Any nutritional program will tell you to drink 8-10 glasses of water per day. Most people know this, less actually do it and even fewer understand the reasons behind it.
Our bodies are made up of 70% water. Drinking plenty of water keeps the body hydrated. If the body becomes even 1% dehydrated we lose 40% of our muscles functionality. If you are thirsty, you are already 5% dehydrated.
Dehydration affects our bodies adversely in many ways and symptoms appear when the body has lost about 2% of its fluid. Some mild effects will show up as thirst, dry skin, dark colored urine, fatigue, chills or skin flushing. However, once a body has lost 5% of its fluid, the following symptoms may occur.
• Muscle cramps
• Extreme fatigue
• Increased heart rate
• Decreased sweating
• Numbness or tingling of the limbs
• Increased respiration
• Decreased urination
If you manage to lose 10% of fluid in your body, your situation is now critical and you may require medical attention. Dehydration effects vary based on age and other medical condition and can be very dangerous for children and the elderly.
Severe symptoms include:
• Dim vision
• Abdominal or chest pain
• Pain when urinating
• Racing pulse
• Muscle spasms
Now that you know some of the reasons we MUST drink plenty of water, I’d like to give you a few reasons to WANT to.
1. Water helps to flush toxins out of your system. Sufficient water intake reduces toxins and harmful organisms in the body as well as maintaining good kidney and bladder health.
2. Water reduces your appetite. Thirst often manifests itself as hunger. Drinking a glass of water prior to eating a meal will help suppress your appetite and you’ll feel full sooner.
3. Good hydration gives you a great smile. A dry mouth is a welcome mat for bacteria. Insufficient oral hydration leads to gum disease, mouth ulcers and chronic halitosis (bad breath).
4. Staying hydrated helps improve sexual performance and stamina.
5. Hydration will boost your energy levels and increase mental acuity.
6. Drinking water regularly in addition to a good diet of whole, natural foods has been shown to reduce incidents of cancer and aid in remission.
7. Healthy, glowing skin requires constant hydration to remain supple, elastic and youthful.
Water is a simple, yet crucial component for good overall health and vitality. It is one of the easiest adjustments to a healthier lifestyle that a person can adopt and implement. So remember to drink approximately 8oz of water for every 10lbs of body weight. If you drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages, you should drink additional water to counteract the diuretic effects of such beverages. Watch for the symptoms of dehydration and drink yourself healthy.