People simply do not get enough water in their diet. The majority of us will trade water for any other kind of beverage packed with unnecessary additives and sapping the health qualities of water on it’s own.
Water takes up around 60 percent of our body weight . This liquid contributes nutrients needed for cells, flushes toxins out of vital organs and creates the perfect atmosphere for tissues in the throat, ear and nose. Every system inside your body relies on water. So what do you want your body running on? It’s funny to joke around and say “Yeah, my body runs on coffee”, but it’s an entirely different thing when your body is literally fueled by it!
Now it’s true that all liquids are comprised of some amount of water, but the problem is some beverages actually work against waters original capabilities. More on that later!
Does it matter if I lack water?
One of the most common conditions that people incur is dehydration due to a lack of water. Even a minor level of dehydration can leave you feeling sapped of energy since you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out it’s normal functions.
14 things water helps with:
- Weight loss
- Kidney health
- Replaces potential food so you feel full and don’t overeat
- Younger and healthier looking skin
- Relieves fatigue
- Preventing sickness
- Exercise productivity
- Reduces risk of cancer
- Work productivity
- Improves mood
- Preventing cramps and sprains
- Helps with regular bowel movements
Consuming an appropriate amount of water will aid your heart in pumping blood and deliver essential nutrients to your cells more efficiently. It also helps to transport oxygen in your blood.
Boosting your muscles and preventing cramps is also a helpful trait of water. This can be a fairly significant property if you find yourself always feeling tired while working out. You should be chugging back a couple cups of H2O around two hours before you exercise. Water will reduce fatigue during exercise and and activities in addition to helping you keep more alert and awake. If you tend to work often and for long hours this can be one of the single best things you can do to keep in check.
Water vs. Other Liquids
Some companies try to sell the idea that their drink product can be better than water. This is not the case! There’s a major difference between drinking water and drinking something that contains water. Some positive effects of water on it’s own are masked because of added ingredients.
Caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea and pop are frequently chosen before water. Although it may taste better, the water contained in these beverages does not help the body as effectively as just drinking water on it’s own could. These processed liquids stimulate the adrenal glands in the body and act as diuretics. High amounts of phosphorus are found in soft drinks which could result with calcium depletion in your bones.
Even a lot of fruit juices that we associate with being healthy can have harmful effects on the body. Pop and fruit juices can stimulate the pancreas due to their high sugar content. Blood glucose is converted by your body to energy through a hormone called insulin. Eating too much sugar in one sitting isn’t too big of an issue as your pancreas can handle the extra insulin. However, if you frequently eat too much sugar, your pancreas may “age” faster than the rest of your body. Ultimately, this can result in pancreatic failure or diabetes. An average can of pop contains over 9 teaspoons of sugar, not to mention a decent load of calories. These particular beverages can therefore cause some undesired effects.
Some people like to consume sports drinks especially after an intense workout. Now this can be useful however they contain syrup and among several other ingredients that aren’t beneficial to your body in the long run.
There are a fair amount of people who don’t like drinking water because of the lack of flavour. Although it’s highly recommended to drink this precious liquid on it’s own, here are a few healthy ways to improve the taste of water if you really must:
- Add some fresh lemon, orange slices, lime or mint to your water
- Put a handful of frozen berries into your water bottle. As the day passes on the frozen berries will help keep the water chilly and infuse the fruit flavour.
- Make natural herbal iced teas without adding sugar to use in place of plain water.
- Fruits on their own can be up to 90% water content so one of these suckers can boost your fluid intake on it’s own
Lack of water?
Thirsty? You may already be dehydrated!
When your thirst mechanism kicks in, your body is signalling that you are already dehydrated. When exercising you ideally want to be drinking water before, during and after the exercise. This ensures that you don’t reach the stage where you feel thirsty.
Pitting edema is when a section of your body (usually a limb) is so swollen that when you press your finger down on their skin, the finger print hole stays for several minutes. It is an additional symptom that occurs with dehydration in some of the elderly and needs to be checked every so often if they are on prescriptions that might reduce this.
Signs and symptoms for dehydration in adults and teenagers:
- Dry mouth
- Dry lips
- Low blood pressure
- Dry eyes
- Muscle cramps
- Lack of sweat
- Dark urine (orange/yellow coloured and an especially strong odor)
- Inability to urinate
Dehydration signs and symptoms in children and infants include:
- Crying without tears
- Over three hours without a wet diaper
- Dry mouth and tongue
- General fatigue
- High fever
- Sunken eyes cheeks or abdomen
- Pitting edema
How much water is needed per day?
You have probably heard that you should be drinking eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day. This isn’t necessarily accurate but is at least an easy thing to remember and to have as a base amount. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids per day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of fluids per day.
Every day you lose water from breathing, perspiring, urinating and bowel movements. For your body to function properly it’s important to replenish this water supply. If you spend time in hot or dry weather, exercise or consume a significant amount of caffeinated drinks you may need more water!
Can you drink too much water?
Realistically you can take in too much of any liquid or solid than your body can physically handle.
It’s pretty rare but there’s a condition called water intoxication. Drinking too much water will dilute the electrolytes in your body which can affect your heart. There’s even been athletes getting heart attacks because they consumed too much water, but it’s extremely uncommon. Don’t worry, your body won’t get over hydrated drinking 15 cups of water a day. You’d have to be drinking a ridiculous amount of water to reach that level of extreme.
On average, people aren’t getting enough liquids in their body and even less are primarily consuming pure water on it’s own. This is a critical and essential asset to your health. Keep your body running on the cleanest liquid fuel around and it will do wonders. Don’t forget most fruits primarily consist of water so you can never go wrong with indulging in them!
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