Our body approximately consists of 60% water, yet not many seem to have made the connection that adequate water intake is integral to maintaining proper health. The feeling of thirst is not a request for a gulp of water, it is a cry for help. By the time you feel thirsty, the damage has already been done; your body is completely devoid of moisture. Here are a few major reasons why drinking water makes you healthier.
Drinking Water & Vital Organs and Detoxification
A 1-3% fluid loss (i.e. mild dehydration) has been shown to impair the brain functions, including, but not limited to, frequent headaches, memory and concentration reduction. Not only that, but insufficient hydration causes cells of vital organs to pull water from the blood to maintain efficient functioning, resulting in the thickening of the blood.
Pumping of this blood puts a large amount of pressure on the heart which is injurious to its health. Furthermore, dehydration leads to constipation as the colon pulls water from the stools to maintain hydration. Water (particularly warm) promotes the body’s ability to break down food, aiding the digestive system.
Regular dehydration can lead to serious health problems including cardiovascular and kidney diseases, and may also increase the risk of diabetes.
Water flushes out toxins and waste from the body in the form of sweat and urine; it keeps things flowing. An increase in hydration results in a corresponding increase in blood circulation.
This aids the excretory and lymphatic system to drain the body of toxins. Kidney functioning can also be improved with additional water. Proper hydration ensures dilution of the salts and minerals in urine which cause kidney stones.
Finally, water also helps energize muscles. As fluid loss occurs, cells lose their electrolyte balance and shrivel. This results in muscle fatigue. Dehydrated muscle tissue suffers from degradation of performance.
Drinking Water & Weight Loss
If you consume a glass of water a half an hour before a meal, it results in a fuller stomach and a reduction in the desire to consume a huge meal. Flavored water with freshly sliced berries, lemons, oranges and/or mint, is an ideal alternative to high-calorie drinks such as alcohol and soda. The greater the reduction in total calorie intake means the greater the weight loss.
What’s more, water helps increase the metabolic rate of the body and assists it in a proper breakdown, and subsequent elimination of fat cells.
Quick tip. Consuming cold water forces the body to expend additional energy (i.e. calories) to heat the water up to normal body temperature.
Drinking Water & Skin Health
Adequate intake of water ensures beautifully hydrated skin and better capillary blood flow; thus, healthier, younger-looking skin. It replenishes skin tissues and increases skin elasticity.
When dehydrated, the blood turns thicker and thicker due to the organs are pulling water from it. Subsequently, the blood begins to pull water from the skin cells – skin turns dry and the eyes look sunken. Dry skin is less resilient and the lack of elasticity causes wrinkling.
All of this begs the question – How much water is enough water? The answer is, it depends on. Experts generally suggest drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day. The amount changes with variations in temperature, physical activity, calorie intake, weight, and age.
We can get fluid from food such as fruits, vegetables, or beverages. However, the best source is pure water. There are different ways to figure your fluid requirements.
Water Intake Calculations
Body Weight (lb) x 0.5 = Daily Requirements in ounces
160lb x 0.5 = 80 ounces
80 ounces divided by 8 = 10 glasses
Body Weight (kg) x 0.035 = Daily Requirements in liters
72kg x 0.035 = 2.5 liters
2.5 liters divided by 0.25 = 10 glasses
Caloric Intake x 0.034 = Daily Requirements in ounces
Caloric Intake x 0.001 = Daily Requirements in liters
Example for 2,500-calorie diet:
2,500 x 0.034 = 85 ounces
2,500 x 0.001 = 2.5 liters
• Mild dehydration can impair the brain functions
• Regular dehydration can lead to serious health problems
• Water helps increase the metabolic rate
• Adequate intake of water ensures beautifully hydrated skin.