Are you drinking enough water?
Even though it seems obvious that since our body is composed of 60% water and our blood is 90% water, we should be consistently replenishing ourselves with water; well let me tell you that if that were the case, I would not be writing this post.
It has been proven that 75% adults in the USA suffer from chronic dehydration. Most Americans drink only 2.5 cups out the 8.5 cups of water that are recommended by the European Hydration Institute. Moreover, in a study by Kenney et al.(2015) showed that 54.5% of children go to school dehydrated across the United States.
Most of us just drink water when we feel thirsty and by that point we are already dehydrated. “It takes only a 2% loss of total water content for your body to start feeling thirsty. Once you’re at this point your body is already in a state of dehydration.” (Benson, 2015)
Dehydration is linked to many conditions that affect us in our day to day lives and at some point, they become “normal conditions,” or what we think is normal. Headaches, muscle cramps, dry skin, brain fog, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, etc. Sound familiar? Probably.
Do not get the wrong idea young padawan, do not go thinking that you can drink more coke, coffee, tea, or sugar in water a.k.a supermarket juice because you want to avoid “dehydration.” Water and natural juice (by natural I mean, you go pick the fruit, buy it, squeeze it and then drink it) are your best options. The British Nutrition Foundation clearly states that "regular H2O is the best thing to drink to keep yourself hydrated whether you’re young, middle aged or elderly. It's worth emphasizing this fact, as although all liquids will hydrate the human body, some do a much better job than others. Water and fruit juices, for instance, hydrate more effectively than milk and soda drinks”.
Now that you know that you are probably not drinking enough water, let’s go to the benefits of drinking water and why you should make more of a conscious effort to consume it:
- Water helps regulate body temperature and brain function especially in children. Maybe it is not that I was dumb when I was a kid, maybe I was just dehydrated.
- The process of digestions starts in your mouth with saliva which produces an enzyme called amylase that is the one in charge of breaking down food and digesting it. Water helps with digestion by promoting saliva, which of course produces more amylase and as a result you digest food faster.
- If you are an active person, it helps maximize your performance. Hydration is directly correlated to strength, power and endurance.
- Water protects your tissues, spinal cord and joint by lubricating them and acting as a cushion.
- It helps with waste removal in our body, the kidneys and liver use water to help flush out waste.
- In this study drinking enough water has been found to aid with weight loss
According to Natalie Butler (2019), “Water is important to nearly every part of your body. Not only will hitting your daily recommended intake help you maintain your current state of being, it may even improve your overall health.”
Here are some ideas for how you can be sure you drink enough water:
- Buy a reusable bottle and carry it with you wherever you go.This way you can drink whenever the need strikes.
- Keep track of your intake.Aim to take in optimum amounts every day, a minimum of half your body weight in ounces.
- Pace yourself to approach half of your recommended consumption by midday. You can always finish about an hour before you plan to sleep
- Eat your water: Fruits high in water content
- Make a morning habit of drinking half a litre to a litre
- Create reminders or alarms on your phone
I cannot guarantee and I am not promising that by drinking more water you are going to cure all your illnesses or fix all your problems. However, what I can guarantee is that it will make your life much better and you will go pee probably 47 times in one hour, but it will be worth it.
Ericson, J. (2013, July 4). 75% of Americans May Suffer From Chronic Dehydration, According to Doctors. Retrieved from https://www.medicaldaily.com/75-americans-may-suffer-chronic-dehydration-according-doctors-247393
Laskey, B. J., Ellin, A., Millard, E., McGivney, J., & Jebbia, S. (n.d.). Functions of Water: Health Benefits: Everyday Health. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/water-health/water-body-health.aspx
Silver, N. (2019, March 19). Why Is Water Important? 16 Reasons to Drink Up. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/why-is-water-important#saliva
The American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) from the American Public Health Association (APHA) publications. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2015.302572