It covers around 71% of the earth’s surface. About 60% of our body is made up of it, and 90% of our blood is water.
This odorless, visibly transparent substance of hydrogen and oxygen is essential for life! It’s vital for our existence, and that of the planet we live on. It only makes sense to consume a proper amount of this crucial liquid each day since our bodies use water in all of the cells, organs, and tissues we have.
Why Hydration Is So Important
Since our blood is made up of 90% water, a lack of water can cause our blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure. Blood carries oxygen to the many parts of our body, so when we’re hydrated it’s easier for our blood to deliver the nutrients and oxygen needed for healthy functioning.
Speaking of oxygen, (something we need in every breath) you may think of breathing during exercise. It’s especially important during workout sessions to maintain proper hydration.
Impaired performance occurs when dehydration is allowed to happen. Which can then result in oxidative stress. This is a disturbance or imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants. An overabundance of free radicals damages cells and their ability to detoxify or repair the resulting damage.
Considering about 80% of muscle is water—replenishing liquid in our body—especially during exercise, is important for improving performance and endurance while also reducing the effect of DNA damage.
Take a deep breath. While we certainly don’t want water in our lungs, our airways do benefit from our body maintaining proper hydration. Airways can be restricted if the body is dehydrated and this may cause allergies and asthma to intensify.
Water also lubricates joints, perhaps helping with their shock-absorbing abilities. This also helps our spinal discs and cartilage.
Studies have shown that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many parts of the brain. It can lessen our concentration, trigger the occurrence of headaches, increase tension, anxiety, and fatigue.
When dehydration is prolonged, it can lead to affecting the brain’s actual structure and functions. This involves possible interference with neurotransmitters and our hormone balance, which of course can lead to difficulties in thinking, memory impairment, and reasoning ability.
Water intake can help flush out body waste. Our digestive system depends on water and when properly hydrated can better prevent and relieve issues of constipation.
Lacking proper hydration could result in digestive issues and an overly acidic stomach, which may increase the risk of heartburn or stomach ulcers.
While studies are still needed to reach more definite conclusions, there appears to be a promising correlation between increased water intake and reduced occurrence of kidney stones.
A higher fluid intake increases the volume of urine passing through the kidneys, which can dilute the concentration of minerals, so they would be less likely to crystallize and form the mineral clumps known as kidney stones.
Adequate hydration actually can promote healthy kidney function overall. Drinking plenty of water is a simple, affordable way to reduce the risk of or help to treat urinary tract infections.
The kidneys work to keep the levels of electrolytes in the body stable, so ensuring we don’t allow ourselves to become dehydrated can aid in a better balance of electrolytes, such as sodium, phosphate, and potassium. This offers support in the proper carrying of electrical signals between cells.
Proper hydration allows our skin to appear more youthful and supple, with support in warding off premature wrinkling. If you’re wishing for a more “radiant glow”, drinking enough water each day may offer some help in achieving that look naturally.
Water can increase feelings of fullness and boost our metabolic rate. This means water can help with weight loss efforts. Beyond acting as a natural detoxifying substance, choosing to drink water before eating can help make you feel fuller, causing you to consume fewer calories during your meal.
If you’re looking to burn extra calories, consider drinking cold water, which can cause your body to use additional energy to heat the water to your body temperature.
Water is especially beneficial with weight loss when it is consumed in place of sweetened juices, sodas, or artificially colored sports drinks that should be avoided.
8 Glasses A Day?
There seems to be a much-continued debate over the amount of water we should drink daily. What should be considered is the many varying factors from one person to the next. Just a few of these would be:
- Man or woman?
- Child or adult?
- Pregnant or nursing?
- Hot weather or cold?
- High level of physical exertion or low?
- Feeling well or sick with fever, diarrhea, or vomiting?
While the 8×8 rule is often prescribed, (that’s eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day), that may not be enough for the person working outdoors all day sweating in the intense summer heat. Or it would be way too much for the infant who needs far less for their little bodies.
As the Mayo Clinic acknowledges, “How much water should you drink each day? It’s a simple question with no easy answer.” They recommend assessing fluid intake as being adequate if you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow.
Don’t always wait until you’re thirsty to drink though. Someone can easily become distracted working outdoors or focused on an intense exercise routine and not realize they’re sweating away fluid that quickly needs replacing for functioning optimally and maintaining health.
Flavor or Flavorless?
Some people complain they don’t like the “taste” of water, while others recognize that it’s flavorless, but “boring”. And still, other people love drinking water and the insipid beverage option it provides.
If you don’t like the flavor you taste in your water, consider the water you’re drinking.
Is it coming out of your tap, and if so, is that water from a properly maintained well? Or is it city water that’s treated perhaps with chlorine, fluoride, or other chemicals that may be creating the undesirable (and possibly dangerous) flavor you’re detecting? Are you drinking out of a bottle that has been allowed to sit in the sun and leach plastic chemicals into the liquid you’re consuming?
You may want to look into household or individual faucet filters, or the water pitcher style filters that are available to provide cleaner, pure water options for your family.
If you still can’t convenience your palate to enjoy the taste of water on its own, try squeezing in some lemon or lime juice, add some fresh mint or basil leaves, muddle in some berries…whatever you must do to naturally flavor that important fluid, so you drink enough of it each day!
Beyond The Glass
Whether you’re the type to see the glass as half full or half empty, there are even more ways to enjoy water besides drinking it. Many studies are being done, and books being written on, the many ways water can calm us.
A simple internet search for “waters calming influence” produces results that show wonderful things like:
“Rain produces a sound akin to white noise. The brain gets a tonic signal from white noise that decreases this need for sensory input, thus calming us down.”
“Even simply observing the movement of water causes our minds to calm. This has numerous benefits for contributing to lowering depression, lowering stress levels, anxiety, and promotes better mental clarity and sleep patterns.”
“Research has shown that being near, in, on or under water can provide a long list of benefits for our mind and body, including … increasing an overall sense of well-being and happiness, a lower heart and breathing rate, and safe, better workouts.”
Our bodies love water! We can swim, surf, kayak, canoe, waterski, paddle-board, and so on. And if we don’t have access to the ocean, maybe there’s a nearby lake. If you’re taking a vacation, perhaps you can stay in a hotel with a balcony overlooking the water. Some calming effects can even betide us when hanging out at the pool or relaxing in a bath.
So you’ve read all about water, now it’s time to go fill up a glass and enjoy every sip knowing how much your body thrives on it. Take some with you when you leave the house, keep it by your desk as you work, be sure to have some in the car…
Our Wild Howler Bottle is one Wildly awesome way to take hydration with you in style and ease. It’s a 32-ounce stainless steel bottle that holds hot or cold liquid and ensures having refreshment with you wherever your next adventure takes you.
Poems have been written about it, songs have been composed, quotes have been shared. This liquid for life should inspire us, as we need it for our very existence. As Henry David Thoreau said, “I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man.”
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