- Hello Again
- It’s Really Is A Case Of ‘Hydrate Or Die’
- Why Water Is So Critical – Here Are Some Facts
- Factors That Determine How Much Water We Should Drink
- So, How Much Actual Water Should You Drink?
- Is It Possible To Consume Too Much Water?
- What If You Only Have One Kidney
- You Feel Hungry But You May Actually Be Thirsty
- 16 Critical Reasons To Drink Water Daily For Health
- 1. Water Improves Your Kidney Function
- 2. Water Aids in Digestion and Correct Bowel Function
- 3. Water Increases the Energy in Your Muscles
- 4. Water Helps to Regulate Your Body Temperature
- 5. Water Is A Main Component of Saliva
- 6. Water Is Essential for Nutrient Absorption
- 7. Your Brain Needs Hydration to Function Correctly
- 8. Good Hydration Can Directly Affect Your Mood
- 9. Being Well Hydrated Helps to Look After Your Skin
- 10. Water Can Boost Your Energy Level
- 11. Water Helps To Prevent Kidney Stones From Forming
- 12. Water Can Help Avoid Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s)
- 13. Water Can Help Lower the Risk of Bladder Cancer
- 14. Water Aids Your Cardiovascular Health
- 15. Water Can Help With Weight Loss
- 16. Water Lubricates and Cushions Your Joints
Hands up if you KNOW you don’t drink enough water each day…yeah, I can see from here…me too!
Many of us make the effort, one glass today, maybe another two tomorrow. We know it should be 8 glasses a day, right?
So, in this post, I want to try and set the record straight about how much we should drink daily. Also, highlight 16 reasons why water is critical for your health.
It’s Really Is A Case Of ‘Hydrate Or Die’
But it’s hard. Water has no flavor and we’re all addicted to flavor. Plus, we have to carry it around, and it’s nicer to sit in a café with friends and drink anything but water.
A glass of water on the side maybe, in order to…you know, wash down the coffee or vino!
The problem is that water consumption is essential for life…literally, and we need much more than most of us consume. I’m as guilty as everyone else.
Too much coffee and not enough water…and I really should know better as I only have one kidney. Yeah, I know…really, really stupid!
Sometimes I think we can take water for granted, and yet every organism on our planet needs water to survive…even the smallest creatures like these little wasps drinking raindrops on flower petals.
Water is so critical for life.
Why Water Is So Critical – Here Are Some Facts
We can last about 3 weeks without food, but only 3-4 days without water
Adult humans are 60% water, and our blood is 90% water
Babies are born 78% water, dropping to 65% by the age of 1 year
Water is essential to keep your cardiovascular system healthy
Water is absolutely essential to flush our kidneys daily
It maintains the balance of body fluids needed for digestion
Water is a component in every tissue, organ, and cell in our body
Water helps to flush toxins from our body via the kidneys
It helps your body excrete waste, via sweat, urine, and poop
It delivers important nutrients to our cells, particularly muscle cells
Water can seriously aid in weight loss
It helps prevent dehydration which is important for your skin health
Water even helps to regulate your mood
We constantly lose water through breathing, sweating, and digestion
Ok, you get the picture. It’s a huge component of what makes us function and we can’t survive without it. I have a new appreciation for water now. Not just something that comes out of the tap that we know we should drink!
Factors That Determine How Much Water We Should Drink
Believe it or not, despite the saying “drink 8 glasses of water per day”, the jury appears to be still out on exactly how much water we should drink each day.
That’s because it really depends on so many factors like age, level of fitness, physical exercise, climate, type of diet, medications, alcohol or coffee consumption, or whether you have been vomiting or had diarrhea due to illness or food poisoning.
Because there are so many variations, and some of your fluid intakes can come from foods and other beverages, the safe option is 4-6 cups per day. But how big is the cup?…
The Mayo Clinic says there is no specific recommendation on how much plain water each individual should drink. But there is a recommendation on how much overall fluid should be consumed for healthy body function.
So Here’s A Guide To Overall Fluid Consumption
Adult males aged 19-30: 3.7 liters (130 fl oz) up to 6 liters if active or in a warm climate.
Adult males aged 30 plus: 2.7 liters (95 fl oz) and up to 5 liters if active or in a warm climate
Adult female age 19-30: 2.7 liters (95 fl oz) up to 5 liters if active or in a warm climate.
Adult females aged 30 plus: 1.7 liters (57.5 fl oz) and up to 4 liters if active or in a warm climate.
Remember…these figures include liquid from ALL sources, not just water.
Obviously, if you’re super active, always playing a fast-paced sport, or living in a very hot climate then maybe follow the recommendations for the 19-30 group.
So, How Much Actual Water Should You Drink?
I have done a lot of research and no-one is definitive about this, other than giving the recommended overall liquid intake per day. Simply because we are all different and in different circumstances.
So, after research, it would appear that the “8 x 8oz glasses per day” which equates to just over 2 liters per day of actual water is pretty close to the mark for women.
For men, the research suggests 3 liters per day or 11 x 8oz glasses per day.
Other Sources Of Liquid Can Include:
Eating more soups and liquid-rich meals, such as curries, stews, and smoothies. Also, fruits and vegetables with high water contents.
Especially berries, grapes, melons, tomatoes, celery, lettuce, and cucumbers. Plus, drinking herbal teas and Green tea instead of coffee.
Learn To Listen To Your Body
You will start to understand if you need more based on the other contributing factors we have mentioned. Here’s a great recipe to help you drink more water each day. Great for weight loss and overall health.
- 250ml of cold water
- 1tsp of lemon juice concentred or quarter of a small lemon or lime.
- 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar (optional)
Also, try a glass of hot water with a teaspoon of lemon juice first thing in the morning.
Is It Possible To Consume Too Much Water?
Strange but true! There is such a thing as being over hydrated called Hyponatremia. This can place a load on your kidneys to try to deal with flushing an excess amount of liquid from your body.
You will suffer from low sodium levels leading to nausea, vomiting, and cramps. Also, excessive water consumption can upset the balance of your electrolytes causing muscle spasms and cramping.
Plus, working your poor kidneys that hard will activate your stress hormones, leaving you feeling tired and stressed.
Personally, I can’t see these situations happening in the average person, can you? We’re all usually pushing the boulder uphill just trying to make sure we consume an adequate amount per day. But it’s good to be aware of the risk.
What If You Only Have One Kidney
If like me you only have one kidney, it’s not recommended that you drink any more actual water than 1.5 – 1.8 maximum liters per day as any more can put your single kidney under too much stress. After all, the poor organ is trying to do the work of 2 kidneys.
Protect yourself from injury that may occur when playing high-contact sports or engaging in overly strenuous exercise.
There are some other considerations too, like avoid eating too much protein (such as a Paleo diet) and also limit your sodium consumption, as this requires extra work by the single kidney to remove these from your blood. Remember, you don’t have a ‘back-up’ so take special care of the one you have.
You Feel Hungry But You May Actually Be Thirsty
If you don’t drink water frequently enough, your body learns that you are not paying attention to being thirsty. It’s smart enough to know that it can get some hydration from food. So, it sends you the signal that you’re hungry.
The way you can tell the difference is simple
If you’ve not long eaten, chances are you’re not hungry so do your body a favor and give it some liquid…preferably water so it can hydrate without battling with sugar and other nasties before getting the beneficial liquid it obviously needs.
BTW, if you feel water is too tasteless and bland, why not add fruit and herbs to sparkling water and turn it into a Mocktail. Super refreshing and you’re getting your glass of water while feeling a little bit special!
After reading the following reasons why water is so important hopefully, you’ll feel sorry for your amazing body and treat it to hydration more regularly. I know I will.
So, without further ado…
16 Critical Reasons To Drink Water Daily For Health
1. Water Improves Your Kidney Function
Your kidneys are responsible for carrying waste and toxins out of the body via urine. The most toxic of these is blood urea nitrogen. A well-hydrated body will allow the kidneys to flush this effectively.
2. Water Aids in Digestion and Correct Bowel Function
After you drink, both the large and small intestines absorb water. This then moves into your bloodstream and is used to break down nutrients. Water is also needed to help you digest fiber and without it, you may become constipated.
3. Water Increases the Energy in Your Muscles
This is especially important during exercise. Without being adequately hydrated, the cells in your muscles can shrivel meaning your muscles won’t function.
Drinking a decent amount of water (15-17 fl oz) about 2 hours prior to exercise and continuing throughout, will make sure you replace the fluid loss from sweat.
4. Water Helps to Regulate Your Body Temperature
Because water can absorb and transfer heat very well, our body uses it to regulate its temperature via sweating. But we need to replenish it otherwise we will lose electrolytes and plasma if we become dehydrated.
5. Water Is A Main Component of Saliva
Saliva is essential for breaking down solid food and keeping our mouth healthy. The digestion process begins in our mouth due to enzymes in our saliva. As we age, we may produce less saliva leading to “dry mouth syndrome”. This can often be overcome by staying well hydrated.
6. Water Is Essential for Nutrient Absorption
In addition to starting the digestive process with saliva, water also helps to dissolve minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients from your food and carries these to other parts of your body for absorption.
7. Your Brain Needs Hydration to Function Correctly
Your brain is mostly water. Not being adequately hydrated can affect your short-term memory, focus, and alertness. People who complain of ‘fogginess’ and lack of concentration can often be dehydrated but not connect the two as being related.
8. Good Hydration Can Directly Affect Your Mood
If you are dehydrated, you may feel anxious, tired, confused, and suffer from headaches. If these affect you, before reaching for medication, try drinking a couple of glasses of water to see if that’s what your body was trying to tell you.
9. Being Well Hydrated Helps to Look After Your Skin
Dehydrated skin doesn’t bounce back when you pinch it. Yes, this can happen with age anyway, but keeping yourself hydrated may help promote collagen, as well as just being good for your health. Every bit helps right?
10. Water Can Boost Your Energy Level
Drinking water can activate your metabolism, giving you an energy boost. This will be particularly beneficial just before any form of physical exercise.
11. Water Helps To Prevent Kidney Stones From Forming
Your kidneys are critical to flush out toxins, and insufficient fluid can lead to the formation of kidney stones. This is due to a high concentration of minerals such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid.
These minerals can form crystals, which can stick together to form ‘stones’. Usually, with adequate water intake, these minerals are diluted and flushed before they have a chance to form the crystals.
12. Water Can Help Avoid Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s)
UTI’s are among the most common infections in women, particularly as we get older. Usually, they only involve the urethra and bladder in the lower tract…but can migrate to the upper tract and kidneys which is much more serious.
Often the bacteria that cause them are immune to antibiotics. Adequate and regular hydration can help to prevent this painful and potentially serious illness by allowing the body to flush the infection before it takes hold.
13. Water Can Help Lower the Risk of Bladder Cancer
Once again, water allows the body to break down harmful toxins and potential carcinogens and flush them out with bodily waste before they have a chance to develop into cancer.
Drinking boiled water in the form of herbal teas helps to remove any chlorine or arsenic found in some water supplies. Bladder Cancer is more common in men so keep an eye on urine color.
Clear to light yellow is normal. Dark yellow, brown, or strong-smelling urine is cause for concern and is worth investigating.
14. Water Aids Your Cardiovascular Health
Because water makes up a huge part of our blood (plasma is 90% water), dehydration causes your blood to become more concentrated. This can result in an imbalance of electrolyte minerals Sodium and Potassium, which are necessary for proper muscle and heart function.
You may also experience low blood volume leading to low blood pressure, leaving you feeling light-headed and at risk of fainting.
15. Water Can Help With Weight Loss
Water is a natural appetite suppressant. Drinking a glass of water before a meal will definitely leave less room for food. This will automatically result in you eating less, without feeling deprived.
Also, water helps the body metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates. It’s essential for burning off fat from food and drink. BUT, drinking water alone isn’t going to get all the weight off. So, consider it to be just one important piece of the weight-loss puzzle.
16. Water Lubricates and Cushions Your Joints
The Synovial Fluid that directly lubricates the cartilage and reduces inflammation around your joints, is made up mainly of water. This fluid reduces friction and helps to maintain healthy tissue.
There is mounting evidence that staying well hydrated can help to improve the health of our joints.
Hopefully, this post has given you a better understanding and appreciation for why we should drink water so regularly, and why we really can’t afford to ignore the huge role water plays in our survival on a day-to-day basis.
On a personal note, I’m grateful for every drop because overall, the world is getting less and less each year.
Here’s a post you may also like: 9 AWESOME ANTI-AGING SECRETS
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As always, I’d love to hear from you.