The majority of your body is water, which is why drinking water is so important. Drinking adequate water and staying properly hydrated directly affects how well your body will function
- Your blood contains 83% water.
- Muscles fibers are 75% water.
- Your brain contains over 80% water.
- Even your bones contain 22% water.
Each of these components is made up of individual cells which are water-based. Drinking water and staying hydrated are necessary to maintain a healthy blood volume, maintaining bone and muscle mass, and supports healthy brain function. Beyond these functional necessities, water also has many benefits, including:
1. Maintains Hydration – Dehydration leads to medical complications including migraine headaches, allergies, asthma, hypotension and hypertension. Water supports the production of synovial fluid which helps to cushion your joints and aids in protecting your vital organs and tissues. Spinal fluid is primarily water and protects your spinal cord from damage.
2. Supports Healthy Digestion – Drinking adequate water aids in the healthy digestion of food and helps prevent constipation. The number one cause of constipation is dehydration. Drinking insufficient water also makes the intestines less able to absorb nutrients and many valuable nutrients can be lost. Drinking plenty prevents a slow metabolism as well as nutritional deficiencies. Once nutrients are digested, water facilitates the transport of these nutrients (and oxygen) to and then into each individual cell of your body.
3. Water Promotes Weight Loss – Water works as an appetite suppressant by sheer volume alone. A glass before each meal or snack will help you feel full sooner and remain full longer. Once your body is hydrated, you will eat fewer calories and help prevent you from consuming empty calories that you normally would when you drink other sugary beverages like colas or bottled juices. Water also supports weight loss by flushing out the by-products of fat breakdown.
4. Detoxification – Water promotes elimination which detoxifies your body and protects your vital organs. Your kidneys act as filters which sift and prevent toxins and other harmful substances from moving into the bloodstream. Adequate water intake helps the kidney with this function, allowing it to work efficiently and not be overly taxed. If the kidneys are not properly hydrated, these wastes, toxins and poisons will flow into the bloodstream with serious adverse effects.
5. Water Supports Energy – The amount of water you drink helps determine your energy level, a 5% drop in overall hydration can cause a 25% to 30% loss of energy. Water also supports a healthy metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which your body converts food (calories) into energy. Drinking proper amounts of water helps your body to more easily be able to digest food, and convert these calories into energy much faster and more efficiently. Drinking more water will help you quickly feel re-energized and revitalized.
6. Younger Skin – Drinking water is crucial to maintaining soft, moist, and supple skin. The most effective way to moisturize is from the inside. Drinking plenty of water can even delay the aging process of your skin. Water helps your skin remain plump and moisturized. Dehydration leads to dry skin that doesn’t return to its original shape or location when pinched. Water also helps flush the toxins in the skin to keep you healthy.
7. Brain Function – You will think more clearly and quickly when you are hydrated as water is vital for the normal function of your brain. The brain contains the most water of any body part at 80% and just a slight drop in this water level can be a cause for distress. Do you sometimes experience headaches, migraines, or dizziness? You most likely are suffering from dehydration and an insufficient supply of water in your brain.
8. Nerve Function – All of the signals that travel from your brain throughout your nervous system travel through your nerves, which are actually microscopic waterways. If the fluid inside your nerve pathways thickens due to dehydration or becomes contaminated with toxins or heavy metals like lead, these signals become blocked or distorted.
9. Water Supports Healing – Water is a natural healer and is required for the regeneration and repair of skin, bones, hair, nails, damaged nerves, organs and their lining, and many other natural cellular repair functions.
10. Regulates Body Temperature – Your body stores water in the middle layers of your skin below the surface. When the ambient temperature rises (or your body’s temperature) this water comes to the skin’s surface as sweat which cools your body as it evaporates. Dehydration limits this cooling capability and may lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
11. Supports Kidney Health – Staying hydrated will flush your kidneys and urinary tract will greatly reduce your risk of kidney disease (or failure), kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Drinking plenty of water is a simple way to reduce your risk of developing a UTI and to treat an existing UTI.
Now that we know these major benefits of drinking water and staying hydrated, how do we go about maintaining proper hydration?
If you are someone that is disciplined, then taking regular sips of water at consistent intervals throughout the day would be the best option. However, for most of us, we will probably need different methods to keep ourselves on track.
Some methods to help keep you on track:
- For those that are forgetful or simply too caught up in work and life, you can set reminders at regular intervals on your mobile phone or smartwatch, and it will alert you to drink water.
- Invest in a quality 64 oz water bottle that is equivalent to the daily 8 glasses of water intake, and never leave home without it. Fill the water bottle up in the morning, be sure to finish it by the end of the day, and you’ve got your daily water intake.
- Have an accountability partner. Set goals with a friend or family member to help remind each other to reach your daily intake goals.
There are many ways to drinking your water, but the most important is simply to stay hydrated. The health benefits are immense, and your body and mind will thank you for it.