We normally talk about nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. By large many of you must be knowing their benefits to our body.
But we often forget there is one more nutrient to the list, Water. All above nutrients are ineffective without it.
Human body can last weeks without food, but only days without water. At least 60% of the human body is made of water and every living cell in the body needs it to keep functioning.
We will take a look at some important functions of water and its effect on vital organs.
Drinking water and brain function are integrally linked.
The brain needs food for focus and attention. We all know to keep our brain functioning as we age we should continually challenge it with crossword puzzles or getting enough sleep. But the simplest thing we often neglect is to ensure that we drink enough water. Brain cells operate with just the right chemistry and balance. Part of that balance is having the right amount of water in your system.
When your brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, you will be able to think faster, become more focused, and experience greater clarity and creativity.
Daily hydration will not only help with better thinking, it can help prevent attention deficit disorder in children and adults.
The human body has more than 600 muscles. The main function of the muscular system is movement.
Right from blinking eyes till digestion every vital organ needs muscles.
Muscles are majorly made up of proteins and water. Prolong dehydration leads to muscle wasting, cramps and lower metabolism.
Weight loss becomes difficult if you have poor metabolism.
The very first function of the kidneys is to remove wastes in the form of urine by purifying blood, re-absorption of nutrients into the blood and maintaining the blood pressure. But when you are dehydrated, it is difficult for this delivery system to work efficiently. Severe dehydration can lead to kidney damage, so it is important to drink enough water when you work or exercise very hard, especially in warm and humid weather.
Urine can reveal a lot when it comes to dehydration. Dark yellow urine indicates you are dehydrated. During this time kidneys pull out water from our muscles to flush out toxins from the system in the form of urine. But that may lead to muscle loss making us feel tired and lethargic.
Kidney stones and urinary tract infections (UTI) can be prevented if one has sufficient water intake.
Remember, in case of kidney damage or dialysis there is restriction on water intake.
Healthier Digestive System:
Water improves the digestion process. It is important for proper metabolism. Drinking sufficient amount of water will cure constipation.
Reduces Fluid Retention:
There are various reasons for getting swollen feet but one of them is due to less water intake.
Water is stored in extra-cellular spaces (outside the cell) which can result in swollen extremities (feet, legs, and hands) if drinking very less water.
But regular consumption water after every interval will help your body to mobilize fluids and reduce swelling.
Water and Athlete Performance:
Many people are unaware of how water affects performance. Even being slightly dehydrated can cause poor performance, and it’s often overlooked. Improper hydration can result in muscle cramping, decreased strength and reduced endurance, severely diminishing athletic performance.
How can one increase the water intake?
1. Add flavor to your water: Drinking several glasses of water in a day might be boring when every cup is tasteless. Make it exciting by adding lemon, ginger, basil or mint leaves.
2. Drink a glass after every bathroom break: Start a habit by linking water consumption with some of your most common daily activities. Like, after leaving the restroom.
3. Eat water-rich foods: One way to increase the amount of water you consume on a daily basis by increasing fruits and vegetables with a high water content. Some top picks include cucumber and lettuce (96% water), zucchini (95% water), watermelon (92% water), and grapefruit (91% water), cabbage (93% water) and spinach (92% water).
4. Have a glass of water before meals: You tend to eat less at your mealtime, as your stomach already senses that it has something in it.
In the same way, sipping on water when you think you are hungry or during cravings can sometimes get rid of the hunger. We often get confuse between thirst and hunger.
The human body truly is a miraculous thing. It was created to work in a perfect balance when supplied all the essential things that are needed.