This week let’s talk about water. The health benefits of drinking water.
Now, I know what you’re thinking.
What, have you run out of topics already? Why don’t you tell us to breathe oxygen while you’re at it, Captain Obvious!
I know. I know that you know. But do you know WHY? That’s what I’m going to expound on today. The WHY. Why is drinking water important. And also I’m going to go into the “how much” question.
So, here’s a few good reasons why water is beneficial;
First, It keeps you alive.
At extremes, you can survive for about a month without food, but you can only survive approximately a week (at the most) without drinking water. Three to four days is more typical in terms of survival without water. Pretty good first reason, huh?
Next, in no particular order;
It lubricates the joints
Cartilage, found in joints and the disks of the spine, contains around 80 percent water. Long-term dehydration can reduce the joints’ shock-absorbing ability, leading to joint pain. Are you listening, runners?
It forms saliva and mucus
Saliva helps us digest our food and keeps the mouth, nose, and eyes moist. This prevents friction and damage. Drinking water also keeps the mouth clean. Consumed instead of sweetened beverages, it can also reduce tooth decay. It also helps prevent bad breath.
It delivers oxygen throughout the body
Blood is more than 90 percent water, and blood carries oxygen to different parts of the body.
It boosts skin health and beauty
With dehydration, the skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and premature wrinkling.
It cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues
Dehydration can affect brain structure and function. It is also involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Prolonged dehydration can lead to problems with thinking and reasoning.
It regulates body temperature
Water that is stored in the middle layers of the skin comes to the skin’s surface as sweat when the body heats up. As it evaporates, it cools the body. In sport. Some scientists have suggested that when there is too little water in the body, heat storage increases and the individual is less able to tolerate heat strain. Having a lot of water in the body may reduce physical strain if heat stress occurs during exercise. However, more research is needed into these effects. This is why I’m not going to make fun of you runners who wear a water bottle bandoleer for a 5k race.
At least not in this blog….
The digestive system depends on it
The bowel needs water to work properly. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation, and an overly acidic stomach. This increases the risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers.
It flushes body waste
Water is needed in the processes of sweating and removal of urine and feces.
It helps maintain blood pressure
A lack of water can cause blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.
The airways need it
When dehydrated, airways are restricted by the body in an effort to minimize water loss. This can make asthma and allergies worse.
It makes minerals and nutrients accessible
These dissolve in water, which makes it possible for them to reach different parts of the body.
It prevents kidney damage
The kidneys regulate fluid in the body. Insufficient water can lead to kidney stones and other problems.
It boosts performance during exercise
Some scientists have proposed that consuming more water might enhance performance during strenuous activity. More research is needed to confirm this, but one review found that dehydration reduces performance in activities lasting longer than 30 minutes.
Water may also help with weight loss, if it is consumed instead of sweetened juices and sodas. “Preloading” with water before meals can help prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness.
It reduces the chance of a hangover
I was all excited about this one, until I realized that they were saying “When partying, unsweetened soda water with ice and lemon alternated with alcoholic drinks can help prevent overconsumption of alcohol.” So, basically drinking other drinks between your alcoholic bevvies won’t get you drunk as fast.
Now, how much water do you need?
So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks. So what about the advice to drink 8 glasses a day? Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than eight glasses a day might be enough. But other people might need more.
You might need to modify your total fluid intake based on several factors:
Exercise. If you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It’s important to drink water before, during and after a workout. If exercise is intense and lasts more than an hour, a sports drink can replace minerals in your blood (electrolytes) lost through sweat.
Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional fluid intake. Dehydration also can occur at high altitudes.
Overall health. Your body loses fluids when you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Drink more water or follow a doctor’s recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Other conditions that might require increased fluid intake include bladder infections and urinary tract stones.
In the case of urinary tract stones, umm, OW. I got nothing. But drink a crapload of water.
Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. The Office on Women’s Health recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.4 liters) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters) of fluids a day.
So, there it is.
Water is good for you.
No thanks necessary, this all comes with the prices of admission. Which is nothing, you cheap bastards.