The role of water to your health is undeniable. Although it may seem you already know why your body needs H2O, it doesn’t hurt to know a few more things about how this life-sustaining substance keeps you up and running.
Back in the day people might have told you to drink eight glasses of water a day. But scientists now agree that you don’t have to drink eight glasses. Actually, it depends from person to person.
The rule: drink water right away when you’re thirsty. That’s really more like going back to the basics—listen to your body. Your brain tells you exactly when you need another glass of water, and when it does, don’t hesitate—drink up!
Water is an essential nutrient
There is no more debate about whether or not water is a nutrient. We know it’s vital to human survival and health. Just imagine two-thirds of your body weight is water, so you can imagine its sheer role in your health. The most important processes in the body occur in the presence of water.
Water keeps your body functioning normally
You remember your high school chemistry class when you observed chemical reactions in water solutions? Key reactions in nature occur in the presence of H2O also and this role is even more important in your cells and tissues.
When dehydration occurs the balance in your cells and tissues is off and means there is higher than normal concentrations of ions and nutrients in the body. An imbalance of water will disturb your cells functions impacting your nerve cells, heart muscle tissue, pH regulation of the body, and oxygen transport.
Water carries nutrients through your body
How do you think the nutrients from the food you eat gets transported throughout the body? Water acts as a vessel for the transportation of nutrients (e.g. protein and glucose) and ions (e.g. potassium). About 92% of your blood plasma, the clear fluid component of blood, is water. Blood plasma is responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
Water aids removing the waste from your body
Just as H2O is vital for transport of nutrients, it’s also important in helping your body remove unwanted substances and waste products that may otherwise build up in the body. We could go into how it removes the ‘waste’ but to save you a messy discussion, all you need to know is its essential for keeping your body ‘clean’ of waste.
Water keeps you cool
Summer heat would be more excruciating if you did not have enough water in your system. The human body’s temperature regulation mechanism involves water. This is evident during hot days when you sweat. Perspiration is our natural response to high temperatures. Water is released to the skin surface through the tiny pores and evaporates. This process takes heat away from your body, producing a cooling effect. Dehydration disrupts this process and increases your chances of heat stroke on a muggy day.
Water aids weight loss
The role of water in weight loss sounds a little silly. It doesn’t really do anything to belly fat. Neither does it make you burn calories. However, drinking water before meals is a simple strategy to pre-fill your stomach and curb your appetite. Another strategy to lose weight with H2O is to substitute it for beer or soda or any sugary drink. If you’re only quenching your thirst, choose water. The added calories in beverages only become fat.
Water is good for the skin
Dry skin may be a sign that you’re not drinking enough water. You may be putting on lotions and moisturizers, but the best hydration comes from within. Proper hydration is one key to prevent premature fine lines and wrinkles caused by dry skin. If you drink too much—your kidneys will just get rid of the unneeded extra.
Water keeps your voice hydrated
Anyone who uses their voice often should take care of their voice, and one way of keeping your vocal folds healthy is through adequate hydration. Ever needed to reach for a glass of water during a speech? or a long telephone call? From everyday activities to people who are required to speak for lengthy periods, Vocalists, teachers, professors, lecturers, and speakers, moist vocal cords are less prone to injury and irritation than dry ones.
So Are you drinking enough water to maintain a healthy body?
There are a few ways to determine whether you’re well hydrated.
- The immediate sign is thirst. It’s a signal that you need to fill that empty glass.
- Another is by looking at the color of your urine. If it’s clear, then you’re good. Yellow urine is a sign of dehydration. Increase your water intake.
- Are you engaging in sports or exercise? You’re losing more fluids through perspiration and faster breathing when you exercise. Drink more fluids.
- Also, keep in mind you lose more water during hot, dry days, so you may need to drink more H2O.
- Caffeinated beverages have diuretic properties. They make you urinate more. Compensate by drinking more water.