Seventy percent of your body is made up of water.
It may be hard to believe, but the human body is made of mostly water. Yep — you swim in it, you cook with it, and you are made of it. Water is all around you — in the sky, in the ground, in the sea; and it is also inside of you. What is water’s important to health in the first place then?
As I strive to become more in fit, water has become an increased aspect in my life. Because I dehydrate fairly easily, it is imperative that I drink enough water to make up for what I expend through my physical exertion, in addition to my daily requirements. What makes water so indispensible that individuals have to replace the water that they lose every day?
Registered Dietitians and Health Experts emphasize the importance of drinking enough water. Natalie Butler (RD.) declared a few reasons why water is so imperative to life: (source)
- Water is the single largest component of your body tissue and structure of your cell walls.
- Water takes a large role in your body’s entire process of nutrition: from the digestion of your food, to the absorption of the nutrients from your food, to the transportation of those nutrients throughout the body, and finally through the elimination process.
- Water also plays a large role associated with enzymes. Because enzymes are only activated in water, any amount of dehydration instantly affects the body’s health.
- Water helps maintain body temperature.
Furthermore, Kathleen M. Zelman on WebMD, in 2008, pointed out a few of the other benefits of drinking water:
- Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids.
- Water helps energize muscles.
- Water helps keep skin looking good.
Water is lost from the body in a myriad of ways 24/7. Every breath you take utilizes water. To operate, the brain requires water. Water even evaporates right through your skin each and every day. It is vital for life.
Since an individual is made up of mostly water, it is vital that we replace any amount lost. Athletes need to monitor their water intake to make sure they are replacing what they are using up. People who work out also need to watch their water intake also, as well as people who don’t.
If a person loses just 20 percent of their body’s water, they’re dead.
If a person loses even 10 percent, they encounter significant symptoms: increased lactose problems, nausea, severe constipation, significant-dangerous weight loss, loss of appetite, severe fatigue, dark urine, lack of normal urine, and headaches, just to name a few. (source)
Thirst is another indicator of a water imbalance. If you become thirsty, that indicates you’re body is already dehydrated. Unfortunately, I sometimes forget to drink enough water and I don’t notice that I am dehydrated until I get a little dizzy, a little woozy, or a little light headed. The body exerts these kinds of symptoms to declare an imbalance in its water levels. Don’t delay drinking water until you are thirsty. Drink water consistently throughout the day to prevent dehydration in any form.
A deficiency in water may also come across as hunger. Think of your body as a car. When a car is low on gasoline, the meter will show it – therefore, it is imperative that you keep track of what the meter is showing. Same thing with your body; when your body needs something (vitamin, mineral, water), it will turn on its hunger signals, trying to tell the body it needs to refuel. When you receive your first hunger signal, drink a glass of water first, as it may just be a disguised thirst signal.
As I strive to increase my water consumption, I realize that it can be difficult to drink enough water. Some days I do really well, while others I did a pretty good job, but I know I could have done better. Zelman continued with four tips to help individuals drink more water.
- Have a beverage [like water, green tea, milk, or 100% fruit juice] with every snack and meal.
- Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About twenty percent of our fluid intake comes from foods.
- Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
Nevertheless, drinks like Gaterade and PowerAde, soft drinks, caffeinated drinks, and sugared drinks may not be the best for quenching your thirst — in fact, caffeine, sugar, and salt increase your need for water (they like to hog water for themselves). Sugar and salt are like sponges — they suck the water right out of you, and caffeine is a strong diuretic. Therefore, if you had a, for instance, heavy sodium meal, strive to balance out some of it through extra water consumption. Drink a cup of water for every cup of a caffeinated beverage you consume. Gaterade and PowerAde do have their place, but it is mostly for extreme athletes. Coconut water and smartwater are some other options, as they also replace your electrolytes.
We know that water is indispensible for life to exist. But how do we know how much water to drink, since each and every one of us is unique and different?
An easy starting point is to drink half your weight in ounces. If you are in the sun all day, drink more. If you work out, drink more. If you have a heavy sodium meal, strive to balance out some of it through extra water consumption.
Water is vital. Water is important to health because life relies on it. Without water, life would not be able to survive. January has just ended, and February has just awakened. It’s a new month. Let’s all strive to increase our water consumption. What am I going to do? I’m going to go for an extra glass or two a day. I’m even going to try to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. Let’s make this month the month of H2O – Health(squared) Overall.
Thank you to everyone who commented on my Working Out + Pumpkin Cranberry Nutty Cookies post! All of your tips are SO wonderful!!! How will I ever thank you guys enough!?!? 🙂
THANK YOU guys again!!!! 🙂