I often am asked why is water so important?
Here is the down and dirty truth: Water is the second most important nutrient for our bodies. The science speaks for itself: 60-80% of the human body is made up of water.
A Human Brain is 95% water
Blood is 82% water
Lungs are 90% water
Bones are 25% water
Muscles are 70% water
EVEN FAT is 20% water
“The water in our systems is constantly moving in and out of our cells and needs to be replenished. Both voluntary movements (exercise, or even just getting in our car to go home) and involuntary movements (digestion, blood circulation, etc.) require water to work. When we are dehydrated these actions suffer and as a result we feel tired, sluggish, and unable to concentrate. Even a small water level drop in our systems (2%) signifies dehydration resulting in feelings of fatigue, fuzzy short term memory, difficulty focusing, and a noticeable reduction in physical performance, and headaches”(NAFC nutrition). If the body’s fluids are not restored quickly it goes from bad to worse quickly. Good old fashioned water is the key to avoid feeling this way.
Thinking back, I remember the days when I was trying every new diet on the planet. I remember reading that water staves off hunger so I jumped in with glasses in both hands. Don’t get me wrong, staying hydrated is a great way to stave off hunger, but water alone cannot be a diet, you must have a good mix of food along with that hydration to keep your body functioning at optimum levels. So many “diets” merely help you loose water weight, especially those that claim rapid weight loss.
The headlines are everywhere, “Loose 5 pounds in 10 days!” or “guaranteed weight loss!” These quick weight loss offerings are often promising weight loss through water loss, which in turn will come back to bite you. Dehydration slows down the fat burning activity of muscles and fat cells for one! Feeling lousy, tired, and lacking motivation is another. These are NOT ways I want to loose weight because my body does not like this state and will fight me to get back to normal hydration.
Need more convincing? Here is the latest scientific evidence of the role water plays in disease reduction. Staying adequately hydrated will bring the following results:
45% reduction in incidence of colon cancer
50% reduction in incidence of bladder cancer
79% reduction in incidence of breast cancer
So, the next question is, how do I know I am hydrated?
Two easy ways to tell:
- You should be using the restroom at least 4 times a day, often more. The color of the water in the bowl should be watered down lemonade. Any darker and you need to drink more.
- Second is to pinch the top of the back of your hand, if the skin snaps back into place within a second or two, chances are your hydration is optimal. If it is slow to recess back, you are dehydrated and should drink more water.
Finally, this is a daily balance. One day you may be more hydrated because of the weather, and how you worked out, and what you ate. The next day, you could eat the exact same and end up dehydrated due to medicine/vitamin changes, hormonal changes, lack of sleep, etc.. Hydration is a balancing act, so you WILL have days you need more water than others.
So raise a glass of water and let’s toast to better health!