What Exactly is Water and Why Do We Need It?
Water is an inorganic, tasteless, colorless and odorless chemical substance. Its formula is H20; meaning that its made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. It exists in three different forms here on Earth – solid, liquid or gas.
Water is vital to all forms of life despite not providing calories or organic nutrients.
It’s interesting that an adult human body is 60% water and our blood is 90% water. Also, 80% of our brains consists of water.
Along with maintaining your body’s essential functions water also has a natural calming effect. Did you know that the added hydration from drinking water can be soothing for someone undergoing intense stress and anxiety.
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The Benefits of Drinking Water
In the United States water (specifically bottled water) is the second most consumed beverage after soda. However, it’s estimated that most people don’t drink enough water.
There’s no universally agreed quantity of water that must be consumed daily, but we do know that conventional wisdom calls for drinking eight 8 ounce glasses a day. There are many benefits to drinking more water.
Keeps You Body Functioning: Water is important, because the human body uses it in all of its cells, organs and tissues in order to maintain essential bodily functions such as temperature regulation, maximizes physical performance and nutrient absorption.
Promotes Healthy Brain Function: Drinking water is essential for maintaining a functional body. For example, your brain is 80% water and communicates with your kidneys through the pituitary gland and can tell them how much water to excrete or hold on to. The brain is also responsible for triggering your body’s thirst mechanism when you’re thirsty. Also, drinking water helps with concentration and cognition, helps to balance emotions and mood and increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain along with other parts of the body.
Helps You Lose Weight: Drinking water helps you lose weight. If you drink water before a meal you can prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness. Also, when you add ice to water before you drink it you can boost your metabolism, because your body has to work harder and burn more calories in order to warm that water up and this can lead to weight loss.
Helps Protect Vital Parts of Your Body: Water is essential for lubricating your joints, protecting your spinal cord and tissues. Along with maintaining moisture in these vital areas water is important for protecting your blood, bones and brain.
Essential For Digestion and Bowel Movements: Your body’s digestive system cannot function without water, so it’s important to drink water to have a healthy digestive tract and to be able to excrete feces from your body.
Less Likely To Have a Hangover: When you are at a party drinking alcohol and you want to reduce the likelihood of having a hangover switch to drinking water.
More Physical Energy: Drinking water when you’re working out increases your physical endurance and also helps you avoid muscle cramps. You should drink 5 to 10 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes while you’re exercising.
The Consequences of Not Drinking Enough Water (Dehydration)
Consequences of Dehydration include:
Kidney Problems: Not drinking enough water leads to kidney problems such as the formation of kidney stones and make you more prone to urinary tract infections. The longer you’re dehydrated the likelihood of kidney damage increases.
Mental and Cognitive Issues: It appears that dehydration decreases brain tissue fluid and may reduce brain volume and affect brain function. Dehydration affects sodium and electrolyte levels in the brain and this is linked to mental and cognitive issues. These include memory loss, confusion and brain fog. Also, since dehydration leads to an increase in cortisol levels it can lead to worsening stress and anxiety.
Constipation and Other Digestive Issues: Dehydration can lead to constipation and an overly acidic stomach; which can lead to heartburn and stomach ulcers.
Frequent Illness: Dehydration leads to the weakening of the immune system and can put you at a higher risk of catching a cold or the flu.
Skin Problems: Not drinking enough water can lead to skin problems. Dehydration leads to the creation of oil in your skin to make up for the loss of water and when this happens it leads to acne, irritation and dry patches. Also, being chronically dehydrated can lead to more wrinkles, sagging skin and flakiness.
Sugar Cravings: Not drinking enough water makes it more difficult for the body to metabolize stored sugar and makes us crave sugar in order to give us quick energy when we only need to drink water.
Fatigue: When you’re dehydrated you start feeling tired and lethargic. When your body has less water your blood volume lowers; this leads to less oxygen getting to your brain and your heart has to pump harder.
Why People Don’t Drink Enough Water and How To Encourage Them To Drink More?
It’s very important to drink plenty of water, but most Americans don’t drink enough of it. There are many reasons why they don’t drink enough water.
- Not Feeling Thirsty
- Mostly Drink Other Beverages
- Have To Pay For Bottled Water
- They Don’t Have Time To Get Water
- They Already Feel They Had Enough Water Already
- They Don’t Like The Taste of Water
- They Don’t Trust The Water
How To Encourage People To Drink More Water?
I mentioned in my two previous posts about how to make it a New Year’s Resolution to eliminate High Fructose Corn Syrup from your diet and To become less stressed. It should also be a New Year’s Resolution to drink more water everyday.
Here are some things that can encourage us to drink more water:
Add Flavor To Water: Some people complain about how water tastes, so add fresh fruits such as lemons, limes and oranges.
Dilute Sugary Drinks: If you don’t want to give up on sugary drinks, but at the same time consume less sugar add water and ice to make it less sweet, but still have flavor.
Use a Water Filter: If you don’t trust the purified tap water coming out of your faucet due to the smell and taste try using a water filter. Filters remove bacterial contaminants, residual chlorine, heavy metals and organic contaminants left over from the treatment process. Using a water filter also saves money on bottled water.
Drink Bottled Water: Bottled water is a great way for staying hydrated on the go. The plastic bottles are highly portable and durable and are easily stored. Also, bottled water tastes better than what comes out of the tap. However, the cost of buying bottled water adds up overtime and can cost more than tap water. The plastic used to make the bottles contain chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA). These chemicals can seep into the water that’s in the bottle, especially if the bottle is left in a hot place where there’s a lot of direct sunlight such as your car. If you’re concerned about (BPA) in bottled water filter it before you drink it just like tap water coming out of the faucet. Also, many bottling companies get their water from the same reservoir that tap water comes from and the water may or may come from the highest quality source.
Keep A Reusable Bottle With You: If you’re looking for a way to stay hydrated on the go and at the same time concerned about the safety of bottled water try adding filtered water to a reusable bottle. Along with convenience you’re also safeguarding your health along with being environmentally sustainable. Discarded single use plastic bottles are becoming a huge environmental problem all over the world. The cost of either throwing them away or recycling them is on the rise and a lot of the bottles are exported to other countries where they are dumped out into the ocean. Unless this problem is solved there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by mid-century.
What Do You Do To Drink More Water?
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