We’ve all probably heard that ‘water is life’. But we probably don’t understand how important it really is for our bodies. Water makes up 60% of the human body and is extremely essential for the proper functioning of all bodily systems. It is responsible for the maintenance of heart health, ensuring proper brain functioning, and carrying oxygen, glucose, and nutrients to all parts of the body while also flushing out waste and toxins. It also lubricates the bone joints and eyes, keeps the digestive system working, and keeps our skin healthy and supple.
How much water is needed?
It is recommended to consume at least 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water, also known as the 8×8 rule. However, water requirements vary from person to person, depending on age, gender, and activity levels. In case of not consuming enough fluids, dehydration can occur which can cause problems such as headaches, dizziness, lethargy, poor concentration, and in severe cases constipation, urinary tract infections, and even kidney stones. A good way to monitor your body fluid levels and determine whether you are consuming enough water is to monitor the color of your urine. In case it is dark yellow or amber, as opposed to pale and light in color, you need to up your water intake.
What can I consume?
While the best choice for hydration is water, other drinks such as milk, fruit juice, herbal tea, tea, coffee, soft drinks can also be included in the total fluid intake. While some of these options are healthy and can provide the essential nutrients and minerals, especially milk and fruit juices, it is important to stay away or limit the intake of drinks that are loaded with added sugars such as canned sodas.
Other sources of fluid are fruits and vegetables and about 20-30% of the total fluid intake comes from these food sources.
A few great food sources of water are:
Cucumber: They have impressive water content and are about 95% water. Snacking on them will not only leave you feeling “as cool as a cucumber”, but will provide you with minerals and nutrients such as potassium which may help prevent stroke. They also contain fisetin, an anti-inflammatory substance which promotes brain health.
Watermelon: True to its name, watermelons are about 92% water and are filled with nutrients like vitamins A, B6, and C, and antioxidants. Frequently packed in summer picnic baskets, they are great to keep you hydrated on hot summer days.
Carrots: High in fiber content, carrots are about 90% water. They are also great for improving your vision as they support and moisturize the mucous membranes of the eyes. They are also rich in betacarotene, a compound your body changes into vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes healthy.
Tomatoes: They have a water content of almost 95 percent and are packed with nutrition. They are a rich source of lycopene, known for its cancer-fighting effects, potassium, and vitamins A and C. they are great for the prevention of heart-related diseases and gallstones. They also help prevent urinary tract infections and improve vision.
Peaches: About 88% of water, peaches are great for the prevention of obesity, cardiovascular issues, and diabetes. They also aid in digestion, protect the skin, and also reduce allergy symptoms.
Why is hydration important?
While we have already briefly discussed this, it is important to go into a little bit more detail because water has so many important functions and is so essential for the healthy functioning of your bodies, both physically and mentally that we wouldn’t be doing it justice otherwise.
The kidneys are responsible for the removal of toxins from the body by way of urine production. However, in case of low amounts of water in the body, this process can be hampered and toxins can collect in the body. It can result in problems such as urinary tract infections and kidney stones.
Boosts energy levels
For athletes and those who are physically active, adequate water consumption is extremely important to ensure that energy levels do not drop below normal, as this can cause fatigue and dizziness. It also prevents muscle cramping and muscle fatigue.
Improves cognitive functioning
In case your brain is feeling foggy or confused, it might be a good idea to grab a glass of water. Water is known to help improve brain functioning and your mood, keeping your memory sharp and your motivation levels high. It also improves problem-solving capabilities, allowing you to think through problems more easily.
Water is truly a miracle of nature. With no calories, it is a power booster for the body, without which it is impossible for the body to function and survive. Realizing the sanctity of your body, it is important to nurture it with this miracle of nature and not to deprive the body of it due to negligence.