hydration - what's the big deal?
Everything in our bodies is made up of a surprising amount of water. You may know that on average, as adult humans, our bodies are made up of 60 percent water. Some specific areas of the body may surprise you though. According to H.H. Mitchell in the Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, our brains and hearts are each 73% water. Our lungs are 83% water. The muscles and kidneys are 79% water. The skin is 64% water, our blood is 90 percent water, and even our bones are 31% water. To function properly, all of the cells and organs in our bodies need water. Our hydration levels affect so many areas of our bodies and our lives.
STAYING WELL HYDRATED HELPS ...
OUR HEART HEALTH & BLOOD PRESSURE
Water helps to maintain the proper viscosity of our blood. Being dehydrated can cause our blood to thicken which increases our blood pressure. Research shows a link between coronary heart disease and a low water consumption.
One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is headaches. Water is very important when it comes to brain function. Dehydration can actually cause the brain to temporarily shrink from fluid loss. This causes the brain to pull away from the skull, resulting in pain and a dehydration headache.
GENERATE OXYGEN IN THE BODY
Blood is more than 90 percent water and water is made up of oxygen. When our blood pumps, it transports oxygen to different parts of the body. This is why it is particularly important to drink water at high altitudes when our bodies need more oxygen!
KEEP YOUR KIDNEYS HEALTHY
Water is essential for the kidneys to function. Insufficient water can lead to kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Drinking plenty of water helps treat existing UTI’s and reduces the risk of developing a UTI. The leading cause of kidney stones is a lack of water. Kidney stones are painful and interfere with how the kidneys work. They also increase the risk of chronic kidney disease that potentially leads to kidney failure. People who have kidney stones and UTI’s often do not drink the recommended daily amount of water.
AID DIGESTION & REGULARITY
Drinking water helps your body digest everything you eat. Water helps break down food to absorb the nutrients and prevents constipation. Being regular is the result of a healthy digestive system. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation, and an overly acidic stomach which increases your risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers.
Since our brains are made up of 73% water, drinking it helps you to think, focus, concentrate, and stay alert. As a result, your energy levels also improve. Dehydration reduces your cognitive abilities and motor skills, makes you more sensitive to pain, and affects your memory. Prolonged dehydration can lead to problems of thinking and reasoning.
PREVENT BACK AND JOINT PAIN
Water lubricates the joints. The cartilage found in our joints and the disks of our spine, contain around 80 percent water. When you are chronically dehydrated, your joints can lose their shock-absorbing ability, leading to joint pain. Dehydration is often an overlooked cause of back pain. The discs between our vertebrae are made of water. A lack of water can compromise these discs leading to back pain.
ANTI-AGING – less wrinkles!
Hydration is great for your skin! It helps to moisturize it and keeps it soft. Your skin is an organ, and water is important for all organs to function. The skin becomes more vulnerable to skin disorders when it is dehydrated. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling.
WITH WEIGHT LOSS AND MAINTENANCE
Drinking water may help to suppress the appetite. When you drink water before meals it can help prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness. Water also aides in the removal of fat by-products in your system and can improve your metabolism. You are also less likely to gain weight by drinking calorie-free water than you would by drinking high caloric juices and sodas.
DETOXIFY THE BODY
Bad breath is often a clear sign of dehydration. Water consumption helps your body to flush out waste and toxins through your sweat and urination. Staying well hydrated decreases your toxins on all levels in the body and gives you fresher breath.
INCREASE YOUR IMMUNITY
One of the easiest way to stay healthy and keep a strong immune system is to drink more water. Water strengthens your immune system by carrying oxygen to your body's cells, which helps every system to function while it flushes harmful toxins out of your body. Water has also been shown to reduce the risk of bladder cancer by rapidly flushing toxins from your bladder.
ELEVATE YOUR MOODS
Just as a well-oiled engine runs at top performance, your body also work better when it is properly hydrated. When your internal systems and organs are running better, you’re more likely to feel better about yourself and to be in a good mood!
REGULATE YOUR BODY TEMPERATURE
Sweat is your body’s cooling system. Water stored in the middle layers of the skin, comes to the surface in the form of sweat when the body heats up. Scientists suggest when there is too little water in the body, heat storage increases and an individual is less able to tolerate heat strain. Your body needs enough water to properly regulate your body’s temperature through perspiration.
GIVE YOU THE EDGE IN EXERCISE
Staying well hydrated during sports and exercise increases your energy and enhances your performance. Hydration also causes us to be more flexible and escalates our ability to recover quickly after a killer workout. When we have as little as a 2% decrease in body water, this can lead to dehydration and an impaired performance in sports. When your body water levels decrease by 3% or 4%, there are more dangerous health consequences, such as a rapid heart rate, confusion, and high body temperature.
By making hydration a high priority in your day you can experience better health, brain power, beauty, breathing ability, and happiness!