You’re most likely aware that proper hydration is associated with health benefits such as weight loss, mental focus, even smoother, softer skin. But how does water improve our state of wellbeing? It starts at the molecular level—meaning, our organs, joints and overall tissue structure. There, in the tiniest cell structures, water works its magic, multi-tasking throughout the body to regulate temperatures, clean out toxins and balance pH levels. Because our bodies are made up of 2/3 water, hydration levels effect all body functions. So power up with water this summer, and keep your body working at its best!
Heart & Respiratory Health
Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles, ensuring muscles work efficiently. Without proper hydration, this major muscle is strained and has to work much harder. It’s especially important to keep tabs on water intake when exercising, and far more effective to hydrate before—rather than after--heading out for a hike.*2
Dehydration causes shrinkage of brain tissue. It is often the cause of headaches, but may also reduce your ability to stay focused. In a typical twenty-four hour period, the longest spell most of us go without fluid intake is the six to eight hours spent sleeping. Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning can help maximize those productive morning hours, both mentally and physically. *5
Think of the kidneys as a big strainer, catching toxins and waste from your blood before channeling it to be eliminated in your urine. The kidneys keep the amount of fluid constant in your body—drinking extra water helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body. This filtering process occurs as many as 400 times per day! Without water, this cleansing process slows to a crawl, allowing toxic matter to stay in the body, clogging up your natural filtering system. *3
To put it simply, water keeps things moving in the digestive system, preventing constipation by breaking down fats and soluble fiber. How it works: In the large intestine, water binds with fiber to increase the bulk of the stools, reduce transit time and make elimination easier. When you don't drink enough water and fluids, the colon pulls water from stools, increasing your risk of constipation. *1
Water keeps the cartilage around our joints hydrated and lubricated. It also protects our spinal cord and tissues, keeping us healthy from the inside out. Cartilage—the rubbery material that coats our bones—is about 85 percent water. The health of this protective material depends on proper hydration. Water intake, combined with joint-supporting supplement such as NeoCell’s Type 2 Joint Complex, will help joints function smoothly to you keep moving.*6
Hydration Tips & Guidelines
A typical male needs 125 ounces of water per day. *4
A typical adult female needs 91 ounces of water per day. *4
Keep a water bottle (like this graphic, BPA-free stainless steel bottle by Earthlust) at your desk, challenging yourself to drink at least two 20-oz bottles during your workday.
Fight the blahs by flavoring water with vitamin-packed, deliciously low-sugar electrolytes such as Nuun All Day Hydration tablets.
Remember that sweating out moisture requires you to replace that moisture in order to stay hydrated, whether exercising or sitting in the sun. For every pound of sweat you lose, that’s a pint of water you’ll need to replenish. *2
Fruits and vegetables can also help replace H2O. On a hot day, grab an orange for not only hydration, but a burst of energy from the natural sugars and vitamins.
*2 American Heart Association http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Staying-Hydrated---Staying-Healthy_UCM_441180_Article.jsp
*3 Web MD
*4 Institute of Medicine - The Food & Nutrition Board
*5 European Journal of Clinical Nutrition