escaping the skin in the first place with proper moisturizers rather than wetting the skin constantly. However, it is important that the environment is not dry. Moisture in the air will limit the amount of water escaping from your skin compared to a dry environment where water will be more readily drawn out of the skin.
Is there any real benefit of drinking water for skin health? Actually, although combating dry skin is not a benefit of drinking water, there are some other potential benefits.
As mentioned, drinking water in adequate amounts is necessary to flush out toxins out of the body via the excretory system. With inadequate amounts of water flowing through the body, these toxins can build up in the body and escape through skin pores. This contributes to acne. Therefore, by flushing the body internally with water, acne breakouts are less likely to occur due to toxin release through the skin.
Another benefit of drinking water in large amounts for the skin is in the treatment of skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis. In addition, proper hydration will help to eliminate sunken eyes and circles under the eyes. Skin plumpness is also sometimes stated as a benefit of drinking water.
Drinking Water Recommendations
The drinking water benefits for the skin and body is determined by the amount of water consumed. Most of the recommendations in the literature suggest that eight glasses of water should be consumed per day to obtain the maximum benefit for drinking water. Some claim that the best benefit of drinking water occurs when fresh distilled water is consumed as opposed to tap water. Tap water can be inconsistent in composition and can contain unwanted minerals and additives. Spring water is also questioned by many because of the possible presence of contaminates and pollutants. However, there is no agreement on this and opinions vary widely in terms of the proper water type choice. As long as the water is clean, then it is acceptable.
The suggestion of drinking eight-8 ounce or 250 ml glasses of water per day (the so-called 8-by-8 rule) is an interesting one because it does not seem to have any basis in science. It is a rule often quoted, but difficult to trace back to a medical or scientific study. In addition to the 8-by-8 rule, recommendations often include to avoid dehydrating foods and beverages such as coffee, tea, cola, other caffeine containing drinks, and alcohol.
However, many believe that 8 glasses of water is overkill and the same benefits of drinking water can be obtained with smaller quantities. Some specialists suggest that for an average-sized adult in good health, with healthy kidneys, and living in a temperate climate, only four glasses of water is required to obtain the benefits of drinking water and to replace daily water losses.
The water does not have to be in the form of distilled water, bottled water, or tap water. Water to hydrate the body can be obtained from eating water-rich fruits such as melons, vegetables, and foods. It is believed that water in foods stays in the body longer and has a better chance of being absorbed, whereas liquid water exits the stomach quickly and gets expelled quickly before proper absorption is able to occur.
Beverages such as milk and juice also contribute to the daily water intake total. Even beverages that are said to dehydrate are useful according to research. Caffeinated beverages, do dehydrate the body to some extent, but this is more than compensated for by the amount of water in the beverage. A cup of coffee actually adds about two-thirds of a cup of hydrating fluid. Therefore, drinking a cup of coffee will add to your water intake total.
Alcoholic beverages when consumed result in a net loss of water in the body. One drink may not make too much of a difference, but several will cause noticeable dehydration. If consuming alcohol, it is best to drink water as well to keep hydrated.
Because of all the uncertainty about the benefit of drinking water and how much water should be consumed daily, there is no clear course of action. The best strategy is to be reasonable. Be aware of what your body is telling you. If you lack energy, are constantly thirsty, and have dark urine then this could be a sign that you are not getting enough water. Thirst is the body’s way of signalling a need to increase water intake. So pay attention to this warning sign. If you are running to the bathroom every hour then perhaps you are drinking too much. An average healthy person should be passing urine 3 to 4 times per day. If this is the case, then the body is likely to be well hydrated.
When exercising and sweating there is a need to replace the lost water regularly in order to prevent dehydration and heat sickness. The same is true when residing in hot climates. In these situations, the benefit of drinking water is obvious. Certain illnesses also require extra hydration. The benefit of drinking water in larger amounts than normal also extends to pregnant and breastfeeding women, which are conditions where the body requires more fluid intake.
For older individuals, drinking more water is a good idea, since dehydration is more likely to occur due to physiological changes in the body and general lack of awareness when it comes to hydrating the body.
Drinking water for the proper health of individuals is not universal. For some it may actually be dangerous. For people who have trouble eliminating fluids (diabetics taking anti-diuretic hormone), the excess water intake cannot be eliminated and water intoxication may develop. Signs of water intoxication include mild headaches, confusion, coma, seizures, and maybe death. Individuals taking this medication should consult with their physician prior to increasing their water intake significantly.
Drinking excessive amounts of water may also lead to hyponatremia (too little sodium in the blood). Elderly individuals, athletes such as marathon runners, and people with congestive heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver are most at risk for suffering this rare condition.
In summary, for the average healthy person, there is a benefit of drinking water in elevated amounts. Most of the benefits are for the proper functioning of organs such as kidneys and for cellular health. It is also useful for expelling toxins from the body, which leads to overall good health. However, one benefit of drinking water that has been exaggerated is the effect on dry skin.
Also visit our best food for healthy skin page for more information.