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Hydration is Underrated - How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day?

Water, the primordial element, is essential for life. Earth’s surface is made of 71% water. The body is made of 60% water. Just as in nature the water cycle goes through evaporation and then precipitation, so in our human body, the water goes through the same cycle. Just as nature replenishes itself with water, when necessary, so do we need to take care of our water intake and replenish it daily.

It's a fact, all forms of life need both water and food to live. Survival experts claim we would perish after 3 weeks without food, but only 3 days without water!

So, if going without can be fatal, it's fair to say that depriving ourselves of water can be detrimental to our health.

What Does Water Actually Do Inside Our Bodies?

Our bodies literally run on water. When we breathe, blink, sneeze, cry, eat, think, excrete, etc, water is always used. Thus, water is vital for a number of essential body functions:

  • building up the body – water is the “mortar and brick” of the body
  • regulates our internal body temperature
  • transports nutrients, vitamins, and minerals through our cells
  • carbohydrates, proteins, etc. are carried by water in the blood
  • maintains a moist environment for the mucous membranes in your body (ear, mouth, throat, nose)
  • moisturizes your skin
  • is the main component of the fluid around the brain, spinal cord, fetus
  • used by the brain to produce hormones and neurotransmitters
  • delivers oxygen throughout the body
  • flushes our toxins through urination and transpiration
  • forms saliva, tears and sexual fluids
  • forms the lubricants in the joints and articulations

On average, people sweat up to 16 ounces of water daily, breathe out about 8 ounces of water, and eliminate half a gallon of water daily. Water is cycled through our body constantly, we must keep it topped up to continuing operating at our peak.

You may be surprised to realize your vital organs and components are mostly made out of water: lungs have 90% water, blood has 80% water, fat tissue has 10% water, muscles have 75% water, bones have 31%, and our brain has 70% water. So, it is absolutely essential we need to keep the water there, and in the right proportions.

Now for the age old question, how much water should I be drinking?

Standard Drinking Water Recommendations

The recommended standard guideline for water intake is the 8 X 8 rule: 8 ounces of water, 8 times a day. The European Food Safety Authority recommends that men should drink 2.5 liters and women 2 liters daily.

However, the water intake is certainly not a standard one-size-fits-all regulation. Of course, there is a guideline, but as everything in this world, diversity rules. What is good for someone, is not good for another one. That is why, the water intake depends on many various and personal factors such as weight, height, health status, activity level, and the climate. People in Antarctica will not need as much water to drink as do people from Africa. So, the good sense is your most important barometer.

The actual recommendation for your body’s necessity of water intake is your body’s weight (don’t cheat on your weight here, it’s important to get the right results for the sake of your own health) divided by 2. The result is how many ounces of water your body needs daily.

body weight / 2 = ounces of water to drink daily

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

Studies show that drinking enough water increases your metabolism, helps you lose weight, and boosts your mental and cognitive performances. Furthermore, not drinking enough comes with a variety of nasty side effects.

What Exactly is Dehydration?

When your body eliminates water through breath, transpiration, urine, etc, and is not replenished with fresh water, we start to suffer from dehydration (lack of water). The problem is that even if you lack a little bit of water, the results are disastrous for your body’s normal functioning and health.

Studies show that as little as 1 % loss of water can affect your performance and energy levels, causing headaches, fatigue, and reduced cognitive abilities in both women and men.

Dr. Batmanghelidj wrote in his book “Water: You’re not sick, you’re thirsty!” that the sensation of thirst is one of the last warnings your body gives you as an ultimatum, to make you aware that it needs water to function properly. It is an indication that the water levels are already very much down in your body and that your body is close to a breakdown.

He also stated that not all liquids work like water, they may clench your thirst for the moment, but they don’t make your body work as it should. Nothing can replace pure water.

Typical Symptoms of Dehydration

Mild dehydration: dry mouth, excessive thirst, dizziness, weakness.

Severe dehydration: rapid and shallow breathing, convulsions, weak pulse, loose skin, sunken eyes.

Ultra severe dehydration: heart failure, death.

Alcohol inhibits kidney’s function of reabsorbing water. So, they eliminate more urine, but are not able to take in the water. Your body loses more water than normal by causing excessive sweat, vomiting, etc. when faced with alcohol intoxication.

The Dangers of Dehydration

  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Headaches and migraines
  • High blood pressure. Blood has 90% water when you’re healthy and hydrated. When the body suffers from dehydration, blood thickens and causes the blood pressure to rise.
  • Digestive problems (such as ulcer, gastritis, constipation, slow metabolic rate, etc.)
  • It thickens the arteries, trying to prevent the loss of water from the cells, producing excess cholesterol.
  • Accumulation of toxins
  • Increased risk of inflammations and infections.
  • Muscular spasms, muscular tension, muscular cramps.
  • Dryness in your whole body, dry and painful joints.
  • Storing fats, not eliminating toxins, not properly metabolizing food results in weight gain.
  • Decreases mental performance and cognitive functions.
  • Skin problems (dryness, desquamation, irritation, itchiness, redness, etc.)
  • Fast and premature aging of the body and skin – your organism is not working properly and is not able to regenerate and rejuvenate as it should.

10 Easy Ways to Stay Hydrated and Healthy

  1. Make a habit of drinking daily 1-2 glasses of water in the morning, on an empty stomach. It will flush out toxins, lose weight, and stimulate metabolism.
  2. When you feel thirsty, drink water. Whether you’re at home or out, whenever you feel thirsty, by all means, drink water. Don’t want until you get home late at night. Do it then. Stop and get some water. Thirst is the sign your body gives you that it desperately needs to be replenished with water to function properly. Help it by serving it water.
  3. Fruits infused water to give your water a natural fruity flavor and a surplus of vitamins and enzymes, you can enhance your water with slices of fruits and even herbs. You may consider making some amazing natural cocktails such as:
  • Water + strawberries + rose petals
  • Water + blueberries + oranges + mint
  • Water + grapefruit + ginger
  1. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables with a high content of water, such as watermelon, grapes, apples, pears, oranges, grapefruit, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.
  2. Drink tea, natural fruit juices and smoothies. They count, too.
  3. Eat soups. You may want to consider them in your daily amount of liquids you should be drinking.
  4. Consume Milk, yogurt, kefir also contains plenty of water.
  5. Carry a take away bottle. Take with you a small bottle with water wherever you go. You can sip from it when you’re thirsty.
  6. Use a Drink Water Reminder. There are plenty of applications.
  7. Calculate your daily water intake. Use a water intake calculator online or as an application.

Nutriflair acknowledges that the key to excellent health starts from the ground up. We hope to advise and inspire all our customers and readers to also pursue healthy lifestyle choices. Combine our range of exceptional natural health supplements with good hydration for the best possible health benefits.

Resources:
  1. http://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthwherewater.html
  2. Armstrong LE, Ganio MS, Casa DJ, Lee EC, McDermott BP, Klau JF, Jimenez L, Le Bellego L, Chevillotte E, Lieberman HR, “Mild dehydration affects mood in healthy young women.”, Journal of Nutrition, February 2012, 142(2):382-8. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.142000.
  3. Ganio MS1, Armstrong LE, Casa DJ, McDermott BP, Lee EC, Yamamoto LM, Marzano S, Lopez RM, Jimenez L, Le Bellego L, Chevillotte E, Lieberman HR., “Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men.”, British Journal of Nutrition, Nov. 2011, 106(10):1535-43. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511002005.
  4. Rowell LB (1986): Human Circulation. New York: Oxford University Press.
  5. Sawka MN & Pandolf KB (1990): Effects of body water loss on physiological function and exercise performance. In Perspectives in Exercise Science and Sports Medicine. Vol. 3, ed. CV Gisolfi & DR Lamb, pp 1–38. Misc: Indianapolis: Benchmark Press.
  6. Schoffstall JE, Branch JD, Leutholtz BC & Swain DP (2001): “Effect of dehydration and rehydration on the one-repetition maximum bench press of weight-trained males.” J. Strength Cond. Res. 15, 102–108.
  7. Stookey JD1, Constant F, Popkin BM, Gardner CD., “Drinking water is associated with weight loss in overweight dieting women independent of diet and activity”, Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Nov;16(11):2481-8. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.409.

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