We’ve all heard the saying “you should drink 8-10 glasses of water per day.” Has anybody ever told you why? Is it because it’s good for you? Why is it good for you? Is 8-10 glasses even accurate? So often the general population does things simply because someone has said it’s good for you. But how often do we really question those theories?
It’s true, water is good for you. Water is actually the second most important nutrient (yes it is a nutrient)! Our bodies are comprised of 60-80% water and not just our flesh. Here are some fun facts about how much water our body is comprised of; the brain is comprised of 95% water, the blood is comprised of 82% water, the lungs are comprised of 92% water, our muscles are comprised of 70+% water, our bones are comprised of 25% water and our fat is comprised of 20% water. That’s a whole lot of water! I think it’s starting to become clear why water is so important for us.
So what does all this wonderful water do? There are some pretty basic functions of water in the body. Water is the primary component of ALL cells, tissues and organs! Water also plays a critical role in our metabolism, circulation, maintenance of pH level, body temperature, neurological function and of course excretion. It serves as a lubricant in our bodies and is the basis of the fluids that surround our joints. Basically, our bodies depend heavily on water for a number of reasons.
Did you know that water is a natural appetite suppressant and it helps to metabolize fat? What?! Does that mean consuming an appropriate amount of water helps with fat loss and managing our weight? Oh yes it does!!! How?
Hydrating the body properly makes exercising much easier and it’s absolutely 100% necessary when we are adding lean muscle mass. Remember muscles are over 70% water. When the body is dehydrated, it actually slows down the fat burning activity of muscles and fat cells. Dehydration is seen as a threat by the body so in an attempt to compensate, the body holds on to every last drop of water it can and this can lead to that bloated feeling or water retention. It’s actual the complete opposite of what the general population thinks; more water equals less water retention and bloating! As if that’s not enough, dehydration leads to a decrease in blood volume which results in a reduced supply of blood and oxygen to the muscles, which leads to feeling tired!
Would you believe there are even more benefits to drinking adequate amounts of water? Well here they are! There are several health issues that may be helped by drinking more water. Heartburn, arthritis, back pain, angina and heart pain, asthma, migraines and high blood pressure. The list is endless but I’ll stop there. I think it’s becoming crystal clear why it is so important to consume enough water.
Wait, do you want to hear more? There are studies that show consuming at least 8 glasses (250mL) of water per day reduces the incidence of colon cancer by 45%, reduces the incidence of bladder cancer by 50% and reduces the incidence of breast cancer by a staggering 79%! Wow!!! Why wouldn’t you want to drink adequate amounts of water?
Drink water frequently throughout the day because by the time you are thirsty, you are already moderately dehydrated. So what is an adequate amount? 0.5 to 1 ounce per pound of bodyweight! So if you weigh 140lbs. you should be consuming between 70-140 ounces per day! I would err on the side of caution and drink 140 ounces (which is essentially 4 litres). Dehydration at various stages can lead to some serious health issues and if allowed to progress beyond a 10% loss, it could be fatal!
It’s such a simple thing to drink more water throughout the day and the fact that it has SO many health benefits, and helps to prevent a number of health issues should be our motivator to do it!
What are you waiting for? Go grab yourself a big glass of water! Cheers to your health!