From an early age, I have always had a slightly worn-out Gatorade bottle on my person.
In class, I was the jerk who would squeeze the bottle gently, erupting a blast of mist at a friend next to me. At work, I have it within arm's reach and within sight at all times. If leaving the house, whether to run errands or do some road trippin', the last thing I do is top off that green bottle.
This habit was largely born from being an athlete in school. A long line of coaches berated me on the importance of hydration for athletic performance. But being topped up with fluids isn't just important for being a stellar athlete — the benefits of being chained to your Gatorade bottle go beyond the playing field.
Here are five ways drinking more water will make you feel like a total boss.
1. It'll help you poop like a champ.
Water is the fluid of life and proves to be hugely beneficial when it comes to keeping thing moving downstairs.
It breaks down soluble fiber and helps to dissolve fats. Water is the best teammate your kidney and liver have, powering up the flushing of metabolic waste, which all combined, helps keep you from white-knuckling the toilet seat.
2. It helps you work out better.
Water bottles on the sidelines at sporting events feel as ubiquitous to sports as botched calls by the refs and brawls in the stands.
Marathoners carry them in their little fanny packs, while football players literally have people paid to squeeze a water bottle into their mouth-holes.
For us casual athletes, drinking water helps keep our core temperatures down while also making sure our workouts don't feel harder than they need to be.
How much water should you be drinking? Top up with around 20 ounces two hours before your workout, and then 6-8 ounces for every 15-20 minutes of activity.
3. Dehydration makes you dumb.
One of the lesser talked fun facts about dehydration is its effect on cognitive function. When a group of participants worked out to the point where they lost 2.8 percent of body weight via sweat, their cognitive function crashed.
Things like short-term memory and perceptive discrimination were significantly affected. They craziest part is that even hours later — and after rehydrating — the people in the study still reported feeling groggy.
4. Being short on water makes things feel harder to accomplish.
Ever had one of those days when you feel like you are running at half-speed? It's possible you are simply dehydrated.
Not only does your workout suffer, but you have a general sense of lethargy. Research has consistently shown muscle endurance drops quickly with even mild dehydration. Whether it is climbing stairs or working out, life feels a bit more exhausting than it should when we are short on water.
5. It's a natural headache killer.
We all experience brain-crushing headaches every once in a while.
Whether it is a culmination of all the stresses you are experiencing at work, relationship drama or the fact you have been staring at the television for hours on end, headaches are not only common but farm-to-table sucky.
Dehydration has been proven to be a trigger for people suffering from migraines (which we can all agree are nuclear sucky). Instead of reaching for an aspirin, you can bust down those headaches with two cups of water. This study found two cups and about an hour of time was all it took to spank most headaches into submission.
So make a resolution to drink more water in 2017!