This may seem like a weird topic, because everyone knows we should be drinking water everyday. But do you know WHY? And if you did know all the specifics, you would also know that 8 cups a day just doesn’t cut it. It’s funny to me that ONE time someone came up with this crazy standard, and then it sticks and we can’t seem to shake it for years and years. Kind of like the one that says women should eat 1,200 calories a day to lose weight, when we now know that is enough calories to feed only a small child…not an exercising human. Anyways, here is why water is important and 6 simple facts to break it down for you!
Your body uses water for all sorts of different functions. In fact, did you know our bodies are made up of 60% water?! We use it for cell function, digestion, tissue health, sweating etc. So that also means if we are using it that much, we need to make sure we are replacing it throughout the day. How much water we need depends on a few different factors like the climate we live in, our lifestyle, our health level (are we battling a sickness) etc. This is why I think it is safe to say that the average person should be drinking about 1/2 their body weight in ounces, and even upwards of a gallon on days where there is a lot of sweating going on!
#1 Creates Saliva and Aids in Digestion
With all the new research out there on the gut microbiome and gut health in general, it is important to mention that water intake is crucial for digestive health. Water plays a role in both the start, and end of consuming a meal. It starts with saliva. Saliva contains important enzymes your body needs to digest food and keep you regular. After saliva is created, we head to the digestion phase. Those enzymes breakdown food and allow the water in our system to move nutrients along so our bodies can use them. After we digest the food, water helps to carry nutrients through our digestive tract, as well as break down soluble fiber (full blog post on fiber here) to have healthy bowel movements. So proper water intake will keep us from becoming constipated, and will allow us to utilize the nutrients we are consuming!
#2 Protects Vital Tissues and Organs
You know that feeling when your mouth is really dry, or your skin is ashy? Well, that is a sign that your body is lacking water. Not only that, if you have gotten to the point of CRAVING water, you are definitely dehydrated. Being dehydrated just means your body does not have enough water to 1. fully function but also 2. keep your system regulated..which is why we sometimes get shakey and light headed..because our pH balance is off. Anyways, water also helps to keep your tissues moist, like your brain, bones and organs. You definitely don’t want those drying up. And lastly, water acts as a lubricant and cushion of the spinal chord and joints so we can freely move with good range of motion!
#3 Fight off Illness
Anytime we get sick, it is a sign that we either need to take a step back and SLOW down, or that we have come in contact with a small human who was spreading germs at daycare. Just kidding, there are several other reasons we tend to get sick. But, water can help us bounce back! Drinking enough water, especially when sick, is going to help move the illness along faster. This is because it works to remove any waste built up, and therefore remove damaged cells. It can also help to decrease your chances of getting sick because it helps absorb vital nutrients from your diet!
#4 Aid in Weight Loss
Notice I said weight loss, and not fat loss. This is because increasing our water can help eliminate inflammation we have in our body that can cause unnecessary weight gain. A study was actually done on women determining if the amount of water they drank was correlated with their ability to lose weight, and it was! Not only that but if we have been experiencing weight gain, hormone imbalances or exhaustion, that could be a sign of not drinking enough water. Water is literally the balance of all things, and when water is out of sync, everything else slowly follows suit to keep up. So remember the next time you feel sluggish, inflamed or yucky, take a look at your water first!
#5 Regulates Body Temperature
That hot summer day where you are over heating and sweating like crazy, what do you crave? FLUIDS! This is because as you sweat in the summer heat, you are actually dehydrating your cells and raising your internal body temperature. So by replenishing these, WITH WATER (not soda or juice) you are able to bring that temperature back down and feel refreshed again! When you are sweating, either from the climate or from physical activity, your body is losing electrolytes and plasma, which are crucial for maintaining body pH and temperature. So by drinking enough water we are allowing our body to continue to cool itself and run at optimal levels.
#6 The Extras – Energy, Skin, Hair
And then comes all the things everyone takes for granted like extra energy, glowing skin and long luscious hair! All things that you can thank water for once again! Water increases energy because when we are well hydrated our body is working at it’s optimal level! This also means we have revved up our metabolism because or energy can be put towards utilizing food and not towards literally surviving. Not to mention drinking enough water allows us to have a clear mind and a great mood, you’d be surprised how angry and depressed you can become from lack of water. Clear skin and healthy hair comes from the benefits of nutrient absorption!
So with benefits like these, peeing 10 times a day is just a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things! I would much rather having a healthy brain and spinal cord than go 4 hours without having to take a pee, but maybe that is just me! I do want to be clear on one thing, because people ask me, the best type of water you can consume is 100% filtered water. There is no need to buy expensive electrolyte water or anything of the sort. Just make sure you are getting your water in, and adding in some sea salt to your diet and your electrolyte balance will take care of itself!
Whew, alright, there you have it. Why water is important and 6 easy to understand reasons why! If you like this blog post please share it with a friend, and make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter below for a weekly email with even more goodies!