Not typically discussed day to day, but an essential nutrient that has a huge impact on how we look, feel and perform ... WATER! A major factor in our overall health, read on for what role water plays in our health, how much you should drink, early signs of dehydration and signs when dehydration becomes chronic also tips to help you stay hydrated.
Water makes up about 70% of the body’s total mass
If the body’s water content drops by as little as 2% it will cause fatigue
75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated
Dehydration is one of the most common risk factor for kidney stones
Water depends on electrolytes for proper absorption (electrolytes are minerals that become capable of conducting electricity when dissolved in water)
The body can produce about 8% of its daily water needs through metabolic processes, but the remaining 92% must be ingested through the foods we eat and the beverages we drink.
What role does water play in our body?
They say we could live 8 weeks without food and just days without water. Your body needs water to survive. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly. Below is a list of organs and systems affected by our water intake.
Removes waste and flushes toxins via the kidneys as a detoxification route
Improves oxygen delivery to cells - which leads to better productivity, mood, memory and mental clarity!
Enables cellular hydration
Joint and Muscular Health
Prevents muscles and tissues from sticking
Cushions bones and joints
Moistens oxygen for easier breathing
Removes toxins through our breath via the lungs
Helps to form saliva
Transports nutrients from small intestines to the rest of the body
Removes and flush toxins via the large intestine and colon
Assists in the removal of waste – a benefit that prevents toxins from accumulating and burdening the liver. A burdened liver is more vulnerable to a backup of toxins.
Nervous System Health
Improves cell to cell communication
Empowers the body’s natural healing processes to take place properly
Supports the lymphatic system in clearing bacteria, viruses and other foreign invaders
How much water should you drink?
Most people have heard that they should drink 6 to 8, 8 ounces glasses of water per day. That may be reasonable, but different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. This will depend on your weight, activity level, climate, and if you are drinking diuretics in the day. A quick rule of thumb is ½ your body weight in ounces per day, this is to get your minimum amount. If you exercise you need more. If you are in a hot climate, you need more. If you drink diuretics, you need more ... you get the idea!
Tips to Stay Hydrated
Have a glass of water next to your bedside table. Upon waking, drink up.
Keep a water bottle with you during the day. Best to invest in a water bottle to save your cost on buying water as well as reduce your environmental impact.
Use a container and figure out how many times you need to fill it in a day.
Some don’t like the taste of water, add lemons, limes or other fruit to give it a hint of flavor.
Drink your water throughout the day. It is best not to drink a lot when eating as this will affect digestive health.
If you feel thirsty, drink water, your body is speaking to you.
If you feel full when drinking water you may need to add a little salt to your water, this will help get it into your cells, promoting osmosis.