Column: Stay hydrated by drinking water instead

Maria Baldwin, Assistant Sports Editor

Shut your eyes. Imagine you are in the store, thirsty as ever, searching for a drink. You see many different choices, such as soda, juice, milk and water. Which drink will you choose?

The one that tastes the best, the one that’s filled with the most nutrients, or the one that quenches your thirst as well as gives you energy and hydrates you long-term?

Most people would choose the soda, and that is one of the reasons that the United States is one of the top nations in the world in obesity and diabetes rankings.

Our bodies are over 60 percent water, and while the common recommendation by doctors is 64 ounces per day, just a couple glasses of water can make you instantly feel the benefits.

One of the main benefits you will first notice when you first start drinking more water will be maximized physical performance.

Water helps control body temperature, increase motivation, and decrease fatigue and help ease your exercise, making it feel easier physically and mentally.

Hydration also has a large effect on energy levels and brain functions, according to

Even a fluid loss of 1.36 percent has been shown to impair both mood and concentration and increase the frequency of headaches after exercise.

I’ve experienced this before when I had the worst migraine of my life. I drank a tall glass of water and instantly felt better within seconds of taking a sip.

One study I found by said that all 18 people surveyed who were experiencing migraines had a reduction in intensity and duration of those migraines after drinking water more frequently and regularly.

Drinking water also helps prevent hangovers, and while although dehydration is not always the main cause, it can cause symptoms such as thirst, fatigue, and headaches and migraines.

To reduce these symptoms, specialists say to drink a glass of water between drinks, and to have at least one larger glass of water before bed.

Drinking water and being better-hydrated can also help with weight loss.

Water is known to increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate, and therefore, it burns more calories and gives you the energy boost you need to take care of the rest of the calories.

I came across a study done that showed that drinking half a liter of water increased metabolism by 24 to 30 percent for one and half hours after exercise.

That being said, drinking two liters of water every day can increase your total energy expenditure by up to 96 calories a day, according to

Dieters who drank half a liter of water before meals lost 44 percent more weight over a period of 12 weeks.

If this statistic doesn’t give you inspiration to drink more water to drop that freshman 15, I’m not sure what will!

It is also said that drinking water is better for weight-loss if it is ice cold because it takes additional energy and burns more calories trying to heat the water to body temperature.

Some people have told me that this statistic is completely false, while others swear by it. But hey, it’s worth a try, right?

Maria Baldwin is a sophomore mass communications major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].