Drinking a healthy amount of water is vital to your health. But you’ve heard that medical cliche before. We’ll make it more interesting and eyebrow-raising: just by drinking the right ratio each day, you will gain tremendous health benefits, and sometimes you can even throw away your migraine medicine or pain killer. Eyebrows raised?
Before you can appreciate the benefits of water to your health, let’s review the role of H2O in the human body.
Functions of water in the body
Water serves all sorts of vital purposes, for example it:
- Transports nutrients and oxygen into cells
- Moisturizes air in the lungs
- Helps with metabolism
- Protects our internal organs
- Helps our organs to absorb nutrients better
- Regulates body temperature
- Protects and moisturizes our joints
The human body’s main component is anywhere from 55% to 78% water, depending on your size – usually averaging at 2/3 body weight!
Weighing the water (literally)
Did you know that your tissues and organs are mainly made up of water? Check out these percentages:
- Muscle consists of 75% H2O
- Brain consists of 90% H2O
- Bone consists of 22% H2O
- Blood consists of 83% H2O
Every cell in your body needs water from head to toe. That is why it is so important to drink enough fluid.
Try this on for size: the brain consists of 90% water, right? If you do not supply enough H2O to your body, your brain begins a virtual drying out phase. It cannot function well, and you will get headaches or migraines. Hence, next time, if you feel fatigued, lethargic, and have a headache, it may be the first sign of dehydration.
Beware of these harmful effects of dehydration
- Muscle cramps
- Irregular blood pressure
- Kidney problems
- Dry skin
- 20% dehydrated = Risk of death
What to watch for: symptoms of dehydration
- Dark Urine – Dark Yellow or Orange in Color: Urine is generally pale yellow to clear when you have sufficient water intake. Dark color or strong smell indicates that you need to drink more.
- Dry Skin: Skin is the largest body organ and requires its share of hydration.
- Thirst: Thirst is the most obvious sign that you’re already dehydrated. It is always a good practice to drink more H2O when you’re not thirsty, don’t wait until you’re thirsty.
- Hunger: Most people mistake hunger for the indication to eat more, whereas in actual fact, they may be dehydrated. So before you have your meal, grab a glass of water.
- Fatigue: Water is a source of energy and reenergizes you, giving you a boost.
How much water should you drink each day?
A common approach is drinking 8 glasses a day. Is it sufficient? How do you determine how much YOU need? Use this equation:
weight ÷ 2 = amount to drink (in oz)
You weigh 160 pounds.
160 ÷ 2 = 80
Answer: Drink 80 ounces of H2O per day.
If you are using kilograms in unit:
Divide the weight in kilograms by 30. This gives you the daily intake in litre.