Yes, our body needs water on regular basis as everyone on an average loses 10 cups of water through breathing, sweating, and elimination. Around 57-60% of the human body is water and our body depends on water for survival. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function properly.
No wonder that we cannot go for more than a few days without it.
Water is involved in all life processes and is a major contributor to most metabolic actions. Water regulates body temperature, maintains blood volume, ensures proper digestion & enhances the nutrient absorption, facilitates the transportation of oxygen, enzymes, hormones to cells; acts as a lubricant and cushion for joints, disposes of waste products and participates in metabolic activities such as muscle contraction.
Like any other cell in the body, skin cells are made up of water and water is essential for maintaining healthy blood flow through the capillaries in the skin. Water will keep your skin hydrated; improves the skin tone providing smooth, radiant & healthy skin that glows with youth. In other words, water acts like a moisturizer, but from the inside out.
An easy reminder is to keep filled bottles around you. Have water as soon as you wake up, before each meal & before going to bed. Make drinking water a mindless habit- Just like we mindlessly check our phones or Facebook accounts, drinking water must not be treated like a chore. One can sip and refresh themselves without planning to finish one jug at a time. This way, we build on a good habit without feeling pressured for the effort.
If you do not like water add lemon, mint and cucumber slices to your regular water jug and sip on naturally flavored water, all day long, or munch on foods that contain around 90% water such as watermelon, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
Natural tender coconut water is a better natural alternative. Being a natural isotonic beverage, it hydrates perfectly as it has the exact proportion of electrolytes as human cells and plasma. It also contains a host of vitamins and minerals.
Water is the most vital nutrient required by the body. As we know water acts as the main transport system in our body, its scarcity causes a reduction in the supply of oxygen & nutrients to the cells; and a reduction in the supply of oxygen & nutrients will make you feel tired.
2% drop in body water can cause a small but critical shrinkage of the brain, which can impair neuromuscular coordination, decrease concentration, and slow thinking. Dehydration can also reduce endurance, decrease strength, causing cramping and slow muscular response.
A shortage of water can also lead to a number of digestive disorders like constipation, gastritis, acid reflux & ulcer. To a greater extent, dehydration is also responsible for elevated blood pressure. Without adequate water, kidneys are unable to excrete metabolic waste resulting in accumulation of toxins and acid waste creating a favorable environment for bacteria to grow that leads to urinary infection, inflammation & pain.
If your body is not getting the sufficient amount of water, it impairs the elimination of toxins through the skin as well turning it dry, tight & flaky and also makes it more vulnerable to all types of skin disorders including dermatitis, psoriasis as well as premature wrinkling consequently leading to premature aging.
Water is also known for increasing our metabolism. Water does not directly increase the metabolism. Every enzymatic and chemical reaction of the body occurs in the presence of water. In addition, our bodies’ proteins and enzymes are more efficient in solutions of lower viscosity (i.e. diluted) thus helping the body and skin get rid of toxins.
Water intake reduces water retention- yes believe it or not. If your body is deprived of water, it is more likely to hold onto what little it has. On the other hand, increasing your water intake will cause your body to stop hoarding its limited supplies.
Every individual is unique & has varied water needs. There are several factors that determine your water requirement like environment, exercise, pregnancy, breastfeeding, certain medicines, various medical conditions like kidney stone & most digestive disorders.
Rule of thumb to know if you are meeting your water requirement, rather I would say fluid requirement, is to check the color of your urine. The dark yellow indicates you are drinking less than your body needs. Increase your water intake until your urine is colorless or light yellow.
Most common mistake by most individuals while calculating their fluid intake is to count on caffeinated drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, sugary drinks or alcoholic drinks. These drinks are not a part of your fluid intake as due to osmosis they dehydrate your body more. Rather, beverages like milk, laban, juices without added sugar and herbal teas will provide a significant portion.
You can also consume fruits & vegetables that are high in water content like melons, citrus fruits, cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, celery, zucchini, bell peppers, asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach & Bok choy. Added advantage of consuming these high water content foods is that they are refreshing, hydrating, filled with nutrients & low in calories.