Water is essential for your life and your health. We cannot live more than a couple of days without it. You are all aware of those basics. But do you know all the benefits you receive from drinking your daily H2O? There are so many! Sometimes we can forget and go on with our day without thinking about it, like camels. It happens to me once in a while, and I am directly reminded by my headaches and tiredness to go back on track!
First of all, your body is made of around 60-80% of water depending your body composition and age. Your brain contains 90% of water! I know, crazy! Muscles are made of 75% of water and blood 85%. Those numbers varies according to different studies, but the thing to remember is that your body is mainly composed of water. This is the first reason why you should be drinking it, so it keeps working as it should be.
How do you know when you haven't drink enough water?
Those are the usual symptoms of dehydration:
- Headaches, migraines
- Dry mouth, dry skin
- Thirsty (of course!)
- Hungry (often the hunger feeling you have is due to being dehydrated, so better drink a glass of water before eating anything - and specially before those cookies!;) - as it is also a good way to control your weight)
- Muscles cramps
- Kidney problems
- Urinary track infection
- Dark urine - when you drink enough water, the urine looks clear and almost transparent
So what are all those great benefits?
- It will relieve headaches and back pain caused by dehydration.
- Helps with weight loss.
- Your skin will glow as it replenishes the tissues, moisturizes and improves the skin elasticity.
- Keeping your focus. Since your brain is made up of 90% of H2O, the more you drink and hydrate, the better your concentration level will be.
- It flushes the toxins out. Your kidneys do a great job at getting rid of waste. It eliminates through perspiration, urination and bowel movements. That's why it's good to have a glass first thing in the morning, to get rid of all the toxins that accumulated over the night and its a fresh start for the day ahead!
- It improves your immune system; fights against the flu, kidney stones and Urinary Track Infection and even some type of cancer such as bladder cancer.
- It also helps with cramps and sprains as the water lubricates the muscles and joints.
- It is good for the digestion system. It breaks the food down into nutrients in the stomach.
- You will feel more energetic thanks to the good level of water in the muscles. So next time you're feeling tired, drink some water.
- Water helps to protect the spinal cord, which is also full of water.
- You'll be in a good mood as you'll be full of energy and your body will be working as it should be!;)
The usual recommendation is 8 glasses per day which is around 2 liters. You know your body best so listen to it, but keep it around that guideline. If you are taller, stronger, exerising more, your temperature is going up, the weather is hot, you should drink more. Keep also in mind that by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.
Starting your day with a big glass of lukewarm water is one of the best health routine you can add to your day. It will wake you up, help activate the organs and flush the toxins out.
If you're not a big fan of water, try to add some lemon (full of goodness too!), cucumbers, oranges to make it a bit tastier & sweeter.
A good thing to know is caffeinated drinks such as coffee or soft drinks reverse the good effects of all the water you drink as it acts as a diuretic, so you will eliminate the water and you'll be dehydrated again.
So tomorrow and every morning, grab your bottle of water everywhere with you. Become best friend with it. Put it in front of your desk, in your bag, bring it to your yoga class or on your next shopping spree! If you have your bottle of water next to you, you will drink it. It is also better to drink smaller quantities throughout the day than big glasses only a few times daily. Drink it better in between meals. Don't forget your water when you travel and specially during long flights, when you need to drink a lot of water to keep hydrated with the dry air in the plane. It's getting more and more complicated with all the security controls to keep your water, so when I am without my own water, I always ask flight attendants if they can give me a big bottle so I don't disturb them every half hour. It usually works if you ask with a big smile.