Our bodies are nearly 60% water. Our heart and brain are nearly 75% water and our lungs are close to 85% water. Water is responsible for the regulation of our body temperature, removal of waste, and our brain function. Water is an essential part of our everyday health.
How does water help our bodies?
Water is responsible for a variety of bodily functions. From producing saliva and sweat to helping us eliminate waste, nearly every system in our bodies relies on water somehow.
Water helps regulate our mood and the health of our skin- Hydration is key to proper brain function and the health of tissues in our bodies. Keeping hydrated helps avoid headaches, muscle soreness, and joint pain. Hydrated bodies have glowing skin due to increased collagen production.
Water helps boost energy and lose weight- Hydration can help boost your metabolism which helps you generate and burn energy more efficiently. This helps increase your activity level and give you longer lasting energy. Water helps curb your appetite and helps you digest your food. This aids in absorption of your food and elimination of waste.
Water helps fight off illness and keep your blood healthy- Water helps defend against certain illnesses and prevents common medical problems like kidney stones, hypertension, constipation, and more. Drinking the recommended daily amount of water helps your blood circulate oxygen throughout your body. This helps your organs and tissues stay healthy. It is important to stay properly hydrated because dehydration can wreak havoc on the body’s functions.
Signs And Symptoms Of Dehydration
If you do not drink enough, sweat too much, or have severe diarrhea, you can become dehydrated. Mild to moderate dehydration isn’t that dangerous and can be corrected by drinking more fluids.
If the dehydration worsens and becomes severe dehydration, you may need to have IV fluids to correct the condition.
Here are some signs and symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration:
· Having a dry mouth
· Feeling fatigued or sleepy all the time
· Having increased thirstiness
· Having a decreased urine output with urine that is more yellow that it usually is
· Having dry or flaky skin
· Being dizzy
· Having a headache from low blood volume in the brain
· Crying without have many tears
If the dehydration is allowed to worsen and you continue to lose body water, you may see the following signs and symptoms:
· A severe reduction in the output of urine or the absence of urine at all. If there is any urine produced, it will be scanty in amount and a deep yellow color or amber/brown color.
· Lightheadedness or severe dizziness that is worse when you stand up or get up from a reclining position.
· Orthostatic hypotension. This is a severe drop in blood pressure that occurs when you try to get up after sitting or lying down.
· Rapid heart rate from the heart trying to compensate for a low blood volume.
· Fever, which is usually low grade in nature
· Seizures, which are usually grand mal seizures
· Poor elasticity of the skin. When you pinch it, the skin tents up and doesn’t go back to its normal position.
· Being lethargic or confused
· Going into a coma
· Suffering from extreme shock, which can be life threatening.
Dehydration has a way of sneaking up on you, especially if you are otherwise occupied with other things, such as the activity you are doing or are wrapped up in being sick with vomiting and diarrhea.
As soon as you start to feel the symptoms, you need to be thinking about hydrating yourself.
How much water do we need each day?
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine encourage men to consume 125 ounces of water per day and women to consume 91 ounces per day. That might seem like a lot, but it’s actually manageable and can come from a variety of sources.
Drinking water throughout the day can help you reach your hydration goals. There are also many foods that have high water content which can help you reach your target for the day.
Simple things like eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables helps increase your water intake. Keeping a water bottle filled and handy helps your water consumption too. Making water a staple beverage for every meal will help ensure you get at least 8 or more ounces of water with each meal. Before you know it, you’ll have reached your water needs without much effort.
Water is an essential part of everyday health. Our bodies are mostly water as are many whole foods. Drinking water and consuming healthy foods with high water content will help ensure your body stays hydrated and operating at its peak.
Keeping your Body Well Hydrated Just Got Easier
Knowing the value of hydration intellectually is different than staying hydrated practically. We may understand the value of hydration but might have a tough time consuming the recommended daily amount of water each and every day. The general recommendation for water consumption for men is 125 ounces of water per day and 91 ounces for women.
Firstly, the guidelines are there to encourage drinking the proper amount of water to ensure hydration and optimal body function. That doesn’t mean falling short is going to hurt your body, it simply means drinking the daily recommendation is ideal. Some people find it difficult to consume that much water each day and resist it. In the beginning, consuming a lot of water might be a struggle but as with many things, the more you do it the easier it becomes.
Staring at a 32-ounce glass of water three times a day can be overwhelming at first. Here are some easy ways to consume water that will keep you hydrated and happy.
Add water to every mealtime
Adding an 8-oz glass of water to each meal will help you consume 24-ounces of water without a second thought. Drinking water with your meals also reduces your caloric intake for the day and is the perfect beverage to help you digest food properly.
Check the checkout counter
Most checkout counters at box stores have refrigerated units offering beverages and snacks. Make a point to grab a water bottle and you’ll easily consume 12 to 16 extra ounces of water at a time.
Load up on fruits and veggies
Many fruits and vegetables have high water content and that counts towards your water consumption for the day. Veggies like cucumbers are high in water content as are fruits like grapes and melon.
Buy water through the drive thru
When you visit your favorite coffee spot or drive thru. Ask for water to go with your order. Most places offer complimentary water which makes it affordable and easy to get more water on the go.
Consuming the recommended daily quota of water is easier than you think. There are plenty of ways to make getting enough water fast and easy. The more attention you pay to water consumption the easier it will be. Before long, you’ll be regularly meeting your goals and seeing and feeling the difference in your life.
Top Tips for Drinking More Water
Drinking water can feel like a chore when you aren’t used to it. Knowing your body needs so much water each day to stay healthy can feel overwhelming if you’re used to consuming other beverages. Most people don’t want to give up their favorite drinks in exchange for water. It helps when you take it slow and switch things up to increase your water intake.
Everyone likes tips and tricks to make learning new things easier. Thankfully, there are tips and tricks for consuming more water. Take a look at these five tips and you’ll be consuming the recommended amount of water you need with ease.
Create a routine
Creating a routine for drinking water can help you commit to consuming more. Start by having a glass of water each morning before your coffee or morning meal. Designate a special glass and keep it handy just for your water. If the glass is out and in eyesight, you’re more likely to use it.
Get an app
There are apps that help you drink more water. Apps like Hydro Coach, WaterMinder, and Aqualert help you get the right amount of water throughout the day. The apps include gentle reminders and helpful tips that make consuming enough water effortless.
Get a bottle
Hydromate and other companies offer BPA Free plastic bottles that are designed to help drinkers consume half a gallon or a gallon of water per day by labeling their bottles with markings that include the time and the amount of water to drink. Simply fill and go and you have all the water you need for an entire day in one easy-to-carry bottle.
Drink a glass of water with each meal
By pouring a 32-ounce glass of water for each meal you can easily consume all of your water for the day in three sittings. Any deficit will be made up by eating fruits and veggies with high water content.
Cut out dehydrating food and beverages
Hydration is lost to evaporation and foods that drain water from your system. Alcohol and soda both zap water from your system. High salt foods and over processed foods also rob your body of hydration. Limit or eliminate these foods to help you keep as much hydration as possible.
Delicious Foods with High Water Content
Well hydrated bodies stay healthier, have less pain, and function better. Drinking water is an excellent way to hydrate, but it’s not the only way. As discussed earlier, eating healthy water-rich foods is an excellent way to increase water intake and help keep our bodies hydrated.
There are an assortment of fruits and vegetables that have high water content, which means you get hydrating benefits from consuming foods you love. Here are some of the top fruits and vegetables to choose from the next time you need a boost of hydration.
Cucumbers have the highest water content of any vegetable at nearly 97%. Cucumbers are a great source of potassium. Cucumbers are wonderful by themselves or used in salads. Many ethnic recipes include cucumber which offers a wide range of ways to enjoy their taste and benefits. Cucumber is often used to infuse water for people who do not enjoy the taste of plain water.
Celery is a low-calorie, fiber-rich food that happens to be over 95% water. Celery is used in cooking or raw as a snack. It can be paired with other foods to enhance the nutritional value. Try pairing with nut butter for protein and adding raisins for additional fiber.
Most lettuce is well over 95% water. The wide varieties of lettuce make consuming water as easy as making your favorite salad. Use Romaine lettuce as a base for a scrumptious Caesar salad. Chop some Iceberg lettuce and toss with other water-rich vegetables for a tasty and hydrating salad.
This seasonal fruit is a showstopper when it comes to hydration with a 92% water content. Watermelon is tasty enough to eat all by itself and is a mainstay at summer BBQ’s. Since our bodies lose water from sweating and evaporation especially in warm, hot weather. A water-dense fruit like watermelon helps restore hydration deliciously.
With a water content of 92% , strawberries help with hydration and help combat free radicals in our system. Eating strawberries helps with fiber intake and coupled with the high vitamin C benefits, they offer a lot of benefits in a little red berry. Berries are great tossed in a summer salad, added to your favorite desserts, or eaten right from the plant.
Water is an excellent source of hydration, but you can get great benefits from fruits and vegetables too. Increase your water intake by choosing fresh whole foods for your plate and you’ll stay hydrated and healthy. There are lots of ways to consume water without feeling overwhelmed. Consider any of these tips and you’ll see an improvement in your hydration levels.