Water. You simply can’t do without it. In fact, your body is made up of about 80 percent water, and getting enough good, clean water may just be one of the most important things you can do to support your overall health.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t get enough H2O, though. Estimates say that 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated, and it can take a toll health-wise.
Here are a few reasons why you need to stay hydrated.
For starters, cellular regeneration and overall health depend on adequate water intake. In fact, the body needs water to make new cells of all types, including blood cells, bone cells and skin cells. Additionally, every organ and bodily system requires water to function correctly and healthily. Likewise, drinking enough water keeps your lymphatic system in tip-top shape so that wastes and toxins are removed from your body.
That’s not all that staying adequately hydrated can do for you, though. Water also keeps your joints lubricated, delivers nutrients to your nervous system, helps the blood transport oxygen and other essential nutrients to your cells, and even makes it so your heart doesn’t have to work as hard pumping blood through your body. Water regulates your metabolism, too, and aids in digestion and body temperature control. An added bonus is that adequate water intake hydrates your skin cells and plumps them up.
The late Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, a foremost authority on the relationship between water consumption and overall health, says that many common ailments are really just names given to patterns of symptoms created by the body’s drought management system. When your body gets dehydrated, it goes into conservation mode. For example, the brain, which is 85 percent water, must be kept hydrated. The body will keep it watered at all costs—even if that means redirecting water from other parts of the body.
Here’s an example: If you’re not getting enough water, your body will fight against respiratory water loss by producing histamines to close off the capillaries in the lungs. When these capillaries constrict, water loss is minimized, but breathing can become more difficult. The body goes into water conservation and preservation modes—constricting your lung’s capillaries to make sure your brain doesn’t suffer.
And forget what you’ve ever heard about “water weight” from drinking water. Drinking water does not make you gain weight. In fact, the opposite is true. Water revs up your metabolism, helps you feel full and assists with moving excess water out of the body.
And when it comes to water options, you can choose pure water or get creative with infused water for extra health perks. For example, you can add lemon, cucumber and/or cilantro to your water for a refreshingly crisp way to stoke your hydration or choose grapefruit and/or rosemary for an herbal, tangy water that also can help with detoxification and to support immunity.
Or boost your antioxidant intake while hydrating with grape, strawberry and/or lime for a flavorfully fruity taste. You can even add ginger, pineapple and/or mint for a bold, soothing and cool taste that can help with healthy digestion.
The options are numerous!
Just be sure you’re well hydrated. Your body will thank you.