Water plays an important role in every system in our bodies. Things like regulating our temperature, distributing nutrients, and even our overall energy levels can be affected by the amount of water we consume. Unfortunately, most Americans are chronically dehydrated and don’t even know it.
Are you dehydrated?
Every day, we lose water in the form of sweat, urine, bowel movements, and even breathing. It is important to replenish the water that is lost in order to prevent dehydration. The earliest signs of dehydration are the feeling of thirst and a dry mouth. These feelings are your cells telling your brain that they need more water. Since these are such common feelings, most people ignore them. Possible signs of a more serious need for water are headaches, lethargy, dizziness, and general weakness. Again, these are fairly common feelings for most Americans. In fact, some studies show that up to 75% of Americans are considered dehydrated.
Why is water so important for our bodies?
Roughly 60% of our bodies are made up of water. In fact, our blood is about 83% water, and our brain is roughly 75% water. One of waters main functions in the body is to transport oxygen to our cells and then pull the waste away from them. It also helps the kidneys and liver work less and aids in digestion. Even our temperature is regulated by sweating which is obviously mostly water. Your joints need water to keep lubricated as do our eyes, nose, and mouth.
Can drinking more water help to reduce body weight?
Yes, in fact drinking more water can even reduce the amount of water your body retains. It sounds weird but, when you don’t drink the necessary amount of water, your body goes into survival mode and holds on to as much water as possible. By drinking the proper amount of water, your body can flush out what it doesn’t need. Adequate hydration is also effective with weight loss due to the fact that one’s energy levels and ability to focus are much greater when hydrated. That will result in a much better workout. Drinking more water can also help increase blood flow and thus provide your muscles with more oxygen and nutrients.
How much water should you drink each day?
For years, the rule of thumb was eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day. Unfortunately, this is not enough to support what most of our bodies need. The amount you should drink each day depends on how much you weigh and how active you are. A better way to calculate the amount of water your particular body requires each day is to do the following:
1) Take your body weight (lbs) and divide it in half. This is the minimum amount of ounces of water your body needs each day (if you were to sit on the couch all day).
2) Add 12 ounces for every 30 minutes of physical activity you do in a day (like working out).
A good indication that you are getting enough water is the color of your urine. If it is clear, you’re most likely good to go. Other signs of adequate hydration can include more energy, better focus, regular bowel movements, and an overall better feeling. Try drinking the proper amount of water for 1 month and you will notice the benefits. If you enjoyed this post, you might want to read my latest article about the dangers of drinking soda.
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