The Unexpected Benefits of Drinking Water for Women Over 40
By Finer Things Contributors
Want to Feel Younger, Healthier, and Sexier? Drink Water.
Drinking water is a simple way to feel your best.
Your brain and your heart, you rely on them, right? Since you’re breathing and reading this story, let’s assume the answer is a big “yes.”
You may not realize it, but your beautiful brain and big heart are made of up to 73% water. Our bodies overall are made up of 60% water. So, the human body is basically a big bag of fluid attached to a bunch of bones—themselves made up of 31% water—surrounded by skin. The list of benefits of drinking water for women starts with “being alive,” but that’s not very detailed. Let’s dive in.
Water is so critical to human life that you can go for days, even weeks, without food. But, if you go more than two days without water, your organs will shut down. Virtually every system in our body needs water not only to survive but to perform at an optimal level.
Water is Critical for Women 40+
Drinking water is important at any age, but our hydration needs change as we get older.
For women over 40 in particular, your fluid intake takes on more urgency. Proper hydration affects everything from hormones to weight loss to your sex life. Yes, really.
Drinking plenty of fluids can help lessen other “side effects” of aging, too. Joint pain, headaches, muscle cramps, and high blood pressure are signs of aging that water can alleviate.
Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of drinking water for women.
Water Helps with Weight Loss
As women get older, it gets tougher to maintain a comfortable weight. Just looking at a cheeseburger can seem to go to all the wrong places. Science has the answer, and you probably know it: menopause. All those whacked-out hormones in our system cause weight gain, most noticeably around the belly.
At the same time, older adults start to lose muscle mass. Muscles are critical to your metabolism – you’ll burn calories more slowly with lower muscle mass. So, if you have the same lifestyle today as you did in your 20s, you’ll add pounds.
How can water help with weight loss? Well, in a few ways.
- Increasing your water intake will help increase your metabolism
- Drinking water before you eat can make you feel more full, causing you to eat less
- Replacing soft drinks with plain water will help you consume fewer calories
Water Improves Your Physical Performance
As mentioned above, muscle mass decreases as we get older, but physical activity can help combat that. You can lower your body weight and improve your overall wellness with the CDC-recommended 75 minutes of exercise each week.
Now, consider that your energy levels are directly related to whether you’re getting enough fluid. Just sipping from a water bottle while you work out can prevent fluid loss and increase your routine’s efficacy. You’ll also help improve your electrolyte balance when you stay hydrated.
Exercise isn’t the only physical activity impacted by your hydration, though.
You’ll see benefits in the bedroom, too! Water lubricates your entire system, so when you’re hydrated, you’ll experience less feminine dryness and increased blood flow. The right amount of water means a more satisfying love life for you and your partner.
Water Can Make You Look Younger
Staying hydrated improves skin’s elasticity and can even help tighten sagging skin. Women who drink large amounts of water are less likely to show wrinkles and soft lines.
Water also helps keep the pH of your skin stays balanced as well. Acid and alkaline are rated on a scale of 1 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic. Water has a rating of 7, making it perfectly neutral. One reason women are advised to rinse skin thoroughly after cleansing their skin to restore the proper pH balance of their skin.
Drinking plenty of water will also help keep pores clear, keeping them clear of toxins that can cause blemishes.
Water Can Reduce the Impact of a Hangover
When you go out to party with the girls, be sure to drink at least one large glass of water for every glass of wine or cocktail. Dehydration is one of the wicked sides of a hangover, and keeping hydrated can combat this, plus potentially cut your consumption.
Your GI Tract Need Lots of Water
Your digestive system needs a lot of water to work properly. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation, and an overly acidic stomach. This increases the risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers. Drinking plenty of water helps regulate bowel movements, too.
Drinking Water Can Protect Against UTIs
Urinary tract infections (UTI) is never a happy journey. It happens when bacteria move from the bladder to the urethra, contaminating the genitourinary system.
Many women suffer from recurrent UTIs. If you’re one of them, take a close look at your water intake. UTIs are associated with inadequate fluid intake, infrequent urination, and high urine osmolality and acidity.
Research suggests that one of the most basic steps to preventing and treating UTIs is drinking plenty of water. Upping your hydration will help your system flush out bacteria and keep your urine at an optimal pH. For the same reason, drinking plenty of water can help your kidneys flush waste to help prevent kidney stones, too.
Water Regulates Your Body Temperature
Many older women experience hot flashes or just feel their core temperature tends to run a little hot. Thankfully, water can help.
Water has a high heat capacity. This means it can help absorb your body heat. Discomfort from sudden temperature changes can be mitigated by increasing water consumption.
So, Are You Getting Enough Water?
How much water is “enough?” How many glasses of water do you need to benefit from hydration?
According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an adult female needs about 11.5 cups of water each day to maintain proper hydration. That’s 92 ounces of water or just under three liters. Now, some of your water will come from food. If you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables with high water content, you may be consuming more water than you think.
Get in the habit of always carrying a water bottle with you. If you have a wearable fitness device such as a Fitbit, start tracking your water intake. Fighting even mild dehydration can make a world of difference in how you feel and in your overall wellness.
Tap Water vs. Bottled Water
Generally, tap water in the United States is perfectly safe to drink. Yes, there have been some highly publicized tap water scandals, most notably in Flint, Michigan, but in most places, it’s safe to drink.
Bottled water can seem convenient, and it might be a taste preference. Americans drank an average of 42 gallons of bottled water on average in 2017, according to Beverage Market Corporation.
That also means billions of plastic water bottles are discarded every year. Nearly 70 percent go straight into a landfill, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Plus, it takes three times as much water to make one of those disposable plastic water bottles as it does to fill it.
If you think bottled water tastes better, here’s a surprise: 40 percent of all bottled water comes from municipal water supplies—in other words, tap water. Most bottled water is simply filtered with a small bit of potassium added for flavor. So, consider making your own.
Adding a water filter to your kitchen tap is the easiest route. For the purest water, run tap water through a distiller. If your fridge has a water-in-the-door feature, check to see if it’s filtered. If so, be sure to regularly change the filter. But even a simple in-fridge filter will do the trick.
Finally, Water Doesn’t Have to be Boring
If you miss the flavor of bottled water, try adding a pinch of salt. This may also help your body hydrate better, too. Add slices of cucumber, lemon, or orange to create your own “spa water.” For that same fruit flavor (and real fruit ingredients) without the cutting board, use Real Citrus’s powders. These are made with real fruit and have the same tart, sweet flavors of lime, lemon, and orange alongside other pairings.
Liven up your water further with a couple of drops of water flavoring. These typically have a sweeter flavor than the powders above, if that’s your thing.
For a shortcut to flavored water, buy it pre-flavored. We love Hint for subtle fruit flavors. They sell both still and sparkling varieties. Try a popular flavor pack from Amazon.
Whatever it takes, just do your mind, heart, and body a favor and hydrate.
This article wasn’t written by a medical professional. For personalized medical advice, consult with your physician or a Registered Dietician Nutritionist (RDN). For help finding a nutritionist at home, we can help.
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