Depending on age, gender and BMI, the human body is made up of around 60% water. It’s everywhere, in each and every one of our cells.
Both the brain and the heart are made up of around 75% water, whilst the lungs top 83%. And even the driest human bone averages around 31% water. Despite these saturated statistics, the body still requires constant round-the-clock hydration from mother nature’s most flowing gift: water.
Plentiful, wet, clear and cleansing, water has it all. There are many things that the body could survive without, but H2O isn’t one of them. It really is one of our most precious resources.
Why Does the Body Need Water?
So what’s the big deal? Why, for example, couldn’t the body run on just coffee, or coca-cola, or alcohol?
As it turns out, water and adequate hydration is very, very important to every aspect of your health, and although many forms of liquid, like soft drinks and alcohol, do contain small levels of water, its powers flow best when water’s served in its purest and most natural form.
There is very little within the body that doesn’t benefit from a good soaking, and here are some of the benefits that water brings to the body:
1. Oxygen Supply
This one’s a tricky one, because water intake doesn’t directly correlate to more oxygen in the system. What actually happens has to do with the health and hydration of the lungs; as they’re the only organ capable of regulating and replenishing the oxygen levels.
When the lungs are wet and watered, they’re able to deliver oxygen to the system much more effectively than if you were running on a dry tank. Drinking water doesn’t deliver oxygen to the system itself, but rather, assists the lungs in the all-important task.
2. Waste Management
Just as a toilet uses water to flush away waste, so too does the body. Keeping hydrated is super important for toxin regulation, and the body performs these balancing processes through perspiration, defecation and urination. Water flushes the toxins out of the body through sweat, it keeps the kidneys healthy and working, and helps remedy constipation.
3. Joint Care
Water is key to the longevity of the skeletal joints and all the protecting tissues that surround them. The different joints around the body are all lubricated by what’s called synovial fluid, and it’s made up primarily of water. The presence of this fluid reduces the likelihood of friction between the bone tissues; such as in arthritis.
4. Temperature Regulation
Just circling back to why water is vital for the perspiration process, although we did mention that it helps to flush out toxins, water is also key for regulating the body temperature.
At a standstill, this might not seem like one of your most pressing concerns, but when you’re in the midst of an intense exercise, your heart rate will be up, and you’ll be losing a lot of water through increased perspiration and body heat.
Not taking in enough water during these periods is a huge mistake, and you’ll quickly begin to lose steam and energy.
5. Brain Functioning
If your brain was a city metropolis, water would be the people that give it energy and help it to run - it’s made up of 73% water! Staying hydrated is vital to cognitive function, and allows the cells within the brain to communicate better.
The waste the brain produces can actually impair its own function; such as focus, memory, and decision making. Hydration, as we mentioned, helps to sweep these toxins away, whilst also delivering much-needed nutrients too.
So what would happen if you just didn’t drink any water? Since the human body is made up of around 60% water in total, in addition to the fact that we’re constantly losing fluids, this is quite a daring idea indeed.
If you suddenly went dry - either because you’ve chosen to, or because you’re lost in the desert - probably the first change you’d see would be in your urine.
First of all, you’ll probably be going a lot less, but when you eventually do go, your urine will appear much darker, cloudier, and odorous. This is because when the kidneys sense that the body is dehydrated, they retain as much fluid as they possibly can through the creation of aquaporins - special channels that retain liquids - so that they’re able to continue their function.
During this phase, you’ll also be at higher risk of developing urinary tract infection, as the body lacks the fluids to flush out the toxins and bacteria.
By the time you’ve noticed this change in your pee, the headaches should be firmly setting in. There are different types of headaches that you can get, although for the purpose of this piece, we’ll be looking more closely at what are called dehydration headaches.
When the body is dehydrated and unable to replenish its water levels, the brain temporarily contracts, and the pain is caused when the brain tissue pulls away from the surface of the skull. However, although water can be the brain’s downfall, it can also be its elixir of life; and maintaining a proper water balance is key.
One of the more tangible effects of dehydration is the influence it has on the energy levels. This is because without the essential fluids and electrolytes that water supplies, the brain struggles to send signals as effectively as it usually would do. And the more dehydrated the brain becomes, the more arduous and exhaustive each task becomes.
You’ll begin to feel increasingly sluggish and fatigued as the cognitive function of the brain dries up, and the ability to focus and pay attention will seem much more strenuous.
However, the solution is always simple, just stay hydrated. Drinking even just 500ml of water has been shown to increase the metabolic rate by 30% in cases of both men and women.
Your skin will also begin to show the signs of dehydration. If water helps to keep the complexion looking plump and fresh, you can imagine what the result will be if you’re not putting back in to your water levels.
The skin is made up of collagen, and when these cells are deprived of hydration, they begin to bind together, before cracking. Unfortunately, this will result in fine lines and wrinkles becoming noticeably more defined.
Equally as worrying, severe dehydration will ultimately lead to serious issues internally. When the heart is dehydrated, it works overtime to perform its usual tasks. As its water pools become shallower, cardiac health teeters into dangerous territories, and you’ll be placing yourself at huge risk of experiencing heart failure and strokes.
What’s the Best Way to Avoid Deadly Dehydration?
The recommended water intake varies from person to person, but as a benchmark, the average man should try to consume between 2.5 and 3.7 litres a day, whilst the average woman should aim for between 2 and 2.7 litres a day.
Although water within our food - like in tomatoes, cucumbers and broccoli - makes up about a fifth of our daily intake of H2O, we must supplement the rest by drinking fluids when and where we can.
Having a really handy water bottle on your person will help you to meet your targets. And because we love our planet, we’re really trying to phase out single-use plastics like standard water bottles.
And in their place, we’d love to introduce this reusable and collapsable water bottle. It’s crafted from 100% food-grade silicone and is completely leak-proof, BPA and PVC-free. When it’s full, it can hold 600ml of wildly wet water. And when it’s empty, the bottle can be fully collapsed for storing. And better yet, the bottle can be used over and over again.
Water is life, and we hope that you’ll take more than just a sip of its health-affirming benefits. Get soaked!
Find your Collapsable Water Bottle, and other health to-do’s by visiting: www.sleepsmug.com/ products/collapsible-water-bottle-bright-pink
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