Water is required for life.
It is a natural resource that is required by every person to help satisfy our health-related needs. This includes our body composition, mental focus, sleep and recovery. It is evident that water is one of the key elements responsible for human life on earth and is vital for our survival. The human brain is composed of 95% water, lungs are 90%, blood is 83%, muscles are 76%, and bones are 22% water. These percentages are rigorous proof of the importance of H2O in our bodies to maintain favourable health. However, most people drink below their daily recommended quota. Even though people are aware of the health benefits of water, many fall short of the eight glasses a day, causing an alarming rise in the number of dehydrated individuals. In this article, we will explore the depths of knowledge on this important nutrient, objectively showing you the importance of water in your body.
The science behind hydration
When you take in water as fast as you lose it, you create a balance between the water reservoirs in the body. We remain sensitive to the water balance in our blood system, and are well equipped at replacing any daily fluids lost through bodily functions, including:
- Excretion: a person can lose a pint to several gallons of urine a day.
- Breathing: when we inhale, moisture is added to the air as it passes to our lungs. The humidified air is then lost, once we exhale and the amount of water lost depends on the levels of humidity of the air.
- Sweating: we lose a under a liter of water daily when it evaporates from the skin. This amount can increase dramatically when we sweat profusely due to vigorous workouts or high body temperature.
- Digestion: generally, we lose little water through the digestive track. However, in the case of severe diarrhoea and vomiting, a gallon or more can be lost.
Water consumption must balance water loss. If the body suffers through a water deficiency, the lymphatic system, the system that helps maintain fluid balance, makes sure essential cells stay hydrated at the cost of damage to less important ones, causing your body to perform less efficiently. Dehydration can cause a variety of symptoms including headaches, fatigue, lack of focus, dizziness, and in some severe cases, fainting.
Proper hydration does more than just quench your thirst. It has numerous benefits to your health.
How can I stay hydrated?
With people becoming more aware of their health, proper eating habits and exercise routines have become more significant than ever. Despite this, we are all guilty of occasionally overlooking our need for hydration. Here are some tips and tricks to get you sipping.
- Spice it up by adding natural flavors like herbs or fresh fruits.
- Eat your H2O. Eating water-rich foods is an effective way to increase your water intake. Make sure your grocery shopping list includes fruits and vegetables that have high water content. Some water rich foods include watermelon, zucchini, cucumber, grapefruits, strawberries, and lettuce.
- Install a water drinking app on your smartphone. There are numerous water monitoring apps available such as Waterlogged, Hydro Coach, and many more that you can download on your Android or iOS device to help you keep track of your daily H2O intake.
- Drink water before you get thirsty. Thirst is a sign that your body is already dehydrated. Therefore, to avoid arriving at this point, remember to sip water throughout the day.
How much water should I drink everyday?
There are various opinions on how much an individual's daily water intake should be, the most common being about two liters a day. However, many internal and external factors ultimately affect how much water one needs.
When is the optimal time to take in water?
There are certain times in the day that are best to hydrate to maximize the water's effectiveness on your body:
- After waking up to activate your internal body organs;
- Before taking a bath to lower blood pressure;
- Thirty minutes before eating to help in digestion and about an hour later to give the body time to absorb the food's nutrients;
- Before going to bed to account for any fluid loss as you sleep.
With these good hydration habits, you’ll have your metabolism running, energy up, digestion in check, and skin glowing.