Let us take a moment and talk about the single most
important nutrient ever – WATER.
The body desperately craves water when it is not given enough on a daily basis, but do you know how it negatively impacts the body’s function? Water is imperative to keeping excellent health, and it makes up around sixty-five percent (65%) of the body’s composition. In order for the body to work the way it was created to work, water intake on a regular basis is essential.
With so many other beverages available to us all, a large percentage of people are no longer drinking enough water. They replace their water intake with such beverages as soft drinks, juice with sugar, coffee, tea with milk, and alcoholic beverages. Many of these drinks actually dehydrate the body and so people who predominantly drink such drinks are not gaining all the benefits of drinking adequate plain water.
A good estimate of how much water the body requires in litres per day is to get your weight in kg and divide by 30. But at the very minimum aim for at least 2 litres per day, 70% percent of which should come from plain water.
Let us take a moment and review some of the negatives of insufficient water intake that could motivate you to drink more water:
1. Increasing Weight Gain
Decreasing water intake can increase the weight gain. The dehydrated body will try to hold onto what fluids it can – known by many as “water retention.” This defence mechanism of the body causes additional and unnecessary weight gain.
2. Rise in Blood Pressure
The same mechanism that causes water retention, causes the amount of fluid to increase in the blood vessels as well as the space between the tissues. This fluid increase builds up pressure that can then lead to high blood pressure. Many times, lack of enough water is strongly linked to high blood pressure.
3. Decreasing Energy Levels
Have you ever wonder why you may have no energy most of the time? You may not be getting enough, and the body is reacting, trying to make up for the imbalance.
4. Diminished Focus, attention and memory.
The brain is made of around eighty percent (80%) of water, and dehydrated brains struggle to maintain function. Even slight dehydration can cause the inability to think clearly and poor memory. A research study in the United Kingdom revealed simply adding more water (even when slightly dehydrated) can improve brain function by nearly fifteen percent (15%).
5. Growing Irritability
For those who seem to grow increasingly irritable, they may need to add more water to their routine. Two research studies have revealed that individuals who were even slightly dehydrated suffered from increased moodiness, more fatigue, and a greater number of headaches.
6. The Desire to Eat More
Hunger is often confused with the need for more water. The way the body signals that it needs water is the same way it signals that it needs food. Individuals who are dehydrated may tend to eat more yet what they really should be doing instead is looking for a glass of water. They confuse hunger signals with the body’s request for water. Drinking a glass of water first before eating and waiting twenty minutes should be your first move. Then, if the body still feels hungry, it is more than a likely sign of true hunger.
7. Lowered Metabolism
A reputable study showed that individuals who drank two glasses of water increased their metabolism by close to thirty percent (30%). The research also noted individuals who added six cups of water per day to their routine burned close to an additional 18,000 calories over one year. This is equivalent to losing an additional 2 and a half kilograms of body weight.
8. Increased Risk of Stroke
Did you know when an individual is dehydrated, their risk of a stroke increases? Those who suffer from a stroke also need sufficient water to recover more quickly, according to research studies.
9. Erectile dysfunction
Men who are dehydrated can suffer from erectile dysfunction. This is because water is very essential to blood flow and for hormonal function that are important for a good sexual experience.
10. Many other negative impacts
There are many other negative impacts on the body when there is a low intake of water. Headaches, heartburn, joint pains and all forms of pain occur more frequently; skin health is affected, constipation of the bowels occur, and the kidneys cannot function properly. When the body is dehydrated, even the heart works harder.
Drinking plenty of water through each day is highly important for excellent health. There are so many positives it will provide for the body.
Consider drinking 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning, 2 glasses of water 30 minutes before food and 1 glass of water 2 hours after meals for optimal results.
Water is life. We must develop the habit of drinking water more than other beverages that may actually make us drink less water or even make us more dehydrated.
Teach your children to drink 4 to 6 glasses of water each day.