We all know drinking water is important and have probably heard people say, “make sure you are drinking water” or “you need to stay hydrated.” Why though? Why is H2O so vital to our health?

For starters, water makes up around 60% of the human body. Throughout the day, your body is constantly losing water through everyday body functions like urine, sweat and even just breathing. To stay hydrated, it is key to consume enough water.

How much water is enough? While this certainly varies based on the individual, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, recommends that women drink 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) per day while men drink 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) per day. If you are not a straight up water drinker, you can be rest assured that you can consume an average of 20% of your daily water intake from foods that you eat. Primarily fruits and vegetables, some foods that are significantly high in water content include cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, watermelon, celery, lettuce, peaches, strawberries and zucchini. Another great trick to add some flavor to your water is to infuse it with lemon, cucumbers, berries, melon or really whatever you prefer. Experiment with different combinations to find what your taste buds most desire.

The benefits of drinking enough water certainly outweigh the effects of dehydration. While the advantages are numerous, here are a few:

-Adequate amounts of water maintain the hydration of your skin. The healthiest and most cost-effective way to avoid skin disorders and wrinkles!

-Hydration will enhance physical performance. Sweating causes dehydration, and losing as little as 2% of your body’s water content can weaken your body’s physical performance.

-Staying hydrated boosts energy levels and brain function. Even mild dehydration can lessen energy levels and reduce memory and brain performance.

-Sufficient consumption of water can aid in weight loss. Not only can water increase the feeling of being full, but it can also boost your metabolism. Drinking a large glass of water before a meal will help prevent overeating. Water is truly the best zero calorie drink and can replace soda or other high sugar drinks.

-Your digestive system loves water. In fact, it relies on water to digest food properly. Drinking enough water can prevent or relieve constipation as well as other digestive issues.

So now we know why H2O is so important and the benefits we receive from drinking water, but have we thought about the types of water we are consuming? Tap water, mineral water, spring water, sparkling water, purified water, distilled water, alkaline water, hard water and well water. That’s a whole lot of water, but which type is the healthiest?

When it is minimally processed and stored safely, spring water is the winner. Spring water provides essential nutrients and oxygen to your body and your brain. Additionally, spring water is composed of minerals and organic compounds that contribute to even more health benefits. Drinking two liters of spring water per day supplies 10-15% of our daily calcium intake and 33% of our daily magnesium intake which in turn supports our bone and joint health.

Without a doubt, water is the most important nutrient we put into our bodies. If you’re determined to stay hydrated after reading this, let’s give the water challenge a try. Drink one whole gallon of water in one day. When you conquer the challenge, post a selfie of yourself with your empty water bottle and tag our Instagram page @lifeuniversity with #waterchallenge to be featured in our story. Time to drink up!