With it being the middle of a really hot summer, at least here in Tennessee, the discussion of water seems pretty important. If anything I hope I can motivate you to drink more water today and begin to replace other high calorie, high sugar, processed beverages with water instead!
Did you Know?
Water is an essential nutrient. It makes up 60 percent of an adult’s body weight and is even higher in children. The body needs more water each day than any other nutrient. So you could really think of water as being the most nutrient dense/superfood out there if you will.
You can survive only a few days without water. A deficiency of the other nutrients may take weeks, months, or even years to develop.
75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
50 percent of the world population is dehydrated.
Water in the Body
Water helps the body’s processes to occur. Here are some of the ways:
- Helps carry nutrients and oxygen to the cells.
- Removes waste products from the body (aids digestion).
- Maintains the structure of large molecules such as protein.
- Helps convert food to energy.
- Composes 75% of the brain, 75% of muscles, 22% of bones, and 83% of blood.
- Lubricates and cushions the joints, eyes, and the spinal cord.
- Regulates normal body temperature.
- Slows down aging and makes the skin smooth.
- Helps body release toxins.
- Maintains blood volume.
Thirst and Dehydration
Thirst is usually what drives us to drink, but sometimes there is a lag time between what the body needs and our thirst sensation. Thirst however is our body’s way of telling us to hydrate. Certain populations may need to pay closer attention to that lag time though. This is true in athletes performing intense activity who will need to rehydrate more often and usually will need electrolyte replacement as well. Bone broth and coconut water are excellent for replacing important minerals and electrolytes.
When too much water is lost from the body and not replaced dehydration sets it. From a clinical perspective, I see dehydration so often in my long term care setting. The elderly especially lose the ability to perceive their thirst message. Symptoms change quickly from thirst to weakness, exhaustion, and delirium, and eventually end in death if not corrected.
Drink for Health
Ok, so now we understand the WHY behind drinking water. To move forward the best advice I can give you is to drink water throughout the day and begin to replace other drinks with water. This is a great way to eliminate unwanted ingredients and calories. It is also important to let your lifestyle be your guide. Are you super active? Then you probably need more water. Let your body be your guide. For the extra health benefits of drinking water check out our post on the benefits of lemon water. This is especially helpful if you like your water to have some sweetness!
Photo Credit: James Trenda