75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, so let’s get ourselves on the right track! We all hear that we need to drink sufficient amounts of water, but what is the reasoning behind this? Really, what does water do for our bodies? Here are some key points about water consumption and why we need to be sure we are hydrating properly.
Drinking water is imperative for our brain function. Proper hydration prevents the loss of memory as we age. Water can also lessen the addictive urges that our brain produces, such as the urge to drink caffeine, alcohol and even certain drugs. Drinking water can even help suppress hunger pains, which helps to decrease the unnecessary eating or snacking throughout the day. Thus, this keeps our body weight at a healthy level.
Water also helps our cells repair and proper cell-functioning, which allows for muscle recovery. It also helps to lubricate our joints and relieve discomfort from certain musculoskeletal issues such as arthritis and back pain. Hydration allows red blood cells to carry oxygen more efficiently, which results in better muscle function and mental clarity as well. The heart muscle is also affected by water, as dehydration taxes the heart by causing it to pump faster to get the proper amount of oxygen to the muscles.
Drinking water can help us with the proper and much-needed release of toxins. This is by way of sweating as well as proper organ functioning. Without the flow of water in our body, there is not sufficient capacity for water to remove waste and toxins through our stool as well. Water also carries toxic waste from certain parts of the body to the liver and kidneys for removal.
Not only does water affect our internal body and organs, but when we are hydrated it also helps our outward appearance as well. We have improved skin tone and clarity. Our skin is less wrinkled, not flaky and appears smoother. Our lips are less chapped and dry, and our hair can even be affected. As you start to drink more water, you may notice you feel better such as less headaches and more energy as well.
Now that we know what water does for our bodies, the question is how much water should we drink? The recommendation is to drink half of our body-weight in ounces of water each day. This is often the part that takes some planning and tracking. A couple helpful hints are to keep a water bottle with you during the day and know how many ounces are in the bottle so that you are able to reach your goals for consumption. Another helpful aspect is to add some flavor to your water such as a lemon or lime. Water is so important in our overall functioning, it’s a great place to focus our efforts for improved health and wellness.