The human body consists of approximately 60% water. Every organ relies on water to operate optimally. Without adequate water balance in the body, we may experience dehydration which causes fatigue, alack of focus and suboptimal organ function. On the flip side, there are so many benefits of drinking the adequate amount of water. And no, coffee doesn’t count 🙂
How much should you drink, you ask? –> The “rule of thumb” for a healthy individual is at least 30-35 mL per kg of bodyweight (divide pounds of bodyweight by 2.2 to get kilograms of bodyweight, then multiply by 30 and 35 to get a range).
Example: A person who weighs 150 pounds should drink at least 2,045-2386 mL/day. That equates to 69-79ounces/day, about 5- 16.8oz Poland spring bottles, or just under 10- 8oz glasses of water.
Water facilitates the absorption of water-soluble vitamins including all the B- vitamins and vitamin C. These specific vitamins (B’s especially) are involved in energy production and utilization in the body. A general side effect of dehydration is fatigue, in part due to this.
Like any other tissue in the body, skin is made up of many cells which rely on water to maintain proper function. Without adequate water, skin may appear wilted, thinned and “tired.” Want to improve your complexion? Try drinking enough water consistently for 4 weeks!
The digestive system needs water to properly digest food and make make material to excrete (a.k.a poop). For example, when protein is digested, it goes through a metabolic process called hydrolysis. This means the reaction needs water in order to break it down for absorption. Also, when fiber is consumed, it NEEDS water to move through the intestines. As it moves through, water is absorbed. If not enough is present- constipation is likely.
The kidneys are responsible for filtering toxins out of the blood to be excreted in urine. Water is necessary to allow urine to flow freely. If there is not enough water, the kidneys are told to retain the water for other bodily functions, and the urine will be more concentrated with toxins with a deeper yellow tone.
I am sure everyone has heard the saying “if you’re hungry, you might just be thirsty.” Many times, this may be true! Water has a way of both filling you up, and setting your hormones and hunger cues straight so that you can determine the degree of true hunger. In addition, water allows the absorption of many vital vitamins that are required for a healthy metabolism.
Dehydration has been shown to significantly increase the chances of delayed onset muscle soreness (D.O.M.S). Many sources say that water helps to “flush out the soreness” that may develop over time. So, next time you gear up for a tough workout, guzzle in some water, before and after!
Water is an important component of the fluid and “cushion” that allows joints to operate optimally. Overtime, dehydration may contribute to increased pain in knees, elbows, etc.
Some common symptoms of dehydration are mental confusion, depression and emotional instability. As dehydration fatigues the body, the brain goes along with it. Proper hydration allows optimal nerve conduction, focus, and energy.
The primary cause of bad breath is a build up of bacteria and food particles in the mouth. Drinking water helps to wash this away. So, instead of gum or mouthwash, try drinking more water throughout the day consistently!