Drinking water has a greater effect than you may realize. In fact, it is essential for just about every function in the human body. For instance, it performs an essential role in keeping the body hydrated and helps regulate body temperature. Yet, there may be some myths surrounding water that have been propagated over time. As a result, some people may not realize just how important it really is.
The following blog post will explore the important facts about water and answer some common myths surrounding it. It will also provide helpful tips on how to ensure that you're getting enough of this vital nutrient in your diet!
Why Is Water Important?
Water is a necessity that we take for granted. Everyone knows that they need to drink eight glasses per day; however, some people may not know why it is important. Dr. Mercola's article "What You Need to Know About Water and How to Get It" goes into great detail about how water helps keep your body healthy and functional. Let's examine some of the biggest reasons why water is vital for your body.
1. Keeps the Body Hydrated
Your body is made up of about 60 percent water. Without enough water, your body functions will slow down and even stop. You may also experience a loss of appetite, as well as reduced metabolism—all of which can lead to weight gain or weight loss. In addition, if your body is dehydrated , it will have difficulty regulating temperature and your heart health may be affected.
2. Helps Regulate Body Temperature
Your body's ability to regulate temperature depends on having enough water in it. If you become dehydrated, then your body will start to lose water. When this happens, the kidneys try to maintain a normal body temperature by secreting a hormone called vasopressin. Unfortunately, if you don't get enough water, vasopressin is not processed properly and you will experience hyperthermia or overheating. Hyperthermia will lead to dehydration and can also lead to heat stroke because of the significant impact it has on blood flow.
3. Aids Digestion
It is important for the digestive system to function properly in order for you to stay hydrated and eat normally. If you are lacking in water, your body may become constipated or experience diarrhea due to dehydration. In addition, your body will not be able to break down proteins, carbohydrates and fats without enough water. As a result, you may experience bloating and other digestive issues.
4. Flushing Out Toxins
Your body naturally flushes out toxins through the liver, kidneys and colon. If you are not drinking enough water, then your body's ability to flush out toxins is significantly reduced. The result of this is that more toxins remain in your bloodstream as a result of all of the filtration systems being underused or unable to process them properly because there is insufficient water present in the body.
5. Maintaining Good Health
Without sufficient amounts of water in your system, you are more likely to become sick . There are a number of reasons why this can happen. For instance, if you are sick and not drinking enough water to recover, your body will reduce its production of stomach acid. This in turn will lead to potentially harmful bacteria and microbes being allowed to grow in the stomach. If you have already lost too much water from dehydration and are getting worse, then your body is trying to function like it would if you were sick because there is not enough water for your body's normal functions.
6. Enables You to Exercise Effectively
If you are dehydrated, then you may not be able to perform at your best when you exercise. Because of this, you may be unable to achieve optimal results for your fitness routine. In addition, not enough water in the body may cause headaches and muscle cramps.
7. Helps You Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Drinking water can help you lose or maintain your ideal weight if you drink it in conjunction with exercise and a healthy diet. If you don't drink enough water, then your body won't properly regulate the amount of fat stored in it. As a result, you will gain weight and experience difficulty burning off excess fat.
8. Keeps Your Skin Healthy
Drinking water is important for the skin so that it will not be too dry and cracked. When the skin is not properly hydrated, it becomes fragile, leaving you prone to developing open sores and flaky areas on your skin. If your skin does become too dry, then you may develop eczema ; which is a condition that causes your skin to become irritated and dry.
9. Helps You Live Longer Than Your Counterparts
If you are not drinking enough water, then your body will be unable to metabolize cancer-fighting substances at optimum levels. In addition, your body will also experience a reduction in the amount of waste and toxins that are eliminated through sweating and urination. Without sufficient water present in the body, it will not be able to perform these functions efficiently. As a result, you may experience an accelerated rate of aging .
10. Improves Your Ability to Think
Drinking enough water is important for thinking as well as learning new information or performing cognitive tasks like reading and writing better than someone who has not been adequately hydrated. Without sufficient water, mental function is often affected so you may become distracted.
11. Reduces the Risk of Death from a Stroke
If you are dehydrated, then it is important for your body to make sure that it does not lose too much blood or too much water through the skin and into your bloodstream. As this happens, you may experience dizziness and disorientation due to the lack of oxygen being delivered to your brain. When this happens, it can further impair brain function and lead to death in some cases.
12. Prevents Cancer
An adequate intake of water is important for staying cancer-free. This is because it prevents the body from becoming acidic. Most cancer cells grow in acidic environments and do not thrive when they are in an alkaline state like they would be if your body was adequately hydrated.
13. Keeps Your Skin, Hair and Nails Healthy
Your skin, hair and nails are made up of mostly water. If you don't drink enough, then your hair can become brittle , making it more susceptible to breaking off or being pulled out more easily than normal. Similarly, your nails may become weak and split or peel more easily because there is not enough moisture present to improve their overall quality . If you don't stay hydrated, then you could lose the ability to produce new nails and skin. This can cause major issues with your appearance.
14. Prevents Depression
When your body is dehydrated, it will not be able to maintain a healthy balance of neurotransmitters in the brain . This will cause an imbalance that can lead to depression . As a result, you may experience mood switches when you are dehydrated that can cause serious psychological issues for those who do not drink enough water on a regular basis.
15. Helps You Improve Your Mood
Mood problems may also occur that are caused by a buildup of toxins in the body. When this occurs, your body will not be able to properly filter out harmful substances that can make you irritable and stressed out on a regular basis. If you are not drinking enough water, then you may experience mood swings that can be difficult to manage in people with certain personality types .
16. Clears Foggy Vision
The lens inside the eye is mostly made up of water and needs to remain hydrated in order for your vision to remain clear . If your eyes are dry for an extended period of time, then your vision can become compromised and more difficult to manage without enough water in the body.
17. Prevents Weight Gain
If you don't drink enough water, then your body will take excess calories and store them as fat instead of using them to fuel normal cell function. Because of this, you will be able to maintain a healthy weight even when you are eating more than you need to on a regular basis. You can still eat food that is unhealthy when you drink enough water in your system. In fact, if you're not drinking enough water, then many foods that are "healthy" won't taste very good because they will taste too sweet .
18. Prevents Dehydration
Dehydration is an especially dangerous situation where it can actually lead to death from heart related diseases , not just those with fluid balances. If you are not properly hydrated, then your heart will not be able to pump enough blood through the body to deliver oxygen where it is needed. The muscles need oxygen to function at optimum levels, so if they get less than they need, then they become weak. Greater exertion may also cause clotting in the heart, which can block blood flow and cause a heart attack or stroke .
19. Helps Prevent Kidney Stones
The kidneys play an important role in many bodily functions including waste removal and toxin production. As a result, you need plenty of water to prevent kidney stones from forming because they are often caused by low levels of water in the body.
20. Increases Metabolism and Free Fatty Acid Absorption
When your body is dehydrated, then it will take longer for your system to digest and metabolize food due to the fact that you cannot produce enough digestive enzymes . The lack of water in the body can also cause an increase in fat absorption . As a result, you will feel hungrier than normal most of the time and lose more weight than what you should on a regular basis.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
Many people think that they should be drinking about three quarts of water per day. This is a dangerously low amount of fluid that can lead to a number of problems. Proper hydration is extremely important when you want to provide the body with all of the fluids it needs to function optimally. It is very easy to get dehydrated and not even realize it, so you must always monitor how much water you are actually consuming every day.
You need to drink enough water each day because your body loses water at a rate of approximately one quart per day through normal bodily functions like breathing and sweating. Your body also loses fluid through the digestive tract and urine. If you sweat while exercising, then you will need to drink even more water to avoid becoming ill. If you are not replacing the fluids that you lose every day, then your body will go into a state of dehydration . This can cause a number of issues that are difficult to treat unless you manage your water intake properly.
One quart is equal to about four cups of water. Therefore , if you drink about two glasses (eight ounces) of water with each meal, then you will be drinking at least two quarts per day. A good rule of thumb is to drink about 8-12 ounces (about a half -cup) of water with each meal. This amount is an ideal amount that will support your body's needs for fluid in most people. If you want to take it a step further, you can always increase the amount of water that you are drinking on a daily basis.
One liter of water weighs about one pound and there are 32 ounces to a gallon. This means that you should be drinking at least 2 ½ pints (about five quarts) per day. You can also take in more by drinking more full glasses of water throughout the day as opposed to sipping on it throughout the day if you need to stay hydrated more than normal.
How Can I Tell if I'm Dehydrated?
It is very important to know how to tell if you are dehydrated. Some of the first symptoms that you may experience are headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. You may also notice that you have difficulty concentrating or your eyesight is impaired. If you have been sweating profusely for an extended period of time or spending a lot of time in extremely dry environments (like the desert), then you will need to drink even more water than other individuals in order to avoid dehydration .
If you want to test your hydration levels at home then try this simple test from Healthfully Ever After . It's called the "Towel Test" and it is very easy to perform. You will need to wash a clean towel with hot water and ring it out thoroughly. Once the towel is dry, wet it again with lukewarm water. Place the wet towel around your neck and keep it there for 15 minutes. If your skin feels moist after 15 minutes, then you are well hydrated . If your skin feels dry and looks wrinkled, then you need to drink more water immediately in order to avoid serious health problems from occurring (8).
Other indicators of dehydration are when your urine is very concentrated or if you have a very dry mouth . You should drink about two glasses (eight ounces) of water for every 15 pounds that you weigh. See the chart below for more tips on how much water to drink.