Although the benefits of water and staying hydrated have been discussed by many experts, there are still some people who underestimate the importance of water for the human body. By weight, the human body is composed of more than 50% water and we need to consume it for the total function of the body and the brain. The brain is made up of about 95% water, blood about 85% water and the lungs 95% water. That’s a lot of water!
We need water and proper hydration for everything; from good digestion, kidney health to healthy skin and improved cognitive function. Drinking the right amount of water everyday has its benefits, but over-hydration can pose some issues. The quality and the quantity of the water you’re drinking is just as important as the kind of food you eat every day.
Just How Important Is Water To Human Health?
A person can last for a few weeks without food but can only last for a maximum of a week without water. A 2% drop in water intake can cause critical brain shrinkage. This shrinkage can cause decreased concentration, slow thinking and can impair neuro-muscular functions. A person without enough hydration can also experience decreased endurance, fatigue, slow muscular responses as well as cramps.
Common knowledge maintains that we have to drink around eight cups of water every day. This is well-meant advice, however, the Center For Disease disagrees with this mandate. They stated that water intake or hydration varies according to factors such as age, body weight, nutritional needs and activity level. Say for example a football player is playing under the sun for two hours. The player will need to take in more water to replenish himself than compared to an 80 year old reading a book in the shade. There should be a balance in the ratio of water intake to the amount of fluid your body is sweating out or excreting.
In most cases, we associate thirst with dehydration, but sometimes this is not an accurate way to gauge how hydrated you really are. There is a greater chance of knowing the level of your hydration through your urine color rather than your level of thirst. Light-colored urine means that your body is hydrated whereas dark or yellow urine means that you need to drink more. When in doubt, the eight cups rule will surely make a difference.
11 Little-Known Advantages Of Drinking Water
Aside from the benefits mentioned earlier, proper hydration can improve your life in many ways. Other benefits of proper hydration are listed below.
1. Weight Loss
Water is known to enhance metabolism and to help a person feel full. A glass of cold water in the morning can help to cleanse the body of toxins, and it will also require the body to burn more energy and calories to get warm. According to the report presented at the National Meeting Of The American Chemical Society, adults who drink a cup of water before breakfast, lunch and dinner help lower the calorie intake by up to 90 calories. A decrease in water means an increase of fat deposits in the body.
Dehydration also lowers the efficiency of the kidneys. If the body has low water content, salts will build up which can affect the kidneys and result in kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
2. Proper Hydration Can Keep A Person Looking Young
Fresh grapes look plump, sweet and juicy because of their natural water content. A dehydrated grape (a raisin), although sweet, are dark, wrinkled and only contain a little amount of water. If you want to look younger longer, you have to properly hydrate your body. Water helps in making your skin plump, soft, smooth and promotes a lackluster complexion. Drinking eight cups of water everyday can help make the skin look and feel healthy. If your work or exercise requires you to go out in the sun, put on a good amount of sun block.
3. If You Don’t Drink, You Die
It’s that simple. If you have no water in your body or if your not properly hydrated, you will die. Depending on your environment or location, the human body can only last a few days up to a week with no water. The body can last longer without food because it can use body fats as energy reserves. Water is a different matter; you need to prioritise body hydration in order to be healthy.
4. Water Provides A Great Energy Boost
Dehydration can make you feel weak and fatigued. Without enough water in your body, you’re as good as a withering plant slowly fading away. Water helps to make your blood hold its consistency and enhances oxygen transportation and absorption. Plus, your heart will not work as hard if your body has enough water.
5. Proper Hydration Can Help Build Muscle
Proper hydration is not just about water; hydration should also come from the food you eat. Vegetables and fruits contain water, vitamins, minerals and essential fibers that helps in muscle building. Plus, water is an effective transporter of oxygen, which the muscles need whenever you’re working, doing exercises and other activities that require muscle energy. If muscles have an ample of amount of oxygen, they can work longer and in turn help you build them further.
6. Water Shrinks Pores
Some skin irritations, especially acne, can be caused by makeup seeping into the skin pores. You can prevent this by splashing cold water onto your face before applying makeup. Cold water naturally closes skin pores which helps in trapping the natural moisture and preventing any make up from seeping in under your skin.
7. Proper Hydration Helps To Maintain Good Muscle Tone
Muscles are primarily made of water, thus the lack of water or lack of proper hydration will prevent the muscles from contracting properly, which reduces muscle tone. Improper contraction can also lead to cramps and injuries. By increasing your water intake through the foods you eat or through water intake itself, you will prevent the mentioned issues.
8. Proper Hydration Is Also Good For The Joints
One of the little-known benefits of proper hydration is that it’s very good for the joints. Water helps the joints stay strong. Just like mechanical hinges, joints need to be lubricated to function properly. Well-lubricated joints can prevent any pain and enhances smooth movements in the wrists.
9. Water Can Enhance Your Mood
Dehydration can not only make you thirsty, it can also make you irritable. Over a long period of time, dehydration can be the cause of depression, anger and confusion. Longer periods of dehydration can impair normal brain functions including spatial relations.
10. Hydration Is The Key To Preventing Pimple Breakouts
If you’re having issues with acne breakouts, you can prevent it or reduce it from happening by drinking hot lemon water every morning. This reduces the bacteria in your system and helps reduce the acne breakout. Drinking more water in general can be a great way to clear up your skin.
11. Proper Hydration Reduces The Chances Of Developing Chronic Diseases
Diabetes, colon cancer, bladder cancer and kidney disease can be prevented by practicing good hydration. The chances of developing colon cancer can be be decreased by 45% and bladder cancer can be reduced by 50%. Proper hydration is also known to reduce the development of kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
Water keeps us alive, do not underestimate its importance. Drink up!