You can never imagine just by drinking a healthy amount of water, you gain tremendous health benefits.
An excessive loss of fluid impairs exercise performance and has adverse effects on your health. As blood volume decreases and body temperature rises, it places extra strain on your vital organs, notably the heart, as it has too work harder to pump blood around the body.
A loss of 1-2% body fluid reflected in body weight significantly decreases athletic performance according to the Australian Institute of Sport.
Starting a workout dehydrated, you will get dizzy, lethargic, your muscles won’t work as well, you won’t feel as sharp mentally, and you will get cramps sooner.
Before you can appreciate the benefits of water to your health, let’s review the role of water in human body.
The human body is anywhere from 55% to 78% water depending on body size. A rule of thumb, 2/3 of body is consists of water, and it is the main component of a human body.
Here are the percentages:
- Muscle consists of 75% water
- Brain consists of 90% of water
- Bone consists of 22% of water
- Blood consists of 83% water
The functions of water in human body are vital. The water in the body:
- Transports nutrients and oxygen into cells
- Moisturizes the air in lungs
- Helps with metabolism
- Protects our vital organ
- Helps our organs to absorb nutrients better
- Regulates body temperature
- Protects and lubricates our joints
Every cell in your body needs water from head to toe. That is why it is so important to drink enough fluid. Take for example, brain consists of 90% of water, if you do not supply enough water to your body, your brain cannot function well, and you will get headache or migraine. Hence, next time, if you feel fatigue and have a headache, it may be the sign of dehydration.
Harmful effects that result from Dehydration:
- Muscle cramps
- Irregular blood pressure
- Kidney problems
- Dry skin
- 20% dehydrated – Risk of death
Symptoms of Dehydration:
Here are some of the symptoms that indicate you are dehydrated and may need more water:
- Dark Urine: Urine is generally pale yellow to clear when you have sufficient water intake. Dark color or strong smell indicates that you need to drink more water.
- Dry Skin: Skin is the largest body organ and requires its share of water.
- Thirst: Thirst is the most obvious sign that you’re already dehydrated. It is always a good practice to drink more water when you’re not thirsty, don’t wait until you’re thirsty.
- Hunger: Most people mistake hunger for the indication to eat more, whereas in actual fact, they may be dehydrated. So before you have your meal, grab a glass of water.
- Fatigue: While water does not provide us with energy, without it you will feel that you have less.
The benefits of drinking water:
- Drinking water helps you lose weight because it flushes down the by-products of fat breakdown. Drinking water reduces hunger. It’s an effective appetite suppressant so you’ll eat less. Plus, water has zero calories.
- Water helps to relieve headache and back pains due to dehydration. Although many reasons contribute to headache, dehydration is a common one.
- You’ll look younger when your skin is properly hydrated. Water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases skin elasticity.
- Your brain is mostly made up of water, thus drinking water helps you think better, be more alert and more concentrated.
- Drinking water regulates your body temperature. That means you’ll feel more energetic when doing exercises. Water also helps to fuel your muscle.
- Drinking water raises your metabolism because it helps in digestion. Fiber and water goes hand in hand so that you can have your daily bowel movement.
- Proper hydration helps keep your joints and muscles working more efficiently, so you’ll less likely get cramps and have joint problems.
- Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu and other ailments like kidney stones and heart attack. Water with some added lemon juice is used for ailments like respiratory disease, intestinal problems, rheumatism and arthritis etc. In another words one of the benefits of drinking water is that it can improve your immune system.
- Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products. If your body lacks water, your heart and other vital organs need to work harder to pump out the oxygenated blood to all cells, your organs will be exhausted and so will you.
How much water should you drink a day to avoid dehydration?
A common approach is drinking 8 glasses of water a day.
Written by; Peter