Why Do We Need To Drink Plenty of Water?
50-70% of our body mass is water. Water has a major impact on the function of every cell and organ in our bodies, including the largest organ which is our skin. And, all the more important to drink up when we have a skin condition such as rosacea, molluscum contagiosum, psoriasis, acne, eczema, or itchy skin.
We naturally lose moisture from our bodies through urine, breathing, bowel movements and perspiration. Even when we think we are doing nothing, the water from our bodies is evaporating.
We need to replenish it by drinking enough water throughout each day to make sure we are properly hydrated and give our bodies all the help we can to keep us in optimum health.
Water is essential for survival. A person can live for about a month without food but only for about a week without water.
Water carries essential life-giving and life-enhancing nutrients to our cells and is needed for the proper functioning of every part of our bodies.
Dry or dehydrated skin is less resilient and less elastic. You can test the hydration of your skin with a simple test. Gently pinch some skin and lift it up. If your skin is well hydrated it will quickly spring back. If your skin is dehydrated, it will take longer to get its shape back.
Just think nice plump, juicy grapes and then visualise some prunes. That is the difference water can make!
Good hydration is important to boost skin circulation and is all the more important for those of you struggling with problem skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, dermatitis, flaky skin or itch.
Water naturally moisturises our skin and strengthens our skin barrier to prevent fluid loss.
Water flushes out toxins and waste products, supporting the body’s natural detox process. Our kidneys need water to carry out this important task and good hydration lessens the chances of developing kidney stones.
4. Brain Power
Our brains are 73% water and poor hydration can affect its proper functioning. Studies have shown that people who are dehydrated have poorer levels of concentration. Hydration improves memory function, attention span and motor skills, and sharpens mental clarity and alertness.
Water helps break our food down properly.
6. Manage Weight
Water regulates the metabolism and can help us eat less as it is very easy to mistake thirst for hunger.
7. Improves Mood
Studies have shown that we are much more likely to feel cranky and irritable when we are dehydrated. Many of us have heard the HALT advice: not to allow ourselves to get hungry, angry, lonely or tired as they have a major impact on our moods and sense of well- being. I would add thirst to the list.
The cartilage around our joints needs sufficient water to stay soft and hydrated and allow our joints to work at their optimum best.
Our muscles need a balance of water and electrolytes and when this balance is off, it can cause muscle fatigue.
Being properly hydrated can prevent or alleviate headaches.
11. Blood Circulation
Water hydrates the heart and a healthy heart improves blood circulation.
12. Bodily Fluids
Water is essential for digestion, the transportation of nutrients, the creation of saliva and regulation of body temperature.
13. Increase Energy
Daytime fatigue can be a symptom of mild dehydration. Without sufficient hydration, all of our organs have to struggle more to carry out their functions and this can lead to low energy levels as our bodies will preserve as much energy as they can for the organs, leaving very little left over for us to bounce around!
14. Avoid Thirst
By the time we feel thirsty, our bodies have lost about 1% -2% of their total water content.
15. Fresh Breath
A dry mouth sure is a breeding ground for bacteria and drinking water helps keep the mouth moist and smelling sweet.
A well-hydrated heart works more easily and does not have to work so hard to pump blood to your blood vessels.
17. Immune System
Our precious immune systems need sufficient water to work at their best.
18. Healthy Eyes
Our “windows to the soul” need water to create tears and avoid dry eye syndrome which can be very uncomfortable and lead to other eye problems.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
Drinking water by the glassful doesn’t really work as our bodies don’t store the extra fluid. We just pop to the loo more often so it is best to sip small amounts slowly and regularly throughout the day so that your body retains more of the liquid.
The Institute of Medicine recommends 13 glasses of water a day for men and 9 for women.
This includes all types of fluid including tea, coffee, milk and juice and raw vegetables and fruits with high water content.
Check your urine.
If your urine is pale and clear it is a sign you are sufficiently hydrated.
If it is dark, better to increase your intake of fluids.