Everyone knows that the human body is mostly made of water. Which is really amazing when you consider what we do with our bodies every day. We also all have heard the repeated proclamations that we need to drink enough water for health, but that got me thinking. How much is enough, and why is it so important?
In order to calculate how much water you need to drink, I found this formulae in my research. Take your body weight in pounds, divide it by two, and the result is the number of US fluid Ounces you need to drink. As I am in the UK, we tend to use a mix of Imperial and Metric, so I then changed it to Litres. Apparently, I need to drink 4 litres of water. Per day. Wow. I need to up my water intake, considerably!! In doing so, I shall also be upping my visits to the smallest room in the house. Thank heavens we have a downstairs toilet!
So, why is water so important? Taking in enough water helps to lessen the burden on kidneys and your liver by flushing out waste products, so those very important filtration organs can function more easily. Water also dissolves minerals and nutrients to make them accessible to the body and water also carries those nutrients and oxygen to the cells in the body. This function basically protects the organs from damage and harm and keeps the tissues moist and working. Water is essential for the happy functioning of the eyes, mouth and nose.
Water makes up 75% of your brain. When you are hungover, the reason you often get a headache is due to dehydration, that is, you have less water than you actually need for appropriate functioning. It has been said that brains work better if you are properly hydrated, which is very important for children at school, and anyone taking important exams.
It also regulates your body temperature. There are those who say that if you drink ice cold water, you might burn a few more calories, because your body has to work harder to get the water up to body temperature. I am not sure that actually is the case, but I prefer drinking cold water than room temperature water! Drinking water before you eat a meal helps you control the amount you eat and therefore helps control calorie intake. Water also lubricates the joints, so if you are exercising (or going back to exercising like I am) you need to drink your water.
Water also helps prevent constipation, decreases fatigue, helps you burn fat and keeps your skin looking young. What is there not to like about all that?
Well, to be honest, sometimes the taste. Water shouldn’t taste of anything, but invariably it does due to water treatment processes or even the rock the water has percolated through on the way to the reservoirs. So, do you have to drink your hydration quotient in just plain water? No, you can also have it as herbal teas. However, unfortunately, the caffeinated drinks can’t be counted because the caffeine is a diuretic and therefore gets rid of hydration, not adding to it. I am also not a fan of using water in plastic bottles and containers. Plastic has chemicals in it which are effectively fake oestrogens which can mess with our reproductive health. We are lucky because our tap water comes from the same source as one of the popular mineral waters in the UK, but, I would still use tap water in preference to water bottled in plastic.
So, today I will be finishing off some painting in my house, going to the gym and pool, and drinking water. A lot. Lets see if I feel better afterwards. Will you be joining me?