Water is the basis of all life, including our body, our body needs it to survive and thrive.
Did you know our lungs are 90% water, our brain 76% water, our muscles 75% water, our blood 82% water and even our bones are 25% water.
As an average our body is 70% water, no wonder dehydration is significant on our inner health and our outer shine.
Our body needs water more than food, we can live a month without food but only approximately a week without water.
Water is a part of every tissue, inside every cell, and in between every cell.
We are constantly losing water through exhalation, sweat, tears, elimination, and many other physiological functions – and we need to replace it all.
Bio-individuality applies not only to food but also to the amount of water our bodies need to function properly. Individual water needs are based on: age, activity, climate, diet, and health concerns.
Too little water could cause dehydration, depriving body cells of water causes them to react differently, symptoms include backache, headaches, fatigue, hunger, sugar cravings, poor digestion, confusion, bad breath, irritability, muscle cramps, and more. Dehydration can contribute to pain and inflammation in the body, as well as be involved in the development of many degenerative diseases.
“Ensuring great-quality water intake on a regular basis is a crucial step with any lifestyle plan.”
Too much water could result in mineral imbalances and disturbed sleep.
Balanced hydration aids circulation within the body, regulates body temperature, supports the transportation of nutrients, helps build strong hair & nails, increases alertness, acts as shock absorbers for joints and our brain.
Understanding dehydration will empower you to be healthy!
So How Much Should You Drink?
On average, men should drink about 3 litres (13 cups) and women about 2.2 litres (9 cups) of water each day. Science suggests we need 33ml per kilo of body weight however when we consume plant-based foods, herbal teas and soups these all count in our water consumption and increases hydration. Fruit and vegetables are 70% water so eating more of these means the less we need to consume as fluid, so another great reason to add more fresh veggies to your diet.
Water intake should be increased in the following situation:
- hot/humid temperature
- high altitude (above 8,200 feet)
- during exercise
- illness/incidence of fever, diarrhea, vomiting
- infections of the bladder or urinary tract
- pregnancy/breast feeding
- increased alcohol intake
Trust your thirst – thirst is nature’s way of letting you know you need to drink, by the time you feel thirsty your body has lost more than 1% of its total water, so aim to not feel thirsty and stay hydrated throughout the day.
Note: – We often mistake our bodies warning signals and substitute hunger for thirst. Whenever you think you are hungry grab a glass of water first before reaching for a snack as you might actually be thirsty instead.
An Absorption Issue…
Just as with food we are what we absorb, not simply what we eat or drink, so hydration is also an absorption issue. For our cells to absorb water they need minerals.
Too much water outside the cell and we experience fluid retention, we can, however, change this by improving the mineral balance of your diet and taking care of your liver. Dr Libby Weaver shares that a natural way to increase the mineral content of your diet is to eat more plant foods including green leafy vegetables. Another reason, if you need one, to add more fresh vegetables to your daily diet.
Now for the question…. What type of water?
The simple answer is the best quality water you can afford.
TAP WATER is the most readily available but may not always be the safest option. Some cities have very good purification systems, while others leave traces of chlorination by-products, fluoride, lead, and sometimes bacteria. A major problem with the Chlorine used to treat water while reducing bacteria that could cause water-borne diseases, it does so at the cost of good bacteria in your gut.
WATER FILTERS can help remove contaminants from water, this can be a simple way to increase the purity of the water you drink. Any water filter is better than none.
BOTTLED WATER – sometimes bottled water is tap water, but neither is as healthy as filtered water. Two main problems with bottled water are the environmental impact of disposable bottles and the toxins found in plastic that leach into the water such as BPA and xenoestrogens which mess with our bodies hormones.
Make hydration a priority…
Create a plan and set up rituals to jog your memory to drink often, or use an app on your phone to track your water consumption daily.
Start the day with a warm water and lemon drink to both rehydrate your body after sleep and kickstart your digestive system.
When eating meals, try to have a drink of water before your meal rather than during your meal as the water dilutes your stomach acid which is essential for digestion. When having water with a meal try room temperature water over cold as this too will support better digestion.
Most importantly, learn to notice how your body feels when it is well hydrated that way you will know how to understand your bodies signals for thirst.
Here’s to better hydration and greater health.
Women’s Wellness Wisdom, Dr Libby Weaver
Be Well, Dr Frank Lipman