We’ve all heard that our bodies are made up of a high percentage of water. It’s true. Our muscles are 75% water, our brains are 90% water, our bones are 22% water and our blood is 83% water. Without enough water, or entire bodies suffer. We need water for optimal health.
What exactly does water do for us? It does a lot. Water helps transport nutrients to every cell in our bodies and also helps flush out toxins. It moisturizes the air in our lungs and it helps to boost metabolism—it helps us burn fat and build muscle. Water protects our vital organs and it regulates our body temperature. It protects and moisturizes our joints. Water is responsible for every chemical reaction that takes place in our bodies. It’s essential. No wonder doctors tell us to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
Other benefits of water include keeping our stomach acid in check, avoiding constipation and yes, it is calorie-free. Water intake will help reduce the risk of getting infections and will aid the body in getting well after an illness. It increases energy levels and keeps us alert.
Is eight glasses a day enough? Well, that depends on our weight. Another way to think of the amount of water we need is to drink half of our weight in ounces of water. It’s easy to get busy during our days and forget to take in enough fluids. And drinking coffee and sugary drinks actually dehydrates us rather than hydrating.
Here are some ways to help us get adequate water during the day.
Begin the day by drinking a tall glass of water, even before eating breakfast.
Add lemon or lime to water to make it more palatable.
Drink a glass of water with each meal.
Carry a water bottle throughout the day to track the number of ounces taken in.
Drink before, during and after exercise.
If you’re not getting adequate water you may notice some of these problems:
Irregular blood pressure
Other symptoms of dehydration include dark yellow or orange urine, and hunger or thirst. Doctors maintain that many times when we think we’re hungry, our bodies are really asking us to send in some water.
Make some simple changes to your daily routine. Determine to drink water first thing in the morning—maybe as you take your medications. Drink the whole glass. Then keep several water bottles in the house so you can always take one with you wherever you go. Keep one in the car as you drive and be sure to drink extra whenever you walk or play tennis or any other form of daily exercise.
Drink plenty of water and your body will be very grateful.