Water is so important for many different bodily functions. In fact, water is essential for ALL bodily functions.
Drinking water isn’t just about staying hydrated, as important as that is, but it’s also essential for metabolism, preventing fatigue, supporting liver detoxification and overall cellular health.
Water makes up more than two-thirds of our body weight, which is why it’s essential to stay hydrated. Let’s take a deeper look at why you need to drink more water.
7 Benefits of Drinking More Water
1. Fires up your metabolism – Cold water stimulates thermogenesis, meaning you burn more calories!
2. Improves muscle tone – If you’re dehydrated you won’t see the beautiful tone in your muscles from all the hard work you put in at the gym.
3. Improves digestion – We need lots of fluids for our digestive system to function well. Lack of water means a big bloated tummy!
4. Supports detoxification – Water will help to flush those toxins from your liver and kidneys.
5. Relieves constipation – Without water, we couldn’t eliminate waste and other toxins in our bowels.
6. Prevents fatigue – If you’re tired, drink a large glass of water. It will turn on those brain cells by allowing more oxygen to get to your brain.
7. Improves joint health – Water helps to lubricate your joints.
Clearly, water serves many important functions that go beyond hydration. In fact, dehydration is probably one of the most common problems I tend to see with my clients.
How do you know if you’re dehydrated? Here are 8 acute signs to be aware of:
2. Premature aging
4. Constant headaches
6. Watery eyes
7. Concentrated urine
8. Dry lips.
It’s one thing to experience acute signs of dehydration, as noted above, but chronic signs of dehydration could lead to kidney problems, constipation, joint pain, back pain, heartburn, digestive issues and colitis.
Combat dehydration by drinking water more frequently. If you have hunger pangs, it’s a good chance you’re not only hungry, but thirsty, too! Be sure to enjoy a glass of water at the first sign of hunger.
Dehydration can be also be caused by drinking coffee or Gatorade. Coffee is a diuretic, which, like all diuretics, increases blood flow to the kidneys. This forces you to lose more water. For every cup of coffee you enjoy, I would advise drinking 2 cups of water to prevent dehydration.
(Related: Coffee – What You Need to Know)
Gatorade, on the other hand, which is high in sugar, draws water from surrounding tissues, which deprives us of not only water, but minerals as well. Although we might think that Gatorade is a great thirst quencher, unfortunately in the long run all it does it makes us thirstier, and, as with any high-sugar drink or food, causes mineral deficiencies.
Make Your Own ‘Gatorade’
If you’re looking for a natural thirst quencher, make a simple homemade “Gatorade” by combining 1 liter of spring water with ¼ teaspoon of sea salt, the juice of one lemon and a drop or two of liquid stevia or raw honey. You can also add in a calcium-magnesium powder for added minerals. As an alternative, you can also opt for some naturally hydrating coconut water, which is loaded with potassium and contains natural sources of sodium. All of these ingredients are great for post-workout recovery.
It’s important to note that dehydration can also be caused by diarrhea, vomiting, sweating and exercise. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout some of these less pleasurable experiences, as too much water loss can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps and dizziness.
So what happens when we forget to drink water?
Well, it all starts with the hypothalamus, the amazing little gland in our brain that is responsible for triggering the process that balances the fluid in our bodies.
When there is too little fluid in our body, the hypothalamus will detect this as dehydration and in turn will release certain hormones to control the kidneys from releasing more water. This means you urinate less, and also results in your brain signaling you to drink more water so that your hydration levels will return to normal.
But if you don’t tune into your body’s signals for more water, this can lead to chronic dehydration and potential issues, as noted above.
When it comes to water quality, this can be a touchy subject for some. I personally recommend spring water as it comes straight from the earth, deep within the aquifers that help to naturally cleanse and mineralize the water.
On the other hand, reverse osmosis is also a good choice as long as it has been remineralized. You can simply add in your own minerals, which you can find at a health food store.
As for tap water, I personally don’t recommend it. It’s loaded with fluoride and chlorine, two chemicals that cause serious detriment to our health.
Chlorine helps to kill waterborne bacteria, but you don’t want to be drinking it! It needs to be filtered out. Chlorine is a known hormone-disruptor, particularly mimicking estrogen in our body. Overexposure to chlorine and other estrogen-mimicking compounds like plastics, can lead to estrogen dominance, creating symptoms such as PMS, weight gain in the hips and thighs, heavy periods, breast tenderness, fibroids and other menstrual irregularities.
As for fluoride, it has been determined to be a toxic poison! Many countries have removed it from their drinking water because of this. In fact, fluoride in toothpaste damages the gums and disrupts collagen production. (1)
Imagine what it’s doing to our teeth and health just by drinking it?
Invest in a quality water filter than can filter out both fluoride and chlorine, or visit Find A Spring to locate a local spring near you.
Once you’ve gotten yourself the best quality water and your own fancy bottle, try sprucing up your water with some of these herbal blends:
- Cucumber and lemon
- Frozen raspberries and mint
- Lime and pineapple
- Mint, lime and watermelon
- Orange, lemon and basil
Add one of these herbal combinations to your glass water bottle and voila! You’ve got a flavorful and delicious water to drink throughout the day.
Ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day and be sure to pay attention to any acute signs of dehydration. Staying hydrated will not only fire up your metabolism and decrease inflammation, it will also support overall cellular health, which is vital for longevity.
(Read This Next: The Truth About Hydration, Sports Drinks, and Exercise)