It’s one of the very best things you can do for your health!
Water. There’s no liquid on earth that’s more important for human health, bar none. Water has so many amazing health benefits that a single blog article could never do it justice (but we’re sure going to try!).
Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you’ve probably heard many, many times in your life that “water is essential”. You’ve probably heard that you should drink 64 ounces of water a day, that you should “stay hydrated” and a plethora of other platitudes that are spouted about water here, there, and everywhere.
The thing is, they’re all true. Water is the stuff of life itself, the liquid of the gods. Don’t believe us? Well then, get this; you can go without a scrap of food for almost 3 weeks before you go to the great beyond but, if you run out of water, you’ll be dead within 3 or 4 days.
In this article, Top Tips On Why and How To Stay Hydrated, we’re going to take a closer look at why water is so important and, more importantly, how you can stay hydrated wherever you go and whatever you’re doing. So grab a tall glass of refreshing liquid gold, thank the gods that you have plenty of fresh water to drink, and let’s get started!
Why Is Water So Important For Your Health?
Water plays a vital role in practically every system and organ of the human body. For example, water carries nutrients to every cell in your body and also carries oxygen to your brain. Using water your body can assimilate minerals, vitamins and glucose and also flush out waste and toxins.
Like oil lubricates a car engine, water lubricates your joints and muscles and keeps them loose and flexible. Water also regulates your body temperature, helps you digest your food and help keep your brain healthy and active.
Water also helps you maximize your physical performance and gives you strength, endurance and more power. It prevents constipation, helps you lose weight and helps your body to fight off a wide range of chronic illnesses.
In short, your body depends on water for so many different things that losing it would be akin to the earth losing the sun. You would wither away and die within days without it.
Indeed, a lack of water is contributing to the massive health crisis here in the United States. Not that we don’t have enough (thank goodness we still do, mostly) but that people just don’t drink enough water. The average American has replaced water with fruit juice, milk, alcohol, and worst of all, soft drinks.
Why Do You Need To Drink Water All the Time?
Many folks wonder why they’re told to drink water all the time and “stay hydrated”. Unlike, say, a camel that can store water in its hump (it’s true!) your body can’t store any water at all. If you don’t drink it regularly, you’ll use it all up, dehydrate and quickly drop dead.
When you consider that all humans lose water every day through sweating, urinating, pooping and even breathing, you can see why health experts are always saying to drink more. If you’re like us and you exercise regularly, you need to drink even more water to stay healthy and keep your body properly hydrated and lubricated.
And check this out; the average person is made up of 60% water! If you weigh 100 pounds, 60 of those pounds are water! About 83% of it is found, surprisingly, in your lungs, and the rest is in your bones.
A bit is also found in the intervertebral discs (IVD) in your spine. That’s why, as you get older, you get shorter, because your IVDs dehydrate and shrink as they lose water! (It’s also why astronauts come back from space taller because, while they’re there, their IVDs soak up water like a sponge and get thicker!)
What Happens When You Don’t Drink Enough Water?
Sadly, the United Nations estimates that, every year, 420,000 people die around the world because of a lack of clean drinking water.
Interestingly, the feeling of thirst that we humans have is one of our most important survival instincts. The hypothalamus is where the ‘thirst center’ of the brain is located and, if your body falls below about 65% water, it alerts you to fill it up with more by making you thirsty.
So what happens when you don’t drink enough water? Well, besides the dying part (if you stop completely) a lot of other things would happen (and none of them would be pleasant). They include:
- Your brain would dehydrate and shrink, making simple tasks more difficult and also affecting your mood and energy level.
- You would likely over-eat. When your body is thirsty because you haven’t been drinking enough water, it can sometimes get confused and make you feel hungry rather than thirsty.
- Your pee would turn a dark, yellow color. The reason this happens is that, when your body doesn’t have enough water, it tries to conserve it by holding it in the blood. Since it’s not being flushed out in your urine, it turns a darker color.
- You can have a lot of joint pain. We mentioned earlier that water is used as a joint lubricant and, if you don’t drink enough, your joints will begin to dry out and become very painful.
- Your eyes will hurt and your head will hurt also. Headaches are a common occurrence in folks who don’t drink enough water and dry eyes as well.
How Much Water Does Your Body Need Every Day?
For eons, humans were able to drink enough water because their body told them when they needed it via their perception of thirst.
Today, however, many folks drink so many other unhealthy liquids and eat so many unhealthy foods that their sense of thirst has been thrown completely off-kilter. Fact is, millions of people are dehydrated and don’t even know it! Many of them are suffering from illnesses and diseases that could be helped immensely simply by drinking more water.
According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the amount of water men and women need to intake (drink and/or get from foods) is:
- About 93 ounces or 12 cups or 3 liters for the average woman
- About 128 ounces or 16 cups or 4 liters for the average man
Please note that these figures have been rounded to the nearest whole numbers and the actual amounts would vary slightly. (Also note that, unless you’re a scientist in a lab, it doesn’t matter even a tiny bit.)
Tips On How To Stay Hydrated
By now you should have a grasp on why water is so incredibly important to your health and why you need to drink as much of this liquid gold as possible. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best tips on how to stay hydrated at all times.
Tip 1- Drink Water As Soon as You Wake Up
What many people do is set a glass of water on their night table or close by so that, as soon as they wake up, they can drink a nice tall glass of it. It’s a great way to start your day, get your GI tract moving, lubricate your joints and give you a burst of energy. Also, if you drink a glass of cold water from the refrigerator, it can help you lose weight because your metabolism will go into overdrive to warm the water up.
Tip 2- Spice Things Up
Let’s be honest, some people simply don’t like the taste of water, or lack thereof. If that’s you, you can always throw in a splash of your favorite juice, or squeeze in some lemon or lime juice. Drinking coffee isn’t a bad way to get your water as long as you don’t overdo it. (It’s also a nootropic!)
Tip 3- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that are loaded with water
The water you put in your body doesn’t have to come in a glass. In fact, approximately 20% of the water that most of us get every day comes from our food. Some of the best fruits and vegetables as far as water content is concerned include:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Cucumber (The number 1 water food!)
Tip 4- Keep a pitcher of cold water in the refrigerator at all times
Many folks enjoy water more when it’s cold so keeping a pitcher of cold water in your fridge is a great idea. It’ll be cold and ready to drink at a moment’s notice.
Tip 5- Purchase a Reusable Water Bottle and Take it Wherever You Go
This tip is meant to help you drink more water and also save the planet from the inundation of plastic that we are facing today. (Recycle! Go green!) It’s so much easier to purchase a reusable water bottle, fill it at home and take it with you wherever you go. There are plenty of options out there, including insulated bottles that will keep your water cold all day.
Tip 6- Set a Timer
If you’re constantly forgetting to drink enough water, you might consider simply setting a timer on your smartphone and, when it goes off, getting up and drinking a glass of liquid life!
Water, Water Everywhere, So Get Yourself a Sip!
Water is an indispensable part of life and, truly, makes the world livable. Staying hydrated all the time is one of the very best things that you can do for your overall health both physically and mentally.
Did this article make you thirsty? Hopefully, it did and also answered all of your questions about why water, and staying hydrated, are so vitally important.
If you have any questions, would like some advice or want to leave us a fun or interesting story that you have about water, please do, we’d love to share it with our readers!