Most people are well aware of the fact that they need to drink water, but have you ever stopped and wondered, “Why?” If you haven’t, you are now, so here are six important reasons you need to be drinking plenty of water every day.
Water and the Human Body
Your body by weight is more than half water. In fact, water is a component in every tissue, organ, and cell in your body. Likewise, most chemical reactions in the body require water. This includes digestion, metabolism, and breathing. Intestines and kidneys cannot effectively rid your body of waste without adequate hydration. To put it mildly, life could not go on without water in some form – your body simply could not function.
You can think of water as a nutrient your body needs. It is present in other liquids, water itself, as well as foods. Each of these forms of water are essential to replace the large amounts of water you lose daily. Fluid loss occurs through evaporation, respiration, urination, and defecation. To maintain a high level of health, you need to replenish this loss daily.
According to the CDC, drinking water is essential for optimal health. Proper hydration prevents constipation, mood swings, kidney stones, and overheating.
If your intake is not equal to your output of water, you’ll become dehydrated. Several factors can cause fluid loss. This includes warm or dry climates, vigorous exercise, high altitude, illnesses such as diarrhea, and even age. But what are the specific ways water serves your body?
Here are six answers to ‘why it’s important to drink water every day‘ …
1. Maintain Your Balance of Fluids
Water is a component of all the fluids in your body. These fluids aid in digestion, absorption, circulation, salivation, and transportation of nutrients. They also help regulate body temperature. Your brain communicates with your kidneys to control how much fluid you release as urine or retain as reserves in your body. If you are low on fluids, your brain will trigger your thirst mechanism. If ignored, you become dehydrated. You can then experience negative side effects. Here in Colorado, dehydration can be a major contributor to altitude sickness.
2. Control Your Calorie Intake
Water has always been a component of a healthy diet. Water doesn’t have calories. Thus, it is a better hydrating choice than high-caloric beverages to reduce calories. Likewise, food that has a high water content tend to looks larger and keep you fuller than low water foods. These high water foods include fruits, veggies, soups with a broth base, oatmeal, and beans.
3. Increase Energy in Your Muscles
Cells shrivel when lacking fluids and electrolytes. This contributes to muscle fatigue. Without adequate fluids, the muscles don’t work as well. Drinking enough fluid when you are exercising is important. According to the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines, drink at least 17 fluid ounces about two hours before exercise. Then begin drinking fluids early and drink them at regular intervals. This will offset any fluid your body is losing in the form of sweat.
4. Maintain Healthy Skin
Your skin is also largely made up of water and acts as a barrier to prevent fluid loss from your body. Proper hydration isn’t a miracle wrinkle remover. But dehydrated skin is more wrinkled and dry. Make sure you are providing your body with adequate hydration, and your kidneys will do the rest.
5. Improve Your Kidney Function
Your fluids assist in carrying the waste products out of your cells. The most aggressive toxicant in your body is blood urea nitrogen. This component is a water-soluble waste that normally passes through the kidneys to be eliminated through urine. As long as you are adequately hydrated, your kidneys typically do an effective job at cleansing and ridding your body of toxins.
Your fluids assist in carrying the waste products out of your cells. The most aggressive toxicant in your body is blood urea nitrogen. This component is a water-soluble waste. It passes through the kidneys and eliminated through urine. When hydrated, your kidneys do an effective job at cleansing and ridding your body of toxins.
6. Maintain Proper Bowel Processes
Being hydrated also helps move waste through your gastrointestinal tract, preventing constipation. When dehydrated, your colon draws water from your stool to maintain fluid levels. This results in constipation.
Change Your Lifestyle Choices
Here’s how you can drink more water for a healthy, balanced lifestyle:
- include a beverage with each snack or meal
- choose beverages you like to drink
- eat more raw fruits and vegetables
- keep a bottle of water with you wherever you are
What If I’m Severely Dehydrated?
It’s not uncommon for people to get severely dehydrated in Colorado Springs. Fortunately, Anywhere UrgentCare™ offers IV hydration as part of our mobile urgent care services. Give us a call and we can deliver IV hydration to your home or hotel room.
Originally published March 12, 2018.