The average person uses two to three quarts of water for basic bodily functions like temperature control, metabolizing food, and maintaining health in their joints, muscles and organs. Unfortunately, most people don't get enough water to replenish their bodies and keep them hydrated. On average, people need 8-12 glasses of water a day, and even more during times of extreme exercise or heat. If you're waiting until you're thirsty to drink, you may already be dehydrated; it only takes a 2% loss of your fluid weight to cause side effects like dizziness and confusion. If you're drinking alcohol, juices, or soda to hydrate instead of water, you're filling up with empty calories without getting any of the health benefits of water.
Drinking water can improve your health in several ways. Water keeps all parts of your body in good working order. Kidneys, muscles, skin, bowel functions, and all other body fluid functions are all improved by drinking water. In addition, water can also be a crucial part in a plan to lose weight.
If you ask a doctor for a cheap and easy way to improve kidney function, the first answer you'll receive will most likely be to drink more water. Water helps your kidneys transport the waste it filters out of your body. If you don't drink enough water, your kidneys trap extra body fluids, and it can cause kidney stones. If you then drink large amounts of water after going without, you're dumping too much for your kidneys to be able to handle. Drinking small amounts of water frequently can improve your kidney health and function drastically.
Muscles require two things to function: fuel and water. The fuel is the energy you get from the food you eat, but the water has to be taken in before, during, and after exercising for best muscle health. It is recommended to drink at least 2 cups of water 2 hours before exercising, then continuing to drink throughout periods of exertion to replace fluids lost while sweating. Water hydrates muscles, keeping them from shriveling, and prevents muscle fatigue. Ultimately, adequate hydration is the key to being active and fit.
Most people already know that their skin is their largest organ, but it's not as well known what a strong relationship skin has with water. Without enough water, your skin will show signs of dehydration quickly as more exposure to air will dry it out more quickly than internal organs. Dehydrated skin will feel dry and flaky to the touch; will be tighter and less springy to the touch. If you find yourself having to apply moisturizer frequently, you might just need to drink more water. Excessive or frequent dehydration can lead to more severe skin conditions like psoriasis. Keeping your skin hydrated will keep it moisturized and elastic, and help to prevent lines and wrinkles. Old, dead skin cells are shed and replaced with healthy cells faster, and you will appear more youthful.
Since 60% of your body weight is water, it's obvious that water has a big impact on body fluids. Just like in your kidneys, water works with your intestines to flush out waste. Drinking enough water can help to keep intestinal waste moving, and keep you from becoming constipated. Water causes dietary fiber to swell, which promotes peristalsis, the word to describe the bowel contractions that move waste through your intestines. It also keeps your intestines and colon healthy and relatively clean. Not drinking enough water can cause a toxic build up in your colon, which can lead to further medical problems, including colon cancer.
Your body also uses water in other ways: excreting waste through perspiration, maintaining your internal body temperature, and keeping the cartilage between your joints healthy. Water is necessary for retaining moisture in every tissue in your body, including your eyes, mouth and nose. Hydration also helps to keep your spinal cord lubricated and flexible. In fact, people with spinal cord injuries are recommended to drink more water than most people, as dehydration can occur even faster for them. Since your back rests on your spinal cord, and the spinal disc core is made up largely of water, dehydration can lead quickly to back pain for most people.
Since water is used to lubricate joints and hydrate the cartilage between the bones, keeping hydrated is key to avoiding rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. A lifetime of being active can take a toll on even joints in the best condition, so drinking water is a necessity if you’re looking to maintain joint health.
So, obviously, drinking water should become a part of daily, healthy routine. However, beyond issues of healthy, water has also been the focus of many dieting plans. This means that, besides all of the benefits listed above, water can be instrumental in helping you to lose weight and maintain a healthy figure.
Something that may be surprising to people is that one of the best cures for retaining water is to drink more water. Much like the kidneys, body tissues will hold onto water if they feel like they're in danger of dehydrating. Excess sodium can also cause the puffiness that can make you appear to weigh a good deal more than you actually do. The solution for both of these things is to drink more water. When you're properly hydrated, the sodium levels in your body equalize, and excess will be diluted and passed through your body as perspiration and urine. And if you stay hydrated, your body will not feel as though you are being dehydrated so water will be allowed to pass freely through your muscles and tissues.
Lastly, water has another benefit: having zero calories. When you quench your thirst with other liquids, they can often have a calorie count similar to eating a snack. Drinking soda with meals can cause your calorie intake to build up without you even realizing it. And water can fill you up, allowing you to eat less and not feel hungry.
If you drink your daily amount of water, there is some evidence to show that drinking it cold can help you to lose weight, too. Heating the water to body temperature causes you to burn calories, and can jump-start your metabolism without having to ingest any food. People have reported favorable results from drinking just 8 glasses of cold water a day, without any significant change in diet or exercise. Combining water with a sensible diet and exercise program can help with your weight loss efforts, and you'll be getting all the health benefits of drinking water anyway.
The bottom line is that drinking water and good health go hand in hand in many more ways than people even realize. Water is the key to kidney and internal organ health, and also affects your appearance, by giving you a healthy, hydrated glow. Add in the weight loss benefits from drinking water, and it's easy to see how drinking the recommended 8-12 glasses of water a day is thought of as key in being happy, healthy, and fit.
To learn more about other health and diet benefits, visit us at Primal Muscle and find your journey to fitness.