Water is an essential component of our body and plays a vital role in maintaining nearly all major organ systems of the body. Did you know, the human body contains 2/3 water by weight? Blood, muscles, brain matter, and bones are also composed of 83%, 75%, 74%, and 22% of water, respectively. So it’s no surprise that the benefits of drinking water are endless.
Here’s a few of my favourite reasons why water is such an important part of your daily routine:
- Helps digestion and maintains regularity
When your body is dehydrated your digestive system is one of the areas that sacrifices its fluids for other areas of the body that need it more, leaving you constipated. Being adequately hydrated ensures a smooth digestion journey and normal bowel movements.
- Keeps joints moving
The cartilage surrounding our joints allow bones to move freely alongside each other and are up to 85% water. Much like our digestive system, our body will draw water from our cartilage when we are dehydrated (drawing the water to the organs that keep us alive) causing friction between bones and leaves us feeling stiff and achy in the joints.
- Focus and concentration
Our brains need water as much as any other organ. It has been suggested that dehydration can cause brain cells to shrink slightly, explaining why when you are dehydrated you have difficulty concentrating and solving basic problems.
- Helps you feel full
Now, while drinking more water won’t help you to lose weight specifically, it can help you to feel more satiated and encourage you to eat less. How often have you thought you were hungry and had a glass of water instead and instantly felt less hungry? If you find you are always hungry, try having a glass of water before you eat something, you might find it’s your thirst rather than your hunger!
Are you feeling convinced you should drink more water yet?
Exactly how much water should you drink?
Individual water needs depend on many factors including your health, how active you are and even where you live (warm, humid climate will cause you to sweat more and therefore need to replenish more). The age-old advice of drinking ‘8 glasses of water a day’ is a great aim. To be more specific, the American National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
- About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
This may sound like a lot to some of you, but keep in mind, around 20% of our daily water intake comes from our food. Many foods contain water also – some fruits and veggies are high in water content. So, let’s keep it simple for now: aim for those 8 glasses of water, drink more if you exercise or live in a warm client, have a glass water when you feel hungry just before you eat and you should be well on track to staying properly hydrated.