Drinking water is not only essential to your health, but also to your survival. Approximately 60% of our bodies is water and 90% of our blood, while a whopping 71% of the surface of Mother Earth is covered by water.
Water’s presence and role in our lives are quite impressive. Although there is no international agreement regarding how much water humans need to drink daily, water is fundamental for bodily functions and especially for the kidneys. Why should we be consuming generous amounts daily? Water affords our health numerous benefits that improve quality of life.
How Much Should I Drink Daily?
One of the problems with water consumption is that we tend to drink only if we feel thirsty, and unfortunately, we get only about one-fifth of our daily water requirements from our food. Hence, we need to get the remaining four-fifths from drinking water or other beverages that contain water.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine indicates that men should drink approximately 15.5 cups of water daily, while women need to drink 11.5 cups. For those living in higher climates, water intake should be increased. For those involved in physical labor, sports, or activities, water intake should be incremented to compensate for what is lost through perspiration.
How Will I Know If I’m Not Drinking Enough Water?
The most obvious indication is when you feel thirsty. The color of your urine is also a good indication. If your urine is the color of straw or pale yellow, you should be fine. Darker-colored urine can signal that you are not adequately hydrated.
Ways Water Will Improve Life
1. Water transports oxygen throughout the body.
Considering that blood is 90% water, blood is what transports oxygen to the various organs and parts of the body. Oxygen is crucial to survival, so water is fundamental. Water also carries important nutrients throughout the body.
2. Water flushes out toxins and body waste.
Water is the principal component for flushing out toxins in urine and feces. It will ease defecation contrasting the risk of constipation. The fiber in the diet is not the only method for eliminating or reducing the risk of constipation. Water is an important component in bowel movements.
Toxins are filtered out in urine, so adequate water intake will prevent the formation of kidney stones and aid kidney efficiency. Healthy perspiration, likewise, depends on water.
3. Water prevents dehydration.
If you do not drink enough water every day, your body will suffer from dehydration. Should you become seriously dehydrated, you will be at risk of kidney failure, brain swelling, and seizures. Make it a priority to replace liquids you lose through perspiration, urination, and bowel movements.
4. Water aids in the regulation of body temperature.
This may seem like a contradiction as the body perspires to cool itself, especially in hot water or after physical exertion. However, perspiration also causes you to lose water, so if it is not replenished, your body will lose many of its electrolytes and plasma as well. If you are perspiring heavily, make it a point to drink more water to compensate for these losses.
5. Water contributes to the creation of saliva, mucus, lubricates, and cushions.
Saliva is necessary to keep the mouth moist. It aids in digestion and keeps the nose and eyes moist which will prevent friction. Joints contain cartilage as well as spinal disks. These body parts contain mostly water. If you become dehydrated, the absorption of shocks to the joints will be reduced together with these body parts. If you suffer from arthritis, water intake should be a priority.
Dehydration also can compromise brain health including hormone and neurotransmitter production. This can lead to mental confusion.
6. Water aids digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
Without proper water intake, dehydration can compromise the digestive tract and digestion. Constipation may follow as well as acid reflux or an acidic stomach which in turn contributes to ulcers and heartburn.
Drinking water with your meal, as well as before and after, can aid in breaking down what you eat. While breaking down foods, water also enables the absorption of crucial minerals, vitamins, and nutrients throughout the body.
7. Water aids skin health.
By drinking water and maintaining hydration, you may be helping with the production of collagen which helps maintain elasticity. Unfortunately, drinking water will not reverse the effects of aging but can improve overall skin health and appearance. Dehydration can lead to skin problems and premature skin wrinkling.
8. Water helps maintain blood pressure.
Dehydration can result in blood consistency becoming thicker, and this can cause blood pressure to increase.
9. Water can aid weight loss.
Research has indicated that drinking water can affect body fat and consequently weight loss in women and girls that are overweight. Generous water intake can facilitate losing body weight when exercising or during dieting. Drinking before meals can also contribute to a feeling of satiety helping you limit food intake and calories.
10. Water improves physical performance.
Consider that athletes can lose as much as 10% of body weight through perspiration when exercising. Proper hydration will positively affect your strength and endurance. Without adequate hydration during physical activities, you can be susceptible to hyperthermia, low blood pressure, and even seizures. Severe dehydration can result in death.
Drinking water can also influence your metabolism and improve your energy level. Research has indicated that drinking only 500 ml. of water increased metabolic levels by 30% in women and men and that this boost can last more than an hour.
Improving Your Life with Water
Consider how important daily water intake is to your overall health. Make water intake a priority in your self-care routine. Always carry a bottle of water with you and be aware of how much water you are drinking daily.
If you want to drink something other than just plain water, opt for fruit-infused water rather than sweet beverages. Lemon infused water, for example, is known as detox water, and not only will it hydrate and help digestion, but it brings the added health benefit of containing vitamin C.
Also, spread your water intake evenly throughout the day. Make it a point to try drinking half of the recommended amount by lunch or early afternoon. If you are worried about having to urinate during the night, cease drinking about an hour before you go to sleep.