Everywhere you turn you hear people saying “drink more water!” I hear these things, but I want to know why. Why do we have to drink so much water? Well, let’s take a look at some reasons why we are constantly told to drink good ol’ H20.
(1) Our bodies are primarily made up of water. About two-thirds of our body is water. When the amount of water in your body drops below the level needed for normal body function, you will suffer from dehydration. In other words, when your body loses more water than it’s taking in, dehydrations will set in. Losing large amounts of water can sometimes make a person feel sick. To avoid this from happening, simply increase your fluid intake, especially if the weather is hot, you are sweating, or if you’re sick.
(2) So what does water do for you? Water helps chemical reactions, regulates body temperature, and lubricates the joints, eyes, and your spinal cord. Your body doesn’t work at all without water. You can live days, weeks, and even months without food. However, you can’t live but a few days without water! You will start to dehydrate. According to Survival.com, for each five percent that our body dehydrates, we lose approximately 25% of our ability to do any work.
(3) Electrolytes. We lose water in the form of sweat. Sweat is made up of water, minerals, and body salts. These salts and minerals are called electrolytes. The balance of the electrolytes in our bodies is essential for normal function of our cells and our organs. According to Medline Plus, it is important for the balance of electrolytes in your body to be maintained because they affect the amount of water in your body, blood pH, muscle action, and other important processes. Too much is bad and too little is bad. Both can kill you. So the more you exercise, the more you sweat, meaning that you need to drink more water to replenish the electrolytes and water being lost.
(4) Extra weight? I used to be afraid to drink a lot of water because I was afraid of gaining water weight. I discovered this is the opposite of what I should do. Water weight basically means your body is holding onto excess water because it’s not getting enough. It stores water so it can carry out other duties. If you don’t drink enough water or if you eat too much salt, your body holds water, leaving you bloated. The best way to get rid of water weight is to drink more water!
Water is the main component of fat loss. A well-hydrated body has higher levels of oxygen in the bloodstream, which means an increased ability to burn fat as fuel. The more efficiently you burn fat as fuel, the more you can exercise. That leads to a better, leaner body!
(5) Beauty and Wellness. Common ailments related to drinking too little water include dry, itchy skin, constipation, and headaches. This is just a few! Since water regulates your bodily functions, doesn’t it make sense to say that any minor bugs in our bodily functions can point to water amounts? When you are properly hydrated, your body can better defend itself.
(6) Winter woes. Winter weather can dehydrate you just like any sweltering summer day. When the heater or furnace in your house is running full blast and cold winter winds blow, the air turns dry. That dry air draws the moisture right out of you! Follow the eight-glasses-per-day regimen and add an extra glass or two following outdoor activities.
BeachBody.com states that during winter, lack of water will dry out the mucous membranes of your lungs, gut, and sinus passages and lessen your resistance to disease. These barriers protect your body against bacteria, viruses, and pollutants when fully hydrated and intact. Allowing them to dry out could be the leading cause of the common cold and allergic symptoms, not to mention things like constipation, sinusitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and long-term diseases like hemorrhoids and colon cancer.
(7) How much water do I really need? Have you heard, “drink 65% of your weight in water each day”? This statement is FALSE! Water makes up most all living things on our planet, including fruits, vegetables, and plants. When we cook those foods, they lose their water. Therefore, to benefit from their water, eat more raw foods like fresh fruits and veggies, which contain around 95% water.
It’s said you need about eight glasses of water a day. This will obviously vary due to activity and weather conditions. As a general rule, add a couple of glasses during the hot days of summer as well as during the dry, cold winter nights.