The Importance of Hydration:
Being properly hydrated is important to so many facets of life. Water makes up 60 percent of your total body weight, and a startling 90 percent of brain weight. Adequate hydration is essential for your body to function at all, and for optimal performance, we need even more water! We are constantly told of how important water is and how we all need to drink more of it, so why are 75% of adults chronically dehydrated? We know water consumption is important, but here are a few reasons why proper hydration is important:
- Water regulates the body.
Water helps to regulate our internal body temperature. With ever-changing climates, body-temperature regulation is one of the most important functions of life. Water also lubricates and cushions our joints, along with protecting our spinal cord and soft tissues. Without enough water, our bodies become prone to injury when exercising and even when performing everyday activities. Not getting enough water, or dehydration, can cause unclear thinking, result in mood change, cause your body to overheat, and lead to constipation and kidney stones.
- Water boosts energy, cognitive functioning, and mood.
Water delivers nutrients to all our cells, especially our muscle cells. This postpones fatigue and helps with recovery. Water plays an important role in our brain’s functions also. Even slight dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can result in a loss of concentration and memory processes. Water also helps to get rid of toxins and dead cells within the brain, while also balancing chemical processes in the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. This leads to an uplifted mood.
- Water helps with weight regulation.
Water makes us feel fuller longer. Many times, the feeling of “hunger” is an initial sign of dehydration. Considering water adds no calories, we can manage our caloric intake better. Aside from the nutritional value, water aids in physical exercise. Whether it is training for the Olympics, or simply taking a stroll through the park, without water, the body cannot perform. Simply put, if our health is a priority, then water consumption needs to be a major focus.
- Water makes us beautiful (no, seriously!)
Water hydrates our skin, leading to less wrinkles and blemishes. Water can also help promote collagen production, which improves the appearance of our skin. Hydration also flushes toxins out of our system, leading to improved kidney functions. The combination of exercise and proper water intake will leave you glowing!
The Bottom Line:
Water intake affects every part of our life, in a positive way. The old adage of “drink 8 glasses a day” isn’t enough. Adults should be drinking between 2.5 – 4 liters of water each day, and that number only increases with physical exercise or hot climates. Simply waiting until the feeling of thirst hits is not enough. Do not just take our word for it, try it! Drink more water, eat more water-rich foods, and feel the difference! Your mind and body will thank you for it.