Let’s talk water! The average human body is made up of about 60% water. The brain and heart are made up of about 70% water, the lungs are 83% water, the skin is 64%, the kidneys and muscle are 79%, and bone is about 30%. Plasma, which is the liquid portion of blood, is about 92% water and it accounts for about 55% of the volume of blood in our body. In order for every single cell in your body to function, it needs water. Being properly hydrated is a vital component to maintaining your health. Without the presence of water in the body your health will deteriorate. You can go up to three weeks without food, but the body will only last around 3 days without water. This just goes to show you the importance of water to the body. How much water is enough? On a daily basis, expert say you should drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water a day.
Ex: If you’re 150 lbs, you need to drink 75 ounces of water per day.
Of course, you can’t just drink that amount of water all at once without putting a strain on your kidneys, and you need to give your body a chance to absorb. On average, a person can absorb around 32 oz. of water an hour; which appears like a lot. It also makes the task of reaching your ounces’ goal a lot easier. However, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. The amount of water you absorb is also contingent on certain factors. Aspects like the temperature inside and outside of your body, if you’re partaking in any physical activity at the time, and if you have an excessive amount of non-hydrating foods and beverages.
What are the types of foods and beverages that take away from your hydration, you ask? They are anything that contains sugar, caffeine, chemicals, and/or preservatives. Meat is also especially anti-hydration because it takes a lot of water and energy to break it down to use as nutrients. So, what’s the rule of thumb for still consuming things like coffee, alcohol, sugar, and meat but still maintaining good hydration? Well, it’s an ounce-for-ounce kind of thing. For every ounce of coffee, meat, or serving of sugary foods you will have to drink that many more ounces.
Ex: If you drink 8 oz. of coffee, you need to consume 8 extra ounces of water to make up for it, on top of your daily ounces’ goal.
I am not saying you should avoid those foods. All I am saying is that in order to maintain proper hydration, you need to account for those food and beverage items that will dehydrate you. Exercise is also something to keep in mind when you’re trying to maintain proper hydration. When you increase your body’s temperature, the body uses water to cool you down, repair muscles, and lubricate the skin. So, during times of exercise, you are using more water than you would if watching TV. So, when you are done with your workout, you need to focus on replacing that water that you used during that workout. Remarkably enough, the body also loses water when you are crying, breathing, and when you become stressed out.
There are so many benefits for staying properly hydrated.
Energy: As mentioned before, the body requires water to perform almost every function in the body. So, if you’re dehydrated, the body will slow everything down in order to preserve the what in your body, causing fatigue and possible weakness. The last thing the body wants to do is to exert itself when it is low on water.
Eliminate toxins: It is through the lungs, liver, skin, and kidneys that the body eliminates waste. How does it do this? … with waste water, like urine (95%), sweat (99% water), and bile (97% water). So, in order to eliminate waste from the body, you need water!
Feel better: When you have all the necessary tools to function properly, things go a lot more smoothly than when you don’t. Making sure the body is well hydration is giving it the tools it needs to function and perform the tasks it needs to to keep you healthy.
Sleep better: When you’re sleeping, the body makes all sorts of repairs and memory back-up while you sleep. The lungs are working, the blood is moving, and all of these things require water. When you are well hydrated, the body won’t wake you up in the middle of the night, disrupting your sleep, to rehydrate. So, the better hydrated you are the better you will sleep. Keep in mind that drinking a lot of water before bed could also result in interrupted sleep. So, be sure to be hydrating throughout the day.
Helps with weight loss: Water will help keep you energized, aid you in your workouts, suppress appetite, boost metabolism, and help with sugar cravings. This can aid in your weight-loss goals.
Relieve constipation: The digestive system needs a lot of water to function properly. Without it, things get stuck, nutrients can’t be absorbed, and you can’t eliminate waste. Being properly hydrated will keep everything flowing through the body.
hy Migraines are your body’s way of preventing the brain from becoming dehydrated. When the body becomes too dehydrated, the body will send blood to the brain to prevent it from sustaining damage. This will cause tension and painful pressure, also known as headaches and migraines.
Things other than water that help with hydration:
Soups and Broths
Decaffeinated Teas or Herbal Tea
Freshly Squeezed Juices
Coconut Water (Good Substitute for Sports Drinks)
If you tired of boring old water, you can also dress up your water to make it more flavorful and enjoyable. Here are some fun combinations. Combine with any 16 oz of water!
2 Cucumber Slices
5 Mint Leaves
2 Tablespoons Aloe Juice
1 Lime, Juiced
4 Slices Cucumber
3 Pieces of Watermelon (cubed)
3 Slices of Cucumber
3 Orange Slices
¼ cup Raspberries
2-inch Piece of Ginger
Handful of Blueberries
2 Slices of Cucumber
1 Lime wedge
4 Strawberries Sliced
5 Basil Leaves
2 Slices of Lemon
4 Strawberries Slices