The human body is 70% water. That’s more than 2/3 of our human body weight. H2O: known as one of the most essential elements to health and body function.
pH of the body
One of water’s main tasks is to help regulate the pH balance in the body because it is neutral – neither low pH (acidic), nor high pH (basic). The concentration of hydrogen in the body creates an acidic or basic level in your blood and organs. Water allows these free hydrogen ions to move in and out of blood, cells and water to maintain the body’s pH, which is around 7.4. It also helps to regulate cell, organ and tissue temperatures as well as to maintain lubrication. It also acts as a cushioning mechanism for our joints, spinal cord, and tissues. This property allows us to enjoy physical activity on many intense levels.
Proper hydration helps us stay in sensational cognitive shape because it positively impacts our alertness, focus, and short-term memory. It also helps improve our mood by reducing symptoms of anxiety and fatigue. Not only do our bones, lungs (90% water), brain (95% water), and blood (82% water) need to be hydrated in order to function properly, they also need water to transport nutrients, circulate antibodies from the immune system and carry oxygen to the rest of the body.
In addition, water provides the medium for an optimal osmotic balance (concentration of electrolytes and non-electrolytes in the blood plasma) to circulate throughout the body. This balance consists of minerals like sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium, which provide the transportation of glucose and amino acids in and out of cells. Each electrolyte is also balanced by another of equal but opposite charge to manage the flow of nutrients to cells and, waste from them.
Good hydration also helps with digestion. This task begins with saliva, the basis of which is water. For good digestion to take place, proper chewing is needed. Electrolytes, mucus, and enzymes that are found in saliva to help break down food begin dissolving other nutrients like minerals, vitamins, soluble fiber, and others. Saliva also keeps our mouth healthy. While we drink water, our metabolism gets activated and boosted, and the result of this on our body is having a high energy level.
Water also enables our body to excrete waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation. The kidneys, liver, and intestines use it to help flush out waste and avoid getting constipated by softening our stools and helping move the food we’ve eaten through our intestinal tract. However, increasing our fluid intake will not cure constipation. The consumption of soluble and insoluble fiber (vegetables, fruits, and, in moderation, whole grains) is more likely to help with constipation because this fiber helps with bowel movements. These ensure that waste is removed regularly before it can become poisonous in the body.
The amount of water each person needs depends on a variety of factors, like climate, physical activity, and a person’s current state of health. While sweat regulates our body temperature when we’re exercising or when we’re in hot climates, we’re loosing fluids and electrolytes at the same time. For this reason it’s necessary to increase our water intake to restore our body’s natural hydration levels. Adequate water intake will also keep our skin hydrated and may even promote some collagen production.
The body also loses water throughout the day when breathing, sweating and digesting. This is also a reason why it’s very important to rehydrate by drinking mainly spring water. Symptoms of dehydration can range from having a dry mouth and tongue to being extremely thirsty or feeling fatigued. Another way of noticing it is if you aren’t urinating as frequently or your urine is dark.
Tips to help you stay hydrated and be able to function at your best daily:
Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. This way, you can drink whenever you want to. You can also add some flair to it with fresh squeezed lemon juice, pieces of ginger root or some fresh herbs.
Try to keep track of your water intake by reaching half of the recommended consumption by midday.
Always try to choose spring water over other types of water due to its natural minerals and being free of contaminants. The quality of water is as important as the quantity.
The feeling of being thirsty is often mistaken for hunger. Sadly, our body doesn’t have the skill to differentiate between these two. Therefore, every time you feel like you’re getting hungry even though you’ve have already eaten a good portion of food, drink one glass of water and wait 10 minutes for it to take effect. If after 10 minutes you still have the same sensation, drink another glass of water and wait another 10 minutes. These 20 minutes do the trick most of the time: you were dehydrated and didn’t need to eat again.
Drinking water every day (approximately 1.5 liters), and at regular intervals without waiting until you’re thirsty is extremely important as part of a healthy lifestyle.