Water is the most important nutrient we put into our body. Staying hydrated, with healthy fluids, is vital to so many body functions. Ideally you should drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. In a hot and humid summer in and around Charlotte, it goes without saying the importance of drinking enough water to feel ok and keep going. Especially in the heat, dry climates, or with strenuous work or exercise, we should continue to drink lots of water. When you’re at the point of feeling thirsty, the body is telling you you’re already dehydrated. Why is it so important to stay hydrated?
Yes, there’s simply quenching your thirst and it’s a critical need. Internally, when the body does not have enough water, dehydration can cause the function of organs, cells, and tissues to fail. If the body is severely dehydrated, the body can go into shock.
Body Functions that Need Water
- Regulating body temperature
- Keeping a healthy blood level
- Healthy joints and cartilage
- Moving oxygen-rich blood and nutrients
- Converting food to energy
- Removing waste from our liver and kidneys
- Better, longer sleep
- Better mood
- Fighting infections
- Improving brain functions
Warning Signs of Dehydration
- Dry mouth
- Muscle cramps
How Much Water?
It’s best to prevent dehydration well before it happens. It’s simple to drink plenty of water and eat water-rich foods. We’ve all heard the eight glasses of water a day as a good guideline and it is a good suggestion. Another way to think of, how much water should I drink a day?, is take your body weight and take one-third of that number in ounces. So for example, 180 pounds and 60 ounces. You should drink 60 ounces of water a day.
You should drink more water and be extra sure to stay hydrated with some activities or circumstances. When you’re exercising or working, and/or there’s hot weather, you lose fluid faster. When you’re sick, especially experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, it’s more important to replace the water the body is losing, and needs even more of when it’s trying to recover.
Benefits of More Water
Mild dehydration – just 2% liquid loss – can affect memory, mood, focus, and response time. Adding a few glasses of water to your everyday intake can be beneficial to cognition, a good mood, as well as fight feelings of stress and anxiety. This is specifically essential for older adults who are at more risk of dehydration and issues affecting cognitive function.
You need water to function and that’s quite literal inside your body. You need water to digest food. Without enough water, you might have gas, bloating, heartburn, pain and irregular bowel movements. Drinking more water helps keep the digestive system doing what it’s designed to do. Mineral water is specifically helpful. Look for products with sodium and magnesium added.
Dehydration slows blood flow for the whole body, including to the brain. Poor blood flow means poor oxygen flow. Less oxygen means less energy. A lack of fluid can make your heart work harder to send the needed blood and oxygen through the body. This has lots of consequences. You have less energy, feel more fatigued and it’s a major concern for your heart, organs and whole body in the long run. Just by having more water, you’ll prevent dehydration and have more energy during the day.
Drinking water makes you feel full. You feel better and more satisfied between meals. You’re less likely to snack and eat unhealthy stuff. Water also raises metabolism. We’re designed to drink more water and eat less – especially less food that has little or negative nutrition to it. One study found women who consumed more water before every meal had decreases in body weight. Another study, of men and women, found drinking more water, even by just 1% more, results in people consuming less calories, sugar, sodium, fat and cholesterol.
Less Joint Pain
Our body is more than 60% water. Cartilage in the joints in our bodies is about 80% water. A lot of water keeps joints well lubricated and keeps them healthier longer. More cushioned, flexible joints will help fend of aches and pains.
Handle the Heat Easier
When you are dehydrated, the body stays warmer. This is true in the summer, too, so it’s an even tougher problem in the summer. You can’t function as well, or for long, in very hot temperatures. Drinking a lot of water helps you sweat more. This may sound unfortunate, but it’s necessary. It’s what you want your body to do, to cool itself naturally. This is how your body cools itself to stop problems such as heat stroke and other symptoms like dizziness, weakness and nausea.
Stop Kidney Stones
Anyone who’s had kidney stones knows they never want another one. Kidney stones are mineral deposits which form, then have to pass through, the urinary tract. Drinking a healthy amount of water keeps mineral levels from becoming too high and build ups from happening. More water is the best advice for keeping kidney stones from forming in the first place. More water is also valuable advice for fighting bacteria and urinary tract infections.
Your blood, like the body as a whole, is mostly water. If you don’t consume enough water, blood can be out of balance. Your blood needs certain minerals and electrolytes in the right ratio. If your body is needing more blood to do all its supposed to do, it means your heart is working harder sending more blood around.
Your body is meant to naturally detoxify itself. But, it needs the right amount of water to do this. Water flushes waste and harmful stuff out through obvious ways, but also through sweat and even breathing. Letting your body use its own detoxifying ways is better and less expensive than other detoxing ideas or products out there.
South End Water Filtration specializes in HALO Water Filter products including the HALO H2 Zero Whole Home Water Filter. HALO systems solve hard water problems, give your family clear, great-tasting water and are totally maintenance free. We’re just a click away to help and answer any questions. South End Plumbing and South End Water Filtration will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-486-1988 or contact us online to schedule a visit.