5 Reasons Why You Should Drink More Water
Water! We all know it is essential to our health and yet we don't get in as much as we need throughout the day. I often hear in my practice from patients that water is "boring", "lacks taste", and most individuals say they have hectic schedules so they tend to forget to drink more. Due to these reasons and guaranteed many more, people don't hydrate enough. Well, as I tell all my patients, "Water is KEY!"
When stating "Water is KEY!", I not only mean hydration but rather the different areas water impacts. Water is not only essential for our health; it is needed for bodily functions that are going on continuously while we carry out our daily tasks. In this article, we will dive into additional reasons for increasing your water intake. So grab that cup or bottle of water and let's jump in!
This is the most talked about reason for the importance of drinking water. Dehydration is so prevalent among many. The signs can be disguised as hunger, headache, dry lips and mouth, not urinating much throughout the day, yellow or dark colored urine, and even dizziness.
Dehydration can be scary when it becomes severe. The body needs water for several systems to functions correctly. When there is the lack of it, the body begins to cramp up, slow down, and then eventually shut down. The body comprises of about 60-70 percent water. That is a large amount! The rule of thumb here is, the amount of water you intake should be the same amount you get rid of. We all have come to a point where we have been extremely thirsty. It can be a nagging feeling when it presents itself. Once we get our hands on water we feel refreshed, able to think clearer, and move better.
Digestion is one area that is heavily influenced by water intake. Water helps to move the food through the digestive track smoothly. Beginning in the mouth, water increases our saliva production. We need saliva because it is the first line of digestion due to it containing enzymes that break down our food the minute we start chewing.
Water, along with fiber, increases the movement of food easily down the large intestine where we build stool. If we don't drink enough water, the stool becomes dry from the large intestine soaking up the fluid that resides in the fecal matter, which leads to constipation.
3) Transporting & Absorbing Nutrients
As with digestion, transporting and absorbing nutrients throughout the body is important. We need nutrients such as vitamins and minerals to keep our body at its best. Water increases our blood circulation, which in turn, will allow the flow of the needed nutrients to reach their destination.
Absorption is performed when food is broken down through the digestive tract. Water helps to break down the vitamins and minerals into small particles for the body to better absorb and use.
4) Remove Toxins
The body is constantly removing waste from itself in order to clear out toxins and any other unwanted material that has been created during the natural body processes. Water aids in this process by transporting the toxins through the kidneys and urinary tract to be excreted. This is necessary for the urinary system to work. The kidneys rely on the fluid to filter out the toxins from the blood, direct toxins to the bladder, and maintain the balance of water (hydration) in the body.
5) Protects Joints, Tissues, & Brain
Water is used in the body as a lubricant for the joints. Lubrication is the synovial (joint) fluid that allows the joints to move freely within their proper range of motion. Along with the synovial fluid, water keeps the muscles hydrated with blood circulating smoothing, receiving oxygen, and nutrients. This allows the muscles to expand and contract with ease.
As mentioned earlier, dehydration affects the body in a number of ways, including cognitive function. The brain needs water to carry out its job in keeping all biological systems active and on point. If the water level in the body is too low, it will begin to throw off the chemical processes and cognitive function will be impaired. Such as, learning new things will be slower, reaction time will be delayed, even concentrating will be difficult.
How much water should be consumed in a day, you ask?
Most individuals typically drink about 1-3, 16oz water bottles throughout the day. Medical experts recommend drinking half of your body weight. For example, if an individual weighs 150 lbs, they should consume 75 oz of water per day. At 3, 16oz water bottles, that is only 48oz, which isn't meeting the need of being hydrated.
So, as I tell my patients, "Water is KEY!"