Water composes approximately 60% of the human body. The brain and heart are over 70% water. Even the bones are more than 30% water. Water is used in the digestion of food and in numerous chemical reactions that take place throughout body. Under normal circumstances, you can only last a few days without water.
Considering how much of the body is made up of water and its critical role in various bodily functions, it becomes evident that staying hydrated with pure water is important not only for survival, but for wellbeing.
Water has numerous important functions in the body
- Regulates body temperature. You’re perspiring all of the time, whether you realize it or not. Have you noticed that you feel hot and uncomfortable when you’ve gone too long without a drink? Though you may at times not be dripping sweat, the body is still giving off water through evaporation. This can happen even when the weather is cool. Your body needs water to produce the sweat that cools it.
- Water helps to maintain a healthy body weight. Water is essential for digestion of food. It can also help to keep you feeling full. Many times people mistake dehydration for hunger. Interestingly, drinking about 2-3 cups of water up to 30 minutes before mealtimes has been shown to help dieters lose weight.
- Water keeps you regular. Water is important for regular bowel movements. When you don’t get enough water, your feces can dry out and constipation is the likely result.
- Decreases frequency of headaches. Headaches are commonly caused by dehydration. If you get regular headaches, make sure you’re getting enough water each day.
- Water can help to ease or prevent many diseases and ailments. Diabetes, kidney stones, asthma, blood pressure and constipation are just a few physical maladies that can be affected by the amount of water you drink.
- Enhances your mood. Studies show that drinking more than a half-gallon of water each day results in greater feelings of calmness and contentment. Those drinking significantly less reported greater levels of tiredness and confusion. Water can be a great way to boost your overall sense of wellbeing.
- Water helps to keep your skin looking healthy and younger. Beauty experts and dermatologists recommend getting plenty of water as a means of keeping your skin hydrated and healthy. Your skin becomes dry, loses its elasticity, and can take on the appearance of wrinkles when you don’t get enough water.
- Athletic performance is decreased by insufficient water intake. Whether you participate in a strength sport, endurance sport, or something in between, your performance will be poor if you’re not sufficiently hydrated.
Get an adequate amount of water each day
You may be asking how much water is enough? Well, it depends. The needs of a 200-pound man that works outdoors in the hot sun all day will be different from the needs of a 125-pound woman that works in an air-conditioned building at a desk all day. A good rule of thumb is to drink enough water to have at least three clear urinations each day. For the average person, 8 cups of water works well.
While all beverages contain some amount of water, nothing compares to pure water for hydrating your body in a healthy way. In fact, some beverages such as caffeinated drinks, milk, and alcohol will only serve to dehydrate your body even more. Sodas will also do more harm than good.
Too much of a good thing, however, is not good. While you want to be sure to get an adequate daily intake of pure water, it is possible to drink too much water. Serious side effects, including death, can occur from over-consuming water.
Tips for water drinking
- Drink enough pure water each day to have several clear urinations - at least 8 cups of water for the average person. If you’re taking vitamins or some medication, your urine may not appear as clear.
- Try to avoid beverages that deplete your body of water, such as caffeinated drinks, alcohol and sodas.
- Drink water (including other beverages) between meals, and not with meals. Drinking any liquid with meals, or too close to meals will hinder and not help the digestive process. A good rule of thumb is to drink water up to 30 minutes before meals, and then not again until 1 to 2 hours after a meal.
It may be hard to believe that something as simple as drinking enough water everyday can be such a blessing to your health — but it can. So make sure you get enough on a daily basis.