Back to the Basics - Why Does Water Matter, Anyway?
Updated: Nov 28, 2018
“I have a headache.”
“Have you drank enough water?”
“I think I’m getting sick.”
“Make sure to drink plenty of water.”
“I feel tired.”
“You probably haven’t drank enough water.”
My mom and I exchanged those words more times than I can count. Water was, to her, a seemingly magical potion to cure all ailments. Although I rolled my eyes at this when I younger, I now understand where she was coming from. Water is probably the most important, yet overlooked, and generally misunderstood aspect of our lifestyle and diets in general. Most of us don’t consume nearly enough, realize how vital proper hydration truly is, or understand why we should drink as much as we’re told we should. But with so many other beverages to choose from (that all taste so much better), and medicine to take the instant unpleasant symptoms begin to arise, it’s incredibly easy to fall into a state of dehydration and stay there, without even realizing the dangers.
Water And Your Body
You’ve probably heard how approximately 2/3 of the human body is comprised of water. Water is a nutrient, one that constantly lost from skin evaporation (sweating), breathing, digestion, and urinating- not to mention higher fluid loss from intense exercise, along with higher temperatures and altitudes. Which means, we need to replace it to ensure those levels stay where they should be. Our body uses water to regulate temperature, hunger, circulation, digestion, create saliva, transport nutrients, lubricate and cushion joints, prevents your eyes, nose, and mouth from drying out, and keeps body tissues moist. So, in other words, in super duper important and it’s up to us to make sure we’re replenish it so our bodies function properly! So, what happens when we don’t?
What Dehydration Looks Like
Dehydration is a serious condition that occurs when fluid intake is less than fluid lost. Mild dry hydration can be remedied by simply upping water intake, but severe dehydration required medical attention. Did you know that, by the time you actually feel thirsty, chances are you’re already dehydrated? Other symptoms in adults include infrequent urination, dark urine, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, dry skin, rapid heart rate and breathing, sunken eyes, sleepiness, lack of energy, fainting, muscle cramps, and irritability. Just to name a few! We have the tendency to pop a pill or take something whenever we experience abnormal symptoms, when in all reality, the solution may be as simple as drinking a glass of water! Not to mention, water has numerous health benefits.
Health Benefits Of Water
Water can aid in weight loss, first of all. Drinking more water, along with consuming more water-rich foods, can keep you feeling full and help lower your calorie intake. Water also affects your performance at the gym, yet another contributor to health and weight loss, as muscle is comprised of about 75% water! It also aids in regulating temperature, blood pressure, and transporting essential energy nutrients. It can keep your skin looking young, your kidneys functioning properly, and aid in regulating bowel function. It can prevent headaches and keep you feeling energized throughout the day! But, how much should you drink to prevent dehydration, ensure proper bodily functions, and reap the benefits water has to offer?
How Much Water To Drink
Since your body is made up of around 60% water, it’s recommended that men maintain a range between 50-65%, and women between 45-60%. An easy way to figure out approximately how many ounces of water you should consume in a day would be to take your body weight in pounds, divide by 2.2, multiply based on your age (>30 multiply by 40, 30-55 multiply by 35, <50 multiply by 30), divide the sum by 28.3, and the total is how many ounces of water you should consume each day to fall within the correct levels. Divide that by 8 if you want to know how many cups!
So, the next time you have a headache, feel thirsty, tired, or you’re just looking a little rundown, try drinking some water. The results may surprise you!