Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up over 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs and carries nutrients to your cells. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions.
Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
There is significant research suggesting that ingesting less fluid than your body requires on a daily basis can lead to many long-term symptoms including fatigue, headaches and yes, joint pain. We can go long periods without food, but not without water. Water helps to control your temperature, helps you digest food, lubricates your organs and plays a major role in creating energy molecules.
People question why they are so tired all the time. However, they never bother to properly evaluate their daily liquid intake to see if they are dehydrated. Without enough water, your body will work overtime to re-hydrate itself instead of producing energy. Essential to survival, water is also essential for energy.
Strange as it may sound, the less water you drink the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated, your body will hang onto its water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scales to increase.
Proper hydration helps keep your joints lubricated and muscles more elastic so joint pain is less likely. When the body is functioning at its best, you will feel great and be happy. Lots of benefits to drinking water, but our favourite is that it is the fountain of youth. Fact – hydrated skin looks much younger
How much is enough?
The consensus rule of thumb from the experts is everybody needs at least eight glasses of water a day just to keep hydrated. Add an extra glass of water to compensate from the dehydration effects of cordial, tea, coffee, sugar and alcohol. Then we need to add at least two glasses for every hour of exercise we do. High temperatures generally increase your body’s demand for hydration beyond the usual and additional water will be needed.
Diuretic drinks (coffee, tea, cranberry juice, soft drinks etc) or medications can also speed up the excretion of water, depriving the body and causing symptoms of dehydration. (This is especially dangerous when used as part of a weight-loss program coupled with intense exercise).
Dark coloured urine can be indicative of a low water reserve in the body, or in more extreme cases little or no urine. So make sure your urine is light-coloured and clear.
What you eat also provides a significant portion of your fluid needs. On average, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and tomatoes, are 90 percent or more water by weight.
More if you’re female
Women may also retain several kilos of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water weight gain can be minimised by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.
Write it down
If you want to ‘look good’ and ‘feel good’ then you need to appreciate this crucial issue. Try writing down your liquid content for a week to weigh up your situation by using the formula above- be honest! The results may astound you.
While you sleep
You lose a lot water during sleep through breathing, so rehydrating when you wake up is important and since you’re immobile during sleep, the toxins that your body produces and tries to get rid of build up in your liver and bile. Drinking water in the morning can help move those toxins out of your system in your urine and stool.
Top Coach health and fitness tips
Start each day with a glass or two of water as soon as you get up. Make water your beverage of choice. Drink water before, during and after exercise. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Drink as much as you can in the mornings so that you don’t have to wake up during the night. Drink a glass of water between each meal. Make sure you give yourself at least half an hour before you eat solid food or an hour after your meal. Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables as most are over 70% water content and add considerably to your hydration and energy levels.
Think of water as this magic potion that has incredible benefits for your health….because it really is.