The Top 5 Reasons To Drink More Water
“According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.”
That is a lot of water encompassing every part of our anatomy. It is one of the many questions I ask my patients here at Corbin chiropractic in Cardiff. I too can sometimes forget to hydrate, especially in the mornings when things can be short on time. It does not take long before the effects of dehydration can set in and cause poorer concentration and fatigue. You may have heard that we need to drink 8 glasses of water a day to stay at optimum hydration to be healthy. Well currently it is a bit of a myth, that does not mean to say that we shouldn't but a myth none the less.
The key is not getting to the point of dehydration in the first place. We can do this by simply drinking regularly throughout the day. Avoiding too many caffeinated drinks as it can flush water out (diuretic) causing dehydration. Water is in food too, especially fruit and veg so consuming nutrient-rich food is not only hydrating it is also nutritious.
You could write a whole book on hydration but who has time for that? So here are the top 5 reasons to stay hydrated and drink more water.
1. It is even more important for the elderly:
As we get older we can have less sensation for thirst, this can be dangerous due to the increased risk of dehydration. Lack of hydration affects the kidneys more than someone in their youth and can lead to hospitalisations and mental impairment. Dehydration in care homes is an issue, especially for people with dementia. Dehydration may also lead to more falls increasing the risk of injury. Dehydration can also cause constipation which can also be more dangerous in the elderly. If we get into the habit of drinking more water then it should put us in good stead for our elder years.
2. It’s good for the skin:
Tired skin is one of the effects of inadequate water consumption. Considering our skin is made up of 64% water, it is pretty important to get enough. Skin can become dry, breakouts can be worse leaving existing skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis in a worse state. If your eyes are puffy or have dark circles it could be the lack of water in your system. If you want that beautiful healthy glow then drink more, every day. You cannot catch up after two days of little water because by that time you are already dehydrated.
3. It’s essential for bowel movements:
No one really wants to talk about our bowels, consistency, smell, etc. But our bowel movements can tell us a lot about our digestive health and overall health. Are you regular? To find out eat two large beetroots at lunchtime. If it is eliminated by the classic redness in the toilette bowel the next day then you are regular. If it’s over 32 hours before it passes through then you may need to get it looked at or change your diet. Getting enough H2O helps digest food, it also helps with the absorption of the vital nutrients we need to stay healthy. It’s like mixing cement, without the actual cement, the wall will fall down. Make sure to have a few sips in the morning rather than guzzling down a whole pint, this can shock the body. Increase the volume as the day goes on. Also, have some water before and after a meal and a little before sleep. This is a smart water dosing for optimal health.
4. Drink more with exercise:
Exercise is another vital part of human health. But with sweating squatting and burpees comes the need for more fluids. What we expel we must replace. Especially exercising in the summer months. Many moons ago it was not uncommon for deaths during marathons from dehydration. Yes, that is the extreme but a danger all the same. Drink plenty before, a little during and plenty after to get the best out of exercise and of coarse that feel-good factor which is why we do it in the first place.
The rate of insomnia is increasing, we live in a 24/7 world, we also live in a more complex world than ever before. We have unlimited information at our fingertips, we can get food in a very short space of time compared to our ancestors and there is way more to think about. Bills, relationships, worrying about how many Instagram likes people have had, selfies, laptops, tablets, comparing ourselves to other people. The list could be endless. We need to find calm in our short lives much more than we currently do. Is this all down to not drinking enough water, no but it is one of the few things we absolutely have to do to stay alive. Water, food, and shelter are basically the three things we need to live. We lose fluid during sleep, especially if sick, very hot or have conditions such as sleep apnoea, or an open mouth breather where we lose more than average. Going to bed hydrated improves the quality of sleep we all deserve. Wake up fresher, more alert and also more ready to deal with the life stressors. No one likes to wake up as though they have not had a good night's sleep. So hydrate just enough so you are not waking up in the middle of the night to go to the loo.
In summary, getting enough fluids is vital for a healthy body and mind. Without it, we become a prune on the inside and out. Make sure to drink regularly throughout the day. And remember if you are thirsty you are already dehydrated.