The Healthy Wonders of Water
Your body depends on water for survival. Did you know that water makes up more than half of your body weight? Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. Water is essential for good health.
Here are 6 reasons to make sure you are drinking enough water every day:
Water is the best option for staying hydrated
- Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids. Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
- Water Can Help Control Calories. While water doesn't have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help. Foods with high water content tends to look larger, its higher volume requires more chewing, and it is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel full. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.
- Water Helps Energize Muscles. Drinking enough fluids is important when exercising. Cells that don't maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. When muscle cells don't have adequate fluids, they don't work as well and performance can suffer.
- Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good. Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. Dehydration makes your skin look dry and wrinkled; this can be improved with proper hydration.
- Water Helps Your Kidneys. Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate. Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine. Also, if you chronically drink too little, you may be at higher risk for kidney stones.
- Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function. Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation. When you don't get enough fluid the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration -- and the result is constipation.
. And for most people, water is all that is needed to maintain good hydration. Water can also be found in fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, tomatoes and lettuce, and in soup broths. You lose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. You lose water even faster when the weather is really hot, when you exercise, or if you have a fever. Vomiting and diarrhea can also lead to rapid fluid loss. If you don't replace the water you lose, you can become dehydrated.
Symptoms of dehydration include:
- Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual.
- Dry mouth
- Sleepiness or fatigue
- Extreme thirst
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- No tears when crying
Don't wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to act. Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water. There are different recommendations for water intake each day. Most people have been told they should be drinking 6 to 8 eight ounce glasses of water each day, which is a reasonable goal. However, different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. Most healthy people can stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty.
Have you had your water today?