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​7 healthy reasons to wet your whistle regularly

Water boosts metabolic rates by as much at 30 percent, helping you lose weight.

Put down that cup of coffee! What you need is at least eight glasses of water a day, especially in the morning after a good night's sleep. Habits such as morning coffee can be hard to break, but these seven reasons to add more water to your daily routine are great motivators.

1. Improve digestion

Your digestive system will work better and you will eat less (!) if you drink the recommended daily requirement of water. In fact, often, when you feel hungry, you are really just thirsty. Try drinking a glass of water instead of grabbing a chocolate bar or a cookie when those afternoon hunger pangs hit. And when you get the urge to drink a soda or a fizzy drink, try water instead. Water has no calories, sugar or caffeine, but it will energize you and make you feel better.

2. Flush toxins

Drinking an adequate amount of water each day flushes out toxins that can build up in your kidneys and create problems. Toxins also cause skin blemishes and dark circles under the eyes (see No. 4.)

3. Increase concentration

Your brain is about 80 percent water. Dehydration can significantly impair cognitive functions as your body begins to prioritize physical functions over the brain. No power is left for thinking! Keeping hydrated improves your ability to concentrate and stay alert. Dehydration affects your emotions as well. You are more vulnerable to stress, irritability, headaches and exhaustion if not hydrated.

4. Plump your skin

Water plumps your skin cells, keeping them in top condition and helping produce more oil from the sebaceous glands. This helps your skin retain moisture needed to properly function. Dehydrated skin looks dried up and wrinkled. For youthful, glowing skin, drink six to eight glasses of water a day for one week. You'll see results!

5. Maintain proper blood pressure

Kidneys need a certain amount of water to function at their best, and since kidneys play a vital role in your blood pressure, it's important to drink water. Troubled kidneys increase blood pressure and put you at risk of heart disease or a stroke.

6. Build muscle strength

Since muscles are about 75 percent water, they need to stay hydrated. Muscle cells deprived of water grow weak. Even a tiny percentage of water loss will significantly affect muscle behavior.

7. Lose weight!

Water boosts metabolic rates by as much at 30 percent, helping you lose weight. More water, energy and activity lead to weight loss and a happier, healthier life.

So drink up! (Water that is!)

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