The Case for Drinking More Water
Everybody knows it is important to drink enough water, but does that mean we actually do? There are a lot of people that mistakenly believe that drinking things such as coffee, soda, juice and tea can be a substitute for drinking plain water. However, it doesn’t even come close to measuring up with pure water for keeping you hydrated and healthy. Water is the original and best.
If you take a measure of different populations, from newborns to the obese, the average normal body hydration would be about 60%. That is how much water our bodies are made up of and why it is an essential component of your health.
To give you a better idea of how important water is, you might survive a month without food but will most likely die after about a week without water. Because water can transport nutrients and oxygen to your cells and organs, your body is able to absorb the nutrients and salts better. Water also helps detoxify your body, a very important process to get rid of impurities. Through urine and sweat, both dependent upon water, you excrete these impurities. Increased water consumption can also help reduce the risk of kidney stone formation. Kidney stones can form when the concentration of salt in our urine is high and water content is low due to lack of intake. Drinking more water means the concentration of salts is reduced when the kidneys filter the waste products through the blood and out via urination.
Especially during the summertime, you may be at a higher risk of sunstroke if you body becomes dehydrated. The body cools itself by sweating. If you are dehydrated it is unable to sweat and can overheat, damaging internal organs.
Poor water intake may also be associated with high blood pressure. Blood vessels will constrict when there is less than optimal amounts of liquid in our body which will cause an increase in blood pressure. This can lead to heart disease due to the strain placed on the heart by compensating for the reduced volume of blood. Consuming more water and a lower blood pressure helps lower the stress on the heart.
What’s more, drinking more water can help keep you looking younger. Drinking a lot of water helps keep the skin clean and fresh-looking by removing impurities through sweating. Water also helps to keep the skin hydrated, which means younger looking skin – sagging and wrinkled skin is usually a sign of dehydration. Drinking water also helps cut hunger pains and acts as a good filler.
For some, increasing water intake seems like a chore. Adding lemon or mint to your water bottle may help by giving it some taste. Try to eat more fruits rich in water such as watermelon, and try to drink water more regularly over the course of the day. At the minimum, I recommend drinking half of your body weight in ounces per day. For example, I weigh about 200 lbs. so I would divide that in half, giving me 100, and drink that many ounces of water throughout the day. It helps if you have a container, such as a water bottle or cup with marks, that tells you how many ounces it contains. Keeping something like this near you during the day has been shown to increase water consumption without effort.