We all know drinking water is super important, facts are up to 60% of the human adult body is water. The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even bones are watery! So what exactly does water do for us?
1. Water Helps Maintain The Balance Of Body Fluids
Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
Through the posterior pituitary gland, your brain communicates with your kidneys and tells it how much water to excrete as urine or hold onto for reserves. When you're low on fluids, the brain triggers the body's thirst mechanism. Unless you are taking medications that make you thirsty, you should listen to those cues and get yourself a drink of water, a fresh juice, milk, herbal tea etc -- anything but alcohol, as it interferes with the brain and kidney communication and causes excess excretion of fluids which can then lead to dehydration.
2. Water Can Help Control Calories
For years, dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn't have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help.
What works with weight loss is if you choose water / or eat a diet higher in water-rich foods that are healthier, more filling, and help you trim calorie intake. Food with high water content tends to look larger, its higher volume requires more chewing, and it is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel full. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.
3. Water Helps Energise Muscles
Cells that don't maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. When muscle cells don't have adequate fluids, they don't work as well and performance can suffer.
Drinking enough fluids is important when exercising. Guidelines recommend that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid about two hours before exercise. During exercise, they recommend that people start drinking fluids early, and drink them at regular intervals to replace fluids lost by sweating.
Dehydration Pinch Tip!
4. Water Promotes Glowing Skin
Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. But don't expect over-hydration to erase wrinkles or fine lines.
Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration. Once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluids. You can also help "lock" moisture into your skin by using moisturiser, which creates a physical barrier to keep moisture in.
5. Water Helps Your Kidneys
Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine. Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate.
When you're getting enough fluids, urine flows freely, is light in colour and free of odor. When your body is not getting enough fluids, urine concentration, colour, and odour increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions. If you chronically drink too little, you may be at higher risk for kidney stones, especially in warm climates.
When checking the colour, be aware that some medications, supplements and certain foods such as beetroot can also affect urine colour.
6. Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function
Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation. When you don't get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration -- and the result is constipation.
Adequate fluid and fiber is the perfect combination, because the fluid pumps up the fiber and acts like a broom to keep your bowel functioning properly.
7. Water Can Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms
Those with allergies suffer due to a histamine reaction in the body. Your immune system produces histamines to help guard your body against dangerous pollutants. The annoying symptoms caused by your allergies is actually your body fighting off the harmful irritants like, mold, dust and pollen. Histamines also help regulate your body’s water supply.
When your body is dehydrated, or not getting adequate water, histamine production acts as a defensive mechanism to preserve the water remaining in the body. Once your body is dehydrated, the histamine production increases, which causes the body to have the same trigger symptoms as seasonal allergies. Drinking plenty of water will help prevent the higher histamine production and alleviate the allergy symptoms.
Tips to Help You Drink More
If you think you need to be drinking more, here are some tips to increase your fluid intake and reap the benefits of water:
Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
Choose beverages you enjoy; you're likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of fluid intake comes from foods.
Keep a BPA free bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day?
The NHS recommends consuming 6-8 glasses or cups a day, and it also includes lower fat milks, and low sugar or sugar-free drinks, tea and coffee within this intake. However, be mindful of added sugars or syrups in tea, coffee and soft drinks which will increase your overall sugar intake for the day.
You may also need more water if you consume multiple cups of coffee, as too much can dehydrate, rather than hydrate. Along with exercising, or when the weather is hot, as we lose water through sweating.
Upgrade Your H2O Intake With These Flavour Combos
Craving a healthy and hydrating drink other than boring old plain water, but still want the health benefits? Well look no further, no need to continue buying those sugary over-priced bottles which are gone in 2 sips. YK DAILY bring you a long list of ways you can invigorate your H2O with a twist – Fruity and herby flavoured water, get ready to hydrate.
While there really aren't any strict rules for flavoured water, here's a basic ratio to go by. Feel free to change up the quantities to find your favourite combo!
1 Cup washed fruit such as citrus or berries
2 Sprigs washed herbs such as thyme or mint
8 Cups water – You can even use coconut water
Ice - as much as you want!
Combine all ingredients together in a pitcher. Muddle to release the juices or leave the fruit to float. The more you muddle and the longer you let the ingredients "hang out" with each other the better, in our opinion of course! Don't forget to let it chill.
Lemon, Lime and Orange
Raspberry and Lime
Raspberry and Rosemary
Pineapple and Mint
Grapefruit and Mint
Cucumber and Lemon
Lemon and Lavender
Cucumber, Mint and Lime
Blackberry and Sage
Watermelon and Rosemary
Watermelon and Basil
Mango and Blueberries
Mango and Ginger
Orange and Vanilla
Strawberry and Basil
Cherry and Lime
Blackberry and Ginger