You have no doubt heard all the fitness experts out there say you should drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water each day. And I’ve heard many people’s reactions to that sound like this: “That’s way too much! I can’t drink all that, nor do I have the time!” And we continue to hear that hydration is one of the most important basic elements to fighting off disease and keeping the body vibrant! And while this is true, and people know this, they are still drinking everything BUT water! Let’s take a closer look at the role water really plays in the body.
What is Water?
Think back to when you were in high school chemistry class. Remember the formula for water? H2O. Two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen. Water is supposedly colorless, tasteless, and odorless but contains vital minerals our bodies need. Drinking water is essential to all known forms of life, nothing on this earth can survive without it!
How Does The Human Body Use Drinking Water?
Every cell in the human body requires water. Put all your cells altogether, with their load of water, and your body weight is almost two-thirds water. If you weigh 150 pounds (68 kg), about 100 pounds (45 kg) of that is water. You are mostly water, but how does your body utilize it?
Cells use drinking water as a delivery service. Each cell is separated from its environment by a cell membrane. To do its work, the cell needs to import nutrients and export waste products. Water is the delivery service, bringing in nutrients and washing out waste. Whether you look at red and white blood cells, muscle cells, or nerve cells, they all need water. Without water, most of your cells would get clogged with waste, and starve to death for lack of nutrients. It’s like a goldfish swimming around inside a dirty fish bowl. When our cells become overburdened with waste, we become tired, sluggish, present symptoms of illness and disease, and overall become overly toxic inside due to acidity. NO GOOD!
Healthy cells, with plenty of drinking water, are kept clean and nourished. Like the clean engine of a brand new automobile, fed a perfect blend of quality gasoline (petrol), healthy cells can do exactly what they were designed to do: keep the human body at pique performance!
Consider just 9 reasons not to ignore hydration and the vital benefits of drinking a lot of water:
1. Brain. Approximately 70% of our brain is water. Brain cells that have plenty of drinking water are able to circulate fresh, oxygen-laden blood more readily. The brain remains fresh and alert. Even a small dip in hydration can make your brain’s performance level drop as much as 20 to 30 percent! Foggy head anyone?
2. Muscles. Muscle cells with a ready supply of fresh water are able to work longer without tiring. Water delivers a continuing supply of oxygen to muscles. If you are exercising in warm weather, your muscles will need more hydration every 15 minutes to remain strong.
3. Cooling system. Your body’s temperature is maintained through water. The water regulates body temperature through sweat. To maintain a normal temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit on hot days, or when exercising, the body sweats. Sweat cools the body, but sweat uses up water. We must replenish water lost to maintain hydration.
4. Nerves. Nerve cells transmit messages to and from the brain. To do this, they must use electrolytes. Drinking water is an important way to maintain electrolytes at the proper level so that the nerves can do their work.
5. Stomach and Intestinal Tract. Our bodies use water to digest food in the gastrointestinal tract, and flush out waste.
6. Eye and Mouth Protection. Water keeps your eyes and mouth moist. It washes dirt and dust away from your eyes.
7. Joints. Drinking water is like oiling your body’s joints. Water lubricates the joints, keeping them flexible, and ensuring smooth motion.
8. Regulates hormones. Water is an essential ingredient in transmission of hormones through the blood stream and activating glands to secrete the right levels of hormones to work together.
9. Lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system is like a garbage disposal .. it works nonstop filtering toxins and moving lymph fluid through the body to expel those toxins. Without consistent sufficient hydration, the lymph slows down, doesn’t circulate, and the toxins sit in the body building up. FLUSH that lymphatic system and blood stream with plenty of fresh water to ward off stagnation!
One of the most important benefits to drinking a lot of water is the benefit realized in the kidneys. Urine, which is almost entirely water, is the byproduct of removing waste from the body. Your body must replace that water. This is why they say 8-10 glasses of water per day, because the need to replenish hydration is as constant as the need to breathe. I personally go by the rule of thumb to drink half your body weight in ounces per day at minimum. So if you are 100 pounds, drink 50 ounces of water per day. If you are not used to drinking that much, start with 20 ounces of water and work your way up. Don’t let the fact that you are starting off light trip your mind up .. that 20 ounces you are taking in is always better than zero ounces! Starting somewhere means taking the first step, and that first step is all you need to get started! Enjoy!