Adopting a few simple steps can go a long way in keeping your health at its best. One of the easiest ways of staying healthy is by drinking plenty of water every day. You can never overstate the need for water. The amount of water you consume daily plays a very important role in maintaining a healthy body. Our body is composed of 70% water and nearly all the aspect of our body requires fluid for proper functioning. It makes up the medium that helps the cells to communicate with each other.
The bodily fluids aid in digestion, circulation, transportation of nutrients, creation of saliva and maintenance of body temperature. Fluid loss occurs constantly from our skin, through evaporation, breathing, urine and stool. Hence, it is very important to replace the large amount of water lost daily. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition when you do not have enough water in the body. Even a mild hydration can drain the energy, making you lethargic.
Composition of water in human body:
- The muscles consist of 75% water
- Bones consist of 22% water
- Blood consists of 83% water and
- Brains consist of 90%.
What type of water is best?
These days you get variety even in water. There is flavored water, vitamin water, bottled water and tap water. The best one is water filtered through a reverse osmosis system. Get a high-grade filter installed in your kitchen. Any other form of regular water is much better than a soda. Avoid vitamins and flavored water if you are on weight loss diet as they contain added sugars.
How much water you need in a day:
Your water consumption depends on several factors. Some include:
1. Physical activities:
Exercise and workout causes you to sweat, so you need to consume excess water to compensate for the fluid loss.
Hot and humid climate makes you all sweaty, so you might need to increase your fluid intake. Greater altitude may increase urination and rapid breathing, which takes up much of your fluid reserves. Therefore, people residing in higher altitudes need to drink plenty of water.
3. Medical conditions:
People suffering from fever, diarrhea and vomiting may require to consume additional fluid.
Pregnant and breast feeding women may require additional fluids to stay hydrated. Pregnant women should drink 2.3 liters of water, while lactating women need 3.1 liters of water every day.
Benefits of water:
1. Stomach disorder:
An adequate supply of water will improve the functionality of the gastrointestinal tract. Water purifies the colon and enables the stomach to absorb all the nutrients properly. It flushes out all the unnecessary toxins and wastes from the body. While drinking water in empty stomach, make sure you do not eat anything for a while. Water also boosts the metabolism, helping the food consumed to break down properly.
2. Control calories:
Dieters usually drink loads of water as a weight loss strategy. Water in an excellent substitute for sugar laden, high calorie beverage. Choosing a non-caloric beverage over a caloric beverage combined with a diet rich in water-based foods will help to reduce your calorie intake. Foods that contain high levels of water require more chewing and get absorbed quickly in the body, keeping you full.
3. Energize muscles:
Keeping yourself hydrated is very important when exercising. People should drink about 17 ounces of water about two hours before exercising. Also, drink water at regular intervals while working out to replace the fluids lost by sweating. Drinking water also relieves fatigue due to the workout.
4. Younger skin:
Do you want to look young and beautiful without resorting to Botox? Then drink 2 liters of water every day. Dehydration makes the skin dry and wrinkled. This can be improved by taking adequate amounts of water every day. Water moisturizes the skin, replenishes the skin’s tissues and increases its elasticity. This will prevent the occurrence of soft lines, acne, scars and other ageing symptoms. Water helps to combat skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, wrinkles and spots. It also flushes out the toxins and improves circulation, keeping the face clear and glowing.
5. Kidney function:
Blood urea nitrogen is a major toxin present in our body. This water-soluble waste can only be excreted through the urine. Water enables the kidney to do its job of cleansing and ridding the body of toxins. It dilutes the salt and minerals in the urine that form solid crystals known as kidney stones. Kidney stones are a lot less likely to form in diluted urine. Not getting enough fluids can increase the odor of urine as the kidney traps extra fluid for bodily functions.
6. Maintain bowel function:
Adequate hydration can alleviate the symptoms of constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Not getting enough fluid leads the colon to pull water from stool for maintaining hydration. This results in constipation. Fluids, along with fiber rich food will act as a colon-clearing agent, keeping your bowel functioning properly.
7. Mental health:
Drinking adequate amounts of water improves the thinking, focus and concentration power. Our brain needs oxygen to function at the optimum levels. Water ensures that the body’s electrolyte levels remain high, making one more alert.
8. Weight loss:
Water is the only liquid on earth that can help you reduce weight. A regular drinking water contains no fat, calories or carbohydrates. So, you can consume as much as you want without the fear of gaining point. Water is a natural appetite suppressant. It reduces the food intake by making a small room in your tummy if eaten prior to meals. It removes the byproducts of fat, preventing its build up. Drinking cold water also increases metabolism in the body, aiding you burn calories.
9. Immune system:
Drinking plenty of water can help strengthen the immune system. A healthy immune system will help the body fight ailments and diseases, cancer, flu and even heart attack more efficiently.
10. Heart health:
A study conducted in the Loma Linda University in California found that people who drink enough water daily are less likely to have a heart attack. Lack of water in the body forces the heart to make extra effort to pump fresh oxygenated blood to our organs.
Studies have suggested that drinking substantial amounts of water every day can reduce the risk of bladder and colon cancer. Water dilutes the concentration of cancer causing agent in the urine, preventing their occurrence.
12. PH levels:
Our body needs pH range of seven to function at its best. Drinking enough water throughout the day will help to maintain this balance easily.
Drinking plenty of water every day can significantly reduce the intensity of headache and migraine. Dehydration is one of the major causes of migraines. Drinking sufficient amount of water keeps the body hydrated, relieving you from migraine and other headaches.
14. Improves the mood:
Water can improve the mood. It sends positive signals to the brain, which ultimately boosts the mood, keeping you happy from within.
15. Regulates body temperature:
Water is essential for regulating the body’s temperature. The thermal properties of water release heat from the body when the sweat evaporates, maintaining the body temperature throughout the day. A well-regulated body temperature will keep you more energetic while performing the exercises. It also keeps the muscles and joints lubricated, preventing cramps and sprains.
16. Prevents cold:
Washing your hands with warm water and soap will keep away all the germs. Make sure you dry your hands properly after washing, as wet hands can increase the spread of bacteria. While using an electric hair dryer, do not rub both the hands together.
Our brain is composed of 90% of water. Dehydration can affect both mind and body. It can make you feel angry, confused and even depressed. To keep the stress levels down, keep a bottle of water with yourself and sip regularly. A warm water bath will provide you relief from stress. Add some essential oil the bathtub to make the skin silky smooth. Apply the moisturizer immediately after taking the bath to lock in moisture.
18. Build muscles:
Drinking water also makes the muscles strong. Water carries oxygen to the cells of the body, including the muscles. This enables the muscles to work longer and harder before they feel tired. This, in turn, will help you build and tone the muscles.
19. Bad breath:
Bad breath is often caused due to insufficient water intake. Water removes the bacteria and food particles stuck between the teeth, combating bad breath.
Drinking excess amounts of water can lead to a condition called hypernatremia. It happens when the kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water. This leads to the dilution of the electrolyte, which results in low sodium levels in the body. Marathon runners and athletes are at a higher risk of hypernatremia.
Tips to increase your water intake:
- Keep a bottle of water at your desk, car, in the bag and near bedside table.
- Have water with every snack and meal. Having water in between will also keep you from over eating.
- Drink water before, during and after exercise.