Water is one of the most important components of our daily nutrition intake. If we don’t keep our bodies hydrated our performance suffers and health deteriorates.
Water provides a number of functions within the body:
- Cellular chemical processing
- Transportation of nutrients and oxygen
- Joint lubrication
- Organ protection
- Temperature regulation
- The brain needs it to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters
- It is needed for digestion
- It flushes out body waste
- AND hydration aids fat loss
60% of our bodies are made of water!
According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158:
- The brain and heart are composed of 73%
- Our lungs are about 83%
- The skin contains 64%
- Muscles and kidneys are 79%
- and even the bones are watery: 31%
So it is no surprise that if we are not hydrated we are going to suffer!
Barriers to Hydration
Even if we are drinking water there are lots of things that can prevent our body from being hydrated.
Barriers to a hydrated body include:
If we want to stay hydrated we should be mindful of our use of sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol.
How much water should we drink?
There are lots of factors that affect this and it is not one rule fits all approach!
Factors that affect how much water the body needs include:
- Environmental temperature
- Amount of lean muscle mass – the more you have the more water you will need
- The frequency, intensity and type of exercise you may take part in
- Your work environment – for example, if you have a physical job or work in a hot kitchen you may require more water
- Weight -Because the heavier you are the more water you need
Guidelines for Weight
|Body weight (kg)||Estimated Daily Water Intake (Litres)|
|60kg and under||1.85|
Remember to take ALL factors into account.
Try to listen to your body and if you are thirsty please don’t deprive your body of one of its most vital requirements! Just drink!
The most common reasons I hear for people not drinking are –
‘I find it annoying having to go to the toilet all the time’
‘I’m too lazy to get up and go to the toilet’
Ideally, you don’t want to get to the point where you feel thirsty, by then your body is already in a struggle. Try not to put your body under stress!
Not only will your body function far better but there are lots of other benefits of keeping hydrated:
- Increased energy
- Weight loss
- Flushing out toxins
- Clearer skin
- Better digestion
- Stronger immune system
- Relieves headaches
- Reduced cramps & sprains
I recommend taking a 2-litre bottle of water with you for the day and making sure you at least work your way through that as a minimum requirement!
Be intuitive, and listen to your body! Your body and your mind will thank you for it!