Water ~ essential to life
In time, and with water, everything changes ~Leonardo da Vinci
Are you drinking enough water ? And no---water in your coffee does not count! In fact - coffee is a diuretic - so you need even MORE water to replace what your coffee has caused you to eliminate - but that's a whole other blog for another day!
I'm talking pure water - not tainted with artificial flavors, colors and added sugar. Pure sweet water.
Water is critical for organ function, carrying nutrients to your cells and flushing toxins.
60% of an adult human is water - and if you want to break it down even further - consider the following information by H.H. Mitchell in the Journal of Biological Chemistry 158 the brain and heart are 73% water, the skin 64%, muscles ad kidneys are 79%. The lungs are 83% and even the bones contain a whopping 31%!
So does this make you WANT to drink more water ? I hope so!
Being well hydrated can provide the very life source for essential bodily functions.
Water forms saliva - which aids in digestion. Without adequate saliva, you are unable to adequately break down your food, or moisten it to create a "food bolus" to ease swallowing. Saliva contains the enzyme amylase which breaks some starches into maltose and dextrin - thereby starting the digestion process in the mouth.
Water keeps the mucous membranes moist from your digestive tract to your reproductive tract - lungs and urinary tract. It can affect the PH balance in your vagina and bladder.
It can reduce the production of kidney stones - if you are prone.
It is required in the brain to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters. Basically imperative for your internal computer to function!
It acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord, and lubricates joints.
It helps deliver oxygen throughout the body and contributes to cell growth, reproduction and survival.
It regulates body temperature (sweating and respiration) and flushes the body waste and toxins - mainly via urine.
It transports metabolized key nutrients from food throughout the body. It improves skin complexion, boosts immunity and reduces / prevents cramps and sprains.
Water can increase physical performance. Given that your muscles are almost 80% water - maintaining good hydration helps reduce oxidative stress during an intense workout, or when exposed to high heat. Dehydration can reduce performance, reduce motivation, increase fatigue and make exercise feel more difficult. Losing as little as 2% of your body water content can cause a noticeable affect - and athletes can easily lose up to 6-10%. (through sweating and increased respiration).
Good hydration can be noticeable in your brain function as well as mood and energy level. Being dehydrated can impair many aspects of your brain function, contribute to anxiety and poor mood, as well as affect your memory and concentration. In some instances - dehydration can cause a headache or migraine. Drinking water can alleviate a headache.
Did you know that consuming water can contribute to weight loss? It increases metabolism and total energy expended. As well, water provides satiety which can prevent you from snacking too much or eating larger portions. And if you drink cold water - your body burns more calories heating it to body temperature. That's an easy answer to promoting weight loss!
And lets not forget how water can help a hangover! If you think you'll be out enjoying a few alcoholic beverages - drinking a glass of water between each drink and one big glass full before bed helps replace the hydration that alcohol eliminates!
So how exactly do you know if you are dehydrated?
-If you're thirsty - you are already dehydrated
-poor urine output
-urine darker than clear to pale yellow.
What can you do to optimize hydration?
- keep a BPA free reusable water bottle with you and be sure to replenish it throughout the day. I find an insulated bottle works well to keep my water cold!
-if you need reminders - place elastic bands around your bottle and every time you fill it, move a band close to the bottom - this way you can track your water intake
-consider drinking half your body weight in ounces (eg 140 lbs = 70 ounces water)
-Be sure to drink a whole bottle of water when working out - or in high heat
-set an alarm hourly to remind you to drink water
-Drink a glass full when you first get up - and right before bed
-Have a glass of water 30 minutes before meals to increase satiety (drinking water with a meal dilutes digestive enzymes and decreases absorption of nutrients - a few sips with a meal is fine. Hold off drinking for 30 mins after a meal as well)
-Add "flavor" to your water with cucumber -mint- lemon - lime - berry etc (avoid artificial flavors)
-increase your intake of water containing foods such as pineapple, watermelon, tomato, celery, cucumber, cantaloupe.
As with any suggestions - this blog is written for information purposes only, and does not replace medical advice. Always check with a professional to determine if increasing water intake is safe for you!