While you probably ‘get’ the fact you need to consume at least some of it on a daily basis, do you really understand what the benefits of drinking water are?
Depending on factors such as age, gender and weight, our bodies are made up of between fifty-five and seventy-eight percent water. Someone who is overweight will have a lower percentage of water in their body as compared to someone who is of the same height and sex but at a healthy weight.
The real benefits are best realized when you understand the effects plain old tap water has on the human body because every functioning system in our body needs and utilizes water.
The oxygen we breathe is moistened by water. Water helps regulate the temperature of our body. It helps convert food into energy to be used and it protects our vital organs. Water even carries oxygen and nutrients to each and everyone our bodies living cells. Our joints have cushioning that allows us to move about without our bones rubbing one another. This cushion is largely made up of water. Water aids in removing waste from the body.
Basically, with such a large percentage of our bodies being made up of water, we can’t function without it. Although blood is called our “life fluid”, I believe it is really water. In fact, blood is almost ninety-two percent water.
That organ that we think with, the brain, is nearly eighty percent water. Water even accounts for nearly a quarter of the make up of our bones.
Why You Should Drink More Water
As you have just learned, water is used everywhere in our body. As a result, the benefits of drinking water to our health is huge. Drink enough water and even your skin will be hydrated and be more protected against aging.
Almost all weight loss experts preach the benefits of drinking water because it will give you a more full feeling without adding any calories to your body weight. This means you’ll be more likely to maintain a healthy and proper weight. By maintaining a healthy weight, your back, joints and knees will thank you for it since there will be less weight that they have to bare.
Water is also used by our bodies to properly remove waste which helps prevent problems such as constipation. If we are properly hydrated, our kidneys will work efficiently.
Drinking enough water will keep the liver functioning properly and turn stored fat into energy. When it comes to working out, drinking enough water will keep us energized during workouts, keep joints lubricated, and limit the chances of muscles cramping.
Dentists now consider stronger teeth and bones as one of the major benefits of drinking water while many Doctors believe that disease risks are greatly decreased when our bodies are adequately hydrated.
You Are Dehydrated, What Does That Mean?
Dehydration is a problem that is becoming more prevalent. A loss of fluids as low as one or two percent can be considered mild dehydration. Even a small fluid loss like this can cause a significant change in the body. Dehydration can affect all aspects of the body’s functioning. The symptoms include:
- A very dry mouth
- A loss of concentration and an increased risk of headaches
- Tiredness, muscle spasms, irritability, confusion, and dizziness
- Heat exhaustion which can lead to heat stroke
- Loss of sweating
- Inability to urinate
- Very dry skin and sunken eyes
- A rapid heartbeat
- A fever
- A dangerously low blood pressure
- An increased risk of unconsciousness and even death
From the list of symptoms that dehydration can bring on, it is easy to see how extremely important it is to stay properly hydrated.
How Can I Stay Properly Hydrated?
The norm that I typically hear is that we should drink eight or more glasses of water every day. Did this number just get pulled out of the air? The average person can lose nearly three liters of fluid each day through sweating, waste removal, and air that gets exhaled. On a daily basis, that is over eight cups of fluid!
To avoid dehydration it should be common sense that we need to drink at least that much water. Food will account for about twenty percent of our fluid intake. The rest will need to come from what we drink. So the standard recommendation of eight glasses of water per day is a good target.
How Can I Tell if I’m Hydrated Enough?
Well, if you are thirsty, then you are not hydrated enough. That is the easiest way to tell. Thirst tells your body that is requires fluids. This can be the first sign of mild dehydration. If you aren’t thirsty, this can be a good indication that you are hydrated properly. If you exercise regularly though, you can’t use thirst as a guide. If you exercise, drink plenty of fluid, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
The color of our urine can also indicate whether we are properly hydrated. If the urine is darker than a pale yellow (assuming that certain foods or supplements hasn’t altered it), then you should increase your water intake. Your urine should never be darker than a pale yellow. When in doubt, to stay properly hydrated, drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
Whether you are losing weight, in training or just trying to stay healthy, the benefits of drinking water are clear to see so get yourself into the routine of drinking plenty of H2O.