Hem » Articles » Health » Benefits of hydration

This article is part of our series about hydration. How much water do we really need? How does hydration actually work? And what are the specific health benefits associated with maintaining proper hydration? As we embrace the summer season and brace ourselves for the soaring temperatures, it’s crucial to prioritize our well-being by taking necessary precautions.

Stay tuned to discover the health benefits associated with maintaining proper hydration.

Hydration is an essential component of maintaining a healthy body and has been linked to numerous health benefits, including promoting longevity. Some of the most cited benefits of hydration are:

  1. Improved physical performance:
    The scientific literature suggests that maintaining adequate hydration is crucial for physical performance during challenging athletic events, as athletes can lose up to 6-10% of their body weight in sweat loss, leading to dehydration (1). Even mild levels of dehydration, as little as 2%, can result in reduced endurance, increased fatigue, altered thermoregulation, reduced motivation, and increased perceived effort (2). Rehydration can reverse these deficits and reduce oxidative stress induced by exercise and dehydration. Hypohydration appears to have a greater impact on high-intensity and endurance activities such as tennis and long-distance running, compared to anaerobic activities such as weightlifting, or shorter-duration activities like rowing.
  2. Improved cardiovascular health:
    Staying hydrated can improve blood circulation, which reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, leading to a longer life. Recent research also suggests that staying hydrated may help reduce the long-term risk for heart failure in a healthy population(3). More about this topic read here (link to Hydration Article 4).
  3. Better kidney function:
    Hydration helps to flush out toxins and waste products from the body, which reduces the risk of kidney disease and increases overall kidney function. A study found that decline in kidney function was significantly slower in those with higher versus lower urine volume concluding that higher urine volume is associated with slower decline in kidney function (4). The study was done in the general healthy population.
  1. Improved cognitive function, mood, and sleep:
    Dehydration can lead to fatigue, confusion, and cognitive decline. Staying hydrated can help maintain cognitive function and reduce the risk of cognitive impairment in older adults. A recent study suggests that a prolonged state of reduced water intake can have a negative impact on executive functions such as planning and visuo-spatial processing (5).Proper hydration can improve cognitive function, improve mood, reduce stress and improve sleep (6). For more you can find out about the effect of hydration on cognitive performance and mood here (link to Hydration article 3).
  2. Better joint health:
    Proper hydration helps to keep joints lubricated and reduce the risk of joint pain and stiffness, which can improve mobility and increase overall longevity. Proper hydration is crucial for cartilage injuries because chondrocytes, the specialized cells responsible for maintaining the structure of articular cartilage, receive their nutrition through the matrix via diffusion. The matrix maintains a pH of 7.4, and any alterations in pH can disrupt the specialized structure of the matrix. Therefore, maintaining hydration is essential to keep the pH balanced and ensure that chondrocytes receive the necessary nutrients for optimal healing  (7).
  3. May help with weight loss:
    Some studies suggest that there may be a positive correlation between weight loss and hydration (8), (9). One study suggests that drinking excessive water may lead to weight reduction, body fat reduction and appetite suppression (8). Another study investigated the effects of replacing diet beverages with water in a 24-week clinical trial of obese or overweight women (9). The study found that replacing drinking diet beverages with water may lead to greater weight reduction and may also improve insulin resistance although without long term follow up it is not known if the beneficial effects could be sustained long term (9).


Hydration offers a range of benefits that contribute to overall health and wellbeing. Remember to stay hydrated especially during the warmer months and remind your loved ones, especially children and elderly, to drink plenty of fluids. It is also important also to keep in mind that these are general guidelines and certain populations are recommended limiting their water intake.


Interested to learn more about hydration? Explore our other articles about hydration:

Introduction to hydration

Hydration and mental health

Hydration and heart failure


Silviya Demerzhan, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer, Nordic Executive Medicine
Medical review by: Dr. Mahir Vazda MD


  1. Popkin BM, D’Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, Hydration and Health. Nutr Rev. 2010 Aug;68(8):439–58.
  2. Murray B. Hydration and physical performance. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Oct;26(5 Suppl):542S-548S.
  3. Dmitrieva NI, Liu D, Wu CO, Boehm M. Middle age serum sodium levels in the upper part of normal range and risk of heart failure. Eur Heart J. 2022 Sep 14;43(35):3335–48.
  4. Clark WF, Sontrop JM, Macnab JJ, Suri RS, Moist L, Salvadori M, et al. Urine Volume and Change in Estimated GFR in a Community-Based Cohort Study. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol CJASN. 2011 Nov;6(11):2634–41.
  5. Kempton MJ, Ettinger U, Foster R, Williams SCR, Calvert GA, Hampshire A, et al. Dehydration affects brain structure and function in healthy adolescents. Hum Brain Mapp. 2010 Dec 14;32(1):71–9.
  6. Armstrong LE, Ganio MS, Casa DJ, Lee EC, McDermott BP, Klau JF, et al. Mild Dehydration Affects Mood in Healthy Young Women1,2. J Nutr. 2012 Feb 1;142(2):382–8.
  7. Bhosale AM, Richardson JB. Articular cartilage: structure, injuries and review of management. Br Med Bull. 2008 Sep 1;87(1):77–95.
  8. Vij VAK, Joshi AS. Effect of excessive water intake on body weight, body mass index, body fat, and appetite of overweight female participants. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2014;5(2):340–4.
  9. Madjd A, Taylor MA, Delavari A, Malekzadeh R, Macdonald IA, Farshchi HR. Effects on weight loss in adults of replacing diet beverages with water during a hypoenergetic diet: a randomized, 24-wk clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec 1;102(6):1305–12.