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By on September 5, 2014

The Awesome Side Effect of Drinking Water with Your Meals
We’re officially convinced that H20 has magical properties.

We doubt you needed more proof that hydrating with H20 is essential, but we’ve got it: Drinking water with meals was linked to an increase in fruit and veggie consumption in a new study out of Spain.

The researchers’ goal was to take a look at the relationship between people’s meal habits and what they eat (fruits and veggies, dairy, salty and fatty foods, ready-made meals, etc.). They examined diet habit data from 1,332 Spanish adults ages 20 to 79—everything from how many meals the people eat each day to what kinds of food the people consume to what they wash their meals down with.

Two particularly interesting findings: While having sugary drinks with meals was linked to regularly eating ready-made meals, drinking water with meals was positively associated with eating two or more portions of fruits and vegetables. Taking in all of those things sounds good to us!

Of course, as the study authors note in the article, “it is possible that the relationships observed are not one of cause, but correlated with a person’s willingness to follow a healthy diet”—as in, it makes sense that people who choose to drink H20 over soda or other sugary beverages are also the people who are more likely to stock up on produce.

Still, pouring yourself a glass or two of water at dinner tonight certainly can’t hurt.
Check out even more reasons why drinking water is awesome.

H20 is free, easily accessible, and has MAJOR health benefits

The general rule of thumb: Eat fiber to keep things, er, moving. Now, though, a new study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology finds that staying hydrated may be more important than eating fiber for staying regular.

Researchers analyzed National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data on about 9,000 adults from between 2005 and 2008. The researchers were interested in determining if people who consumed less fiber and liquid had a higher likelihood of…irregularity. And yep, both men and women who had low dietary sources of liquid were more likely to have TMI problems. But—and here’s the shocker—low fiber intake wasn’t associated with the same effect.

imageWater keeps your body running—it helps regulate your body temperature, keeps your joints cushioned, protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and gets rid of waste through sweating, peeing, and the like, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here are a few more reasons to hydrate on the regular:

It could help you lose weight In a study published in the journal Obesity in 2010, adult dieters who drank a bottle of water before each meal for 12 weeks lost more weight than the dieters who didn’t drink the water beforehand. We’ll drink (water) to that!

It may prevent kidney disease People who consume the most fluids have a significantly lower risk of chronic kidney disease, according to a 2011 study out of the University of Sydney in Australia.

It can make you run faster—and safer In a 2011 study, 14 runners completed two sets of laps—one in which they showed up hydrated and got water during breaks, and one in which they had to limit their fluid intake during the run and for 22 hours beforehand. When they were able to get their hydration on, the runners had faster times and lower gastrointestinal body temperatures and healthier heart rates post-run.

It’ll put you in a better mood In a study published last year in The Journal of Nutrition, mildly dehydrated young women experienced headaches, fatigue, worsened mood, and difficulty concentrating. Yikes.

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