by Dr. Nicole
1. It lubricates the joints.
As a chiropractor this is obviously important to me! Cartilage, which is found in your joints and in the disks in your spine, is about 80% water.
2. It delivers oxygen throughout the body.
Your blood is more than 90% water and is responsible for carrying oxygen to all the different parts of your body. If you ever feel light headed when you sit up too fast, having more water may help. Lightheadedness can indicate a drop in blood pressure and if you increase your water intake it increases blood volume, making it easier for your heart to pump.
3. It boosts skin, health, and beauty.
Skin becomes more vulnerable to premature wrinkling and skin disorders when dehydrated.
4. It cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues.
This is another very important point for me! Water is important for brain structure and function. It is involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are how the brain communicates. Prolonged dehydration can lead to problems with thinking and reasoning.
5. It makes minerals and nutrients accessible.
These dissolve in water, that makes it possible for them to reach different parts of the body.
6. Your digestive system depends on it.
The bowel needs water to work properly. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems or constipation. It can also cause an overly acidic stomach which increases the chance of getting heartburn.
7. Your airways need it.
When you are dehydrated, airways are restricted by the body to try to minimize water loss. This can exacerbate asthma and allergies.
8. Weight loss.
Too many people get their fluids for the day from high sugar drinks instead of water. They are thirsty and reach for a soda, juice, or coffee instead of just water. This increases caloric intake and gives almost no nutritional value. Even if the beverage is a diet drink you are not drinking the life giving water your body actually needs. Also, if you drink water before your meals it can help prevent eating too much by creating a sense of fullness.
9. It aids in cognitive function.
Research indicates that not drinking enough water can negatively impact your focus, alertness, and short-term memory.
10. Water regulates body temperature.
Some of our body’s water is stored in the middle layers of the skin and comes to the surface as sweat when the body heats up. The sweat evaporates and this cools the body. When we are low in water we are less able to tolerate heat strain. So on those super hot days, if your job entails working outside, or if you are out in the heat, make sure you are adding even more water to your day.
Now that we can see just some of the important reasons water is vital, how much do you need a day? My recommendation is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. This is a better number than just the old school recommendation of 8 glasses a day because if you are an adult, you are going to need more than a small child. For example, if someone weighs 200 lbs they should aim to drink 100 oz of water. If you think back to your day and realize you haven’t had any water to drink - start now! Here are some tricks for increasing water consumption:
- Carry around a water bottle. Make marks on the water bottle to keep track of how many ounces you have had each day.
- Download an app that makes getting your daily dose of water more like a game.
- Try infused water. For those of you who don’t love the taste of water, there are so many options like mint, cucumber, or strawberry to flavor your water. Get creative or look up ideas online.
- Drink water with your meal instead of other drinks, or drink one glass of water before you have a soda.