Hey, I’ve got a good idea, Let’s NOT talk about what we’ve been talking about for the last, say 4 months. Let’s talk about something summery, since, believe it or not, it’s summer! Beaches, suntans , grills ( barbecue here on the west coast). Warm weather, fun in the sun, you get it, right?
But while you’re out there, biking, hiking, running on the beach, checking out the sights (you KNOW what I mean) You need to think about what you drink.
That’s what I’m talking about. You need the many and varied benefits of good old H2O.
I know. You 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
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
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. 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 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
It helps maintain blood pressure
A lack of water can cause blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.
The airways need it
It prevents kidney damage
The kidneys regulate fluid in the body. Insufficient water can lead to kidney stones and other problems.
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. Who thinks that this is news. It’s called killing your buzz. Why would you do that with the cost of good booze?
….but I digress….
Now, how much water do you 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.