You would think, that because our bodies re made up of nearly 60% water that we wouldn’t need more of it – right? Wrong. Your brain and heart are comprised of 73% water, your lungs about 83% water, your skin 64% water, muscles and kidneys 79% and your bones 31% water. That’s a lot of H20. It’s because our bodies are made up of, and therefore use, a lot water makes the resource even more valuable.
Why Does Your Body Need Water?
Water is an essential aspect of body’s everyday functioning. It’s the foundation, a crucial nutrient to every cell, organ and bodily process. Here are a few of the ways water helps keep you alive, and your body running optimally:
- Transports carbs and proteins (from our food) in the bloodstream
- Creates saliva (required for digestion)
- Regulates internal body temperature (Sweating and respiration. Most especially when your getting through a workout at fitnessrocks.org)
- Helps deliver oxygen all over your body
- Lubricates your joints
- Flushes body waste and other toxins (through your urine)
- The nutrient that allows your body’s cells to grow, reproduce and survive
- Converts food needed for survival (digestion)
How much water do you need? How do you know you’re getting enough?
How do you know how much water your body needs? How do you know how much you need to drink? This seems like such a simple question. But there isn’t an exact one-size-fits all answer. You don’t want to enter the dangerous dehydrated territory. Here are some signs to look out for, in case you may be dehydrated:
- Increased thirsts
- Dry mouth
- Dry Skin
- Decrease in urine
While you really don’t want to be dehydrated, you want to be overhydrated either. Yes, there is such a thing as drinking too much water. There are two types of overhydration: increased water intake and retaining water. Here are some signs of overhydration.:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Confusion or disorientation
- Muscle Cramps
- Tiredness or Fatigue
- Swelling or Discoloration in hands, lips and feet
There are variety of reasons why one might become overhydrated, that may not have to do with drinking too much water. For example:
- Liver Disease
- Kidney Problems
- Uncontrolled Diabetes
- Congestive heart failure (CHF)
The bottom line is, you need to figure out where your sweet spot is, to suit your needs. And to do that you need to take into consideration your overall health and lifestyle.
8 8-ounce glasses might be something you’ve heard before. Let’s face it, it’s also easy to remember. But as mentioned earlier, how much water one needs might not fit a one-size-fits-all approach. Depending on your body you might need a little more, or a little less. How much water your body needs could depend on the following factors:
- A Health Condition
In a healthy individual, a pretty good indication of hydration status is the color of urine. When you urine is a pale yellow color, like lemonade, you’re pretty hydrated. When your urine is darker in color, you need more water. And finally, when your urine is colorless, it means you are overhydrated.
How to Drink More Water?
So, you need to drink more water. But you have no idea how to get more into your body. Or more so, how to motivate yourself to drink more. Here are some suggestions on how you can drink a little more water everyday day.
Chugging glasses upon glasses of boring tasteless water everyday sounds like torture. But you can get all the benefits of a glass of water, with a fun exciting new taste. Hydrate your body, but with flavor. The possibilities and combinations are endless. You can add some fresh fruit to your bottle, like grapefruit, lemon, or strawberries. If you’re not into fruity, you can try veggies like cucumber, celery and ginger. If you’d like to give herbs a try, you can add lavender, basil or even mint.
Use an App
Technology has come far. There are tons of apps available,and some of them free, that you can use to help track your water intake. Some come with little animations, goals and incentives to help you make drinking enough water routine. Some apps also come with reminder features. Especially useful for those of us who find ourselves consumed with everyday life. Too busy and preoccupied to remember to stay hydrated.
Keep the Bottle Near By
This is probably one of the easiest ways to drink more water. If it’s there, and close by, chances are when you see it you’ll drink it. It’s that easy, and that simple. It also takes the work out of stopping whatever it is you’re doing, and hunting down a glass of water. With a jug right next to you, there’s no excuse.
Drink a Glass Before Every Meal
This is an excellent way to drink more water, and lose some weight. By drinking a glass of water before every meal you fill up your stomach, decreasing your hunger. The less hungry you are the less you eat. The less you eat, the easier it is to lose or maintain weight.
Eat Water-Rich Foods
This is another different way to hydrate your body. You can increase the amount of water you consume by eating foods that naturally contain a lot of it. Food like watermelon, cucumber, zucchini, and grapefruit are great. And they taste delicious too.