Did you know water constitutes 50-70% of your body weight? Water is essential to helping pretty much all bodily functions flow smoothly.
The amount of water a person needs depends on their weight, the climate, and their activity level, but the average intake of water for Americans is 15 cups a day for men and 11 cups for women. This is based on the amount of water needed to replace daily water loss.
Most of the water we consume obviously comes from drinking it (8 cups), as well as from foods high in water like apples, tomatoes, oranges, and lettuce (2 cups), and then our bodies have these cool little things in them called metabolites that produce a little bit of water each day (about 1 cup).
The water we lose throughout a day is lost from perspiration (3 cups), respiration (think about when it’s cold outside and you can see your breath, you actually lose about 1 cups of water a day through breathing), and then of course water excreted when we go to the bathroom (7 cups).
Now that’s not to mention what water does INSIDE the body. Water is a key component for cell support. Without water, that would be like a water balloon that got stretched out and then lost all its water, it’s useless, wrinkly, baggy, and weak. This is why water is so good for your skin, it hydrates the skin cells and keeps them happy and strong. This is true for all cells throughout your body. Water is also used for nutrient transportation, body temperature control, blood and fluid circulation.
What happens if we don’t get enough water to support all of our daily needs? Well first the body is going to start releasing hormones (namely the Anti-diuretic hormone or ADH) that tells your kidneys to preserve as much water as they can before changing it to urine for excretion. You can tell this is happening when your pee (sorry) is a deeper yellow than normal. Next, your blood pressure is going to go down because you’re not going to have as much fluid in your system. Pretty soon you will start experiencing the symptoms of dehydration: muscle weakness, fatigue, and in extreme cases, kidney failure, delirium, and even seizures. Let’s face it, without water, the body slowly shuts down. All of these issues can be avoided when we listen to our body when it tells us it’s thirsty. After all, thirst is the first sign of dehydration!
Now I understand that sometimes it’s hard to get enough water throughout the day. Maybe you don’t want to have to go to the bathroom all the time, or maybe water just doesn’t taste good to you? Well, I can’t solve all your problems, but you can. The secret to getting enough water is always having water available, so carry a water bottle with you throughout the day!
And flavored water is a great way to go if you don’t love the taste of plain water. Below are a few combinations of home-made flavored water that I’ve tried and liked. Just put the ingredients in a pitcher of water and keep in your fridge (or water bottle) for the day. The downside is they don’t really last longer than a day, so drink it all up!
- Citrus water: Sliced lemon, orange, and/or lime
- Berry Fresh: Rasberries, strawberries, and cucumber slices
- Strawberry Kiwi: Yep, strawberries and kiwi slices
- Melon water: Cubed watermelon, honey dew, and/or cantaloupe
- For more ideas, check this out or this
And if all else fails, you can buy Crystal Light lemonade or pink lemonade powder. It’s very low calorie and makes some good lemonade.
So next time you hear of some magic trick to stay energized throughout the day or to solve all of your skin issues, just remember that in reality, water is the secret ingredient to keeping all your body systems as happy as they can be.