Did you know that 60% of the human body is made up of water? Water is not only essential for quenching our thirst but also for the optimal functioning of all the cells and organs of our body. Water is a universal solvent with excellent capabilities to dissolve most things it comes in contact with. This is why it allows our cells to use valuable nutrients, minerals, and chemicals in biological processes.
Yet, we give drinking water the short shrift. Come winter, the probability you will neglect drinking water is even higher. Did you notice that in the months of winter, you suffer from lethargy, low-intensity headaches, constipation, and/or joint pains? Well, turns out, the culprit could be a lack of sufficient water.
If dehydration is neglected, it can lead to more serious problems like a drop in blood pressure due to low blood volume, seizures due to imbalance in the electrolytes, kidney problems like kidney stones, UTIs (Urinary tract infections) which can even lead to kidney failure if untreated, or heat injuries such as heat strokes.
However, make sure you source your drinking water from a reliable supply of water, or better still, get a water filter for your home.
Let’s check out some more amazing reasons to drink water:
Water lubricates your joints:
Synovial fluid is the viscous fluid found in the cavities of synovial joints. With its egg-white like consistency, its principal role is to reduce the friction between the articular cartilage of synovial joints during movement. The synovial fluid is present in the joints throughout your body including your hips, knees, feet, shoulders, and hands.
This synovial fluid is primarily made up of water (80% water) and hence water is essential for the lubrication of joints. When you are adequately hydrated, then the gel-like liquid provides nutrition, shock-absorption, lubrication, and cushioning in the joints. The framework is like a sponge, with the water filling the space to cushion the joint.
As the elderly are more susceptible to dehydration, special care should be taken to ensure they consume adequate amounts of water. This will go a long way to reduce their joint pains. Similarly, if you have an increased level of physical activity, it is important to consume more water.
It regulates body temperature
Whereas dehydration refers to the process of losing body water, hypohydration is the uncompensated loss of body water. According to a recent paper, during exercise in the heat, sweat output often exceeds water intake which results in a body water deficit (hypohydration) and electrolyte losses. Hypohydration increases heat storage and reduces one’s ability to tolerate heat strain. The increased heat storage is mediated by reduced sweating rate (evaporative heat loss) and reduced skin blood flow (dry heat loss) for a given core temperature.
It is recommended that you consume an adequate amount of water to prevent hypohydration. What is considered “adequate” varies with gender, age, and environment. Older adults, for instance, don’t always feel the need to drink water but should make it a habit to consume adequate amounts of water. Similarly, people at higher altitudes and athletes are in the high-risk categories.
It boosts skin health
Remember that skin is 64% water. Not only does drinking water enhance the glow of your skin, but it also prevents the formation of wrinkles and other skin disorders that accompany dehydration.
Lack of adequate water leads to dehydration, which actually has dire consequences for skin health including dry, tight, itchy skin and the appearance of fine lines over a prolonged period of time. Another indirect reason why water helps the skin glow is that it flushes out the toxins from the body. Lack of hydration for long periods can also impact skin elasticity leading to the onset of premature aging. Drinking ample water balances the oil and water content on the skin of your face. This helps to prevent excess oil and sebum secretion, which means fewer clogged pores and acne.
Having said that, water is not exactly a magic bullet to acquire dewy skin, because water is first absorbed into the bloodstream and filtered by kidneys before being supplied to the cells of the body to hydrate the cells of the body. As it reaches the cells, it nourishes them with nutrients transported from other parts of the body.
It improves the quality of digestion
Digestion is the breakdown of large insoluble food molecules into small water-soluble food molecules so that they can be absorbed into the watery blood plasma. Water and other liquids help break down food so that your body can absorb the nutrients. Contrary to what it sounds like, it does not dilute the digestive juices or interfere with digestion.
From the point food enters your system through your mouth, it interacts with water-based saliva and gastric juices that aid in digestion. Water is also needed to produce the mucus that coats the inside of your stomach, which protects it from highly acidic digestive juices.
As the food moves through the small intestine, more watery secretions are secreted into the small intestine. Most nutrient absorption takes place here in the small intestine and then digested nutrients pass to the watery bloodstream. The lower intestine is where your body takes up most of the minerals that you eat, and the watery environment there facilitates their absorption into the bloodstream.
Remember to drink extra water when exercising and/or when you are outside during warmer weather. For variety, add lemon, lime, honey, ginger, mint, or cucumber to your glass of water.
Water may help in weight loss
Though scientists are yet to find a direct link between weight loss and consumption of adequate water, there are several indirect ways by which drinking water is believed to aid in digestion. For instance, water is a natural appetite suppressant as a stomach partially filled with water is likely to send a “full” signal to the brain, which thereby helps to reduce food intake. Water may also temporarily increase the body’s resting energy expenditure, or the number of calories burned while resting.
The process of metabolizing fat is called lipolysis. The first step of this process is hydrolysis, which occurs when water molecules interact with triglycerides to create glycerol and fatty acids. So, your body cannot metabolize your fat reserves without adequate water in your system.
So, before you head out anywhere or start your day’s work, make sure you get your bottle of water ready. Consciously make drinking water a habit and reach out for your bottle from time to time, even if you don’t exactly feel thirsty. However, make it a point to drink only clean and safe water that is purified using purifiers like RO water purifier.