80% of our planet is covered with water, and like Earth, the human body is also made up of a significant percentage of water. The liquid is present up to 65% in our body, or 45 liters for an average adult human being. It is about 78% in a newborn.
Every day, we eliminate about 2.4 liters of water, through urine, perspiration, or even breathing. We can do without eating for 30 days, but it is hardly possible to survive more than a few days without water. Also, it is not only important but also a priority to hydrate regularly.
The benefits of good hydration for the body
Water is essential to our survival, but it also has clear benefits for our health. Regular hydration will not only help you survive but live better, healthier lives.
1. Hydration improves brain function
Drinking lots of water makes your brain work faster. It also promotes memory and improves mood. In contrast, dehydration reduces cognitive abilities, attention, memory, and the ability to concentrate.
The brain is the main organ of the human nervous system. It controls majority of your body’s activity. It can process a large amount of information. Also, it constitutes the seat of our emotions and cognitive capacities. It is responsible for our short and long term thoughts.
If you want to increase your performance, avoid headaches, fully develop your skills, and have more ability to resolve conflicts quickly, you need to keep your body hydrated. You will be much more mentally alert if you drink enough water. Water therefore allows the brain to function faster, which is why hydration is so important for staying healthy.
2. Hydration releases chemicals from the body
With sweating, especially when you exercise, you lose magnesium, potassium, and sodium from your body. If you don't replenish the lost minerals, you could experience fatigue, muscle weakness, cramps, and spasms.
By drinking water, you not only fight chronic fatigue, but you also facilitate the distribution of essential molecules and other elements throughout the body. This includes removing toxins and wastes that can affect your internal organs and the start of metabolic processes. It's no secret that being dehydrated can increase feelings of fatigue.
Remember, water carries nutrients and chemicals through all of your organs, tissues, and systems. If you don't hydrate properly, you won't be able to provide your body with the nutrients it needs. For this reason, you need to hydrate yourself regularly.
3. Hydration helps cleanse the arteries
As we all know, when it comes to health, prevention is better than cure. You can maintain a healthy blood pressure level if you take enough water daily. Hydration will also facilitate the elimination of waste accumulated in the cells.
Dehydration, on the other hand, can easily cause low blood pressure and an increased heart rate. Do not forget to hydrate properly if you want to avoid problems associated with dehydration.
However, excessive fluid intake can also have adverse effects. Drinking too much water or any other fluids can overload the urinary system and increase the risk of inflammatory infections. The body is not intended to process anything in excess, even if it is water. The recommended amount may vary depending on age, weight, habits, and weather.
4. Hydration maintains body temperature
As your body warms up, water plays a fundamental role in sweating through self-regulatory mechanisms. Drinking water on an empty stomach helps regulate body temperature, which improves the transport of nutrients and oxygen to cells.
To balance the increase in body temperature, the sweat glands secrete a fluid that enters the skin when excess heat begins to build up.
5. Hydration facilitates the elimination of toxins from the body
Drinking enough water helps flush out impurities and substances that the body no longer needs. Plus, proper hydration keeps the liver healthy. The liver is one of the organs responsible for expelling toxins.
Water on an empty stomach eliminates waste accumulated in the kidneys, stimulating toxins’ expulsion through the urine. Drinking water on an empty stomach is one of the keys to hydrating the lymphatic system and avoiding straining the suprarenal gland, which is responsible for producing cortisol, a hormone that helps the body respond to stress.
The consumption of water is one of the keys to ensuring the proper functioning of the renal system, which is responsible for transforming fat into energy and preventing it from accumulating in the body.
Maintaining this good habit is so vital that in Japanese culture, for example, drinking water on an empty stomach is common. This helps to detoxify better and to avoid many health disorders such as heart disease. Indeed, one of the best daily habits we can adopt is drinking a glass of water, on an empty stomach. It may not seem important, but it is certain that the fact of drinking water right after getting up, is the best time of the day to consume this liquid so precious to our body.
6. Hydration improves kidney function
Getting enough water helps your kidneys to function properly. Proper hydration helps eliminate waste in urine. This helps to avoid ailments such as the dreaded kidney stones.
To eliminate toxins and wastes from our kidneys, it is important to stimulate our lymphatic system’s functioning by drinking enough water. If your kidneys are not healthy, calcium will not attach properly to the bones. Some of the possible consequences of this condition also include the following disorders:
- Increased risk of anemia and heart attacks
- Accumulation of acidity in the blood
- In the case of women, this can lead to imbalances in menstruation
7. Hydration aids digestion and evacuation
If you suffer from constipation, increase your water intake! Poor hydration slows down the digestive process and therefore slows down stool passage through the intestinal tract.
Constipation occurs when the passage of solid waste through the large intestine is slow. If it is longer than usual, the stool becomes hard and problems appear during evacuation. So, avoid these troubles by drinking a lot more water throughout the day.
These are the major benefits of hydration, but others are also important:
- Water for stress reduction: There is a primary instinct within us which results in colossal stress when the body is dehydrated. Thus, drinking more, and regularly, relaxes the body by reducing primary stress.
- Water to maintain the volume of blood and saliva level: plasma, composed mainly of water, allows oxygen to be transported in the body, and therefore to supply our vital organs. Also, saliva, which is 90% water, allows us to ingest food, so it is important to maintain its level.
- Water for beautiful skin: Drinking water regularly keeps the skin supple and soft, while promoting cell renewal and therefore strengthening its protective power.
- Water to cleanse the body: drinking regularly keeps our kidneys active, and eliminates toxins or waste from the body through urine while retaining the mineral salts we need daily.
- Water to sleep well: When you sleep, you sweat. This is why it is important that you choose a good pillow and a breathable duvet and regularly change the bed linen. And sweating rhymes with dehydration. If you don't want your sleep cycle to be disrupted, it is best to drink a glass of water before going to bed.
- Water to keep fit: Like rest, good hydration regenerates and boosts the body. It is therefore particularly important that you hydrate when practicing sport. This is of course to compensate for the loss of water-related to perspiration and lubricate the muscles (and to avoid cramps, as well as a good number of injuries!). Whatever your favorite sport is, make sure you drink water regularly, in small amounts, during your workout.
Watch out for signs of dehydration
How do we know when we are dehydrated? Well, imagine that the signs of dehydration can show up in different ways.
Why should you be wary of dehydration? We lose 2.4 liters every day, and to compensate for this loss, we would have to drink about 1.5 liters of water and eat fruits and vegetables which also contain water.
Believe it or not, dehydration has catastrophic effects on the body. Take care of yourself and those around you by being alert to the symptoms of dehydration:
- Dull look
- Dry tongue, chapped lips
- The sinking of the fontanel (a soft part of the infant's skull)
- Gray skin
- Loss of appetite
- Blood in stool
Dehydration can also occur as a result of illnesses, such as diarrhea, gastroenteritis, or diabetes. It can also cause urinary tract infections, even cystitis, in addition to impairing intellectual capacities.
Advice & prevention
There are simple things you can do to stay hydrated and healthy:
- Avoid drinking too much water: Drinking 2 liters of water a day is enough for your body to function correctly. Drinking too much water could cause other health problems.
- Create schedules to hydrate yourself regularly: If you have difficulty remembering to drink water, you can set alarms on your cell phone and choose fixed times. You can even use specific apps that will remind you to drink water regularly.
- Always take water with you: Make the bottle your faithful companion and your best friend. Get into the habit of putting at least a quart of water in your bag so you can drink it during your day.
- Add natural flavors to the water: If you don't like water, you can add a slice of lemon, mint, cucumber, apple, or basil. There are many ingredients you can use to make flavored water.
- Drink water regularly when you exercise: If you play sports, you should hydrate yourself before, during, and after each workout. Do this of course, without exaggeration, because excess is bad.
- Drink two glasses when you wake up: your body has spent the night without water intake, so you need to hydrate. You can also drink your water with a little lemon juice for a tonic effect when you wake up.
- Drink coffee and tea: these are stimulating and hydrating drinks, which are a change from the usual glass of water.
- Drink more when it's hot: the heat makes you lose more water, you have to compensate!
- Soups, vegetables, fruits: these foods, composed mainly of water, allow you to have an additional water supply and are different from a cold or hot drink.
Remember that good hydration is the first priority for your body to function properly. Make a habit of drinking water and other healthy liquids, your body will thank you. In short, take care of yourself.