Water. It covers three-quarters of the Earth’s surface, makes up 92 percent of humans’ blood, 75 percent of our muscles and brain and 22 percent of bones. These microscopic, polar covalent hydrogen-oxygen bonds are found basically everywhere in nature and life. Water is one of the most underrated, essential and valuable substances on Earth. Without water, we would not be able to survive. Humans can survive for a month or so without any food, but without water, only a mere 3 or 5 days. Staying hydrated is key to survival. Water is vital for bodies and organs to function properly and effectively.
The second you start to feel thirsty, it is a sign from your body that you are already dehydrated. We can all relate to feeling thirsty, but many people do not realize that that instant, dehydration is present within your body. When your body is dehydrated, numerous internal functions stall. Your energy levels drop causing you to become fatigued and weary, your blood becomes thicker, inducing high blood pressure, and your air pathways become constricted to conserve any water possibly attainable. These few consequences of dehydration are more short-term. The long-term effects of dehydration are compelling.
Weight gain: Cells become depleted of energy when you are dehydrated. Energy drained cells tend to trick the brain into thinking you need food as an energy source, while the truth is, you’re thirsty.
Premature aging: After being chronically dehydrated for months and even years, your organs and skin begin to wrinkle more quickly. Most notably, dehydration causes the skin under your eyes to dilute, allowing for bags to form and persist.
Digestion problems: Ulcers, gastritis and acid reflux are only a few of the many digestive issues that accompany dehydration. It is imperative to keep hydrated as these digestive disorders result in severe pain and discomfort.
Joint pain and stiffness: When you are dehydrated, the cartilage of your joints is weakened, proceeding to slow, painful joint repair, as cartilage is mainly composed of water.
Water allows life to flourish. Drinking at least 64 ounces a day will leave you with clear, smooth, wrinkle free skin, bright eyes, and so much more. It has been proven by numerous studies that drinking two 8 ounce glasses of water before meals will aid in weight loss by causing you to cut back on portions. According to Webmd, it is estimated that over the course of a year, a person who increased his water consumption by 1.5 liters a day would burn an extra 17,400 calories, for a weight loss of approximately five pounds. Sipping cold water throughout the day speeds up your metabolism, which is why it is beneficial for weight loss as well.
Americans are constantly moving, which requires even increased water intake. Carrying a travel water bottle or even a plastic water bottle is extremely important. You can consistently re-fill it throughout the day, at work, at home, at school, just about anywhere. If you dread drinking water because its plain taste, try adding assorted fruits to your water. Lemon is very hydrating and when added to water can act as a mild diuretic. Watermelon, lime, strawberry and raspberry also are extremely refreshing when added into your cup. You can mix up any of these fruits as combinations in your drink! Get creative! You can even add herbs or vegetables to your water! My favorite, most refreshing, combination is lime, cucumber, and mint leaves. Drinking tea is also another healthy, beneficial way to keep hydrated. The health benefits of tea are immense and with thousands of different flavors and brands, you are bound to find a tea that is satisfying for you.
Maintaining hydration is the best way to feel rejuvenated and lively. It is our body and nature’s basis for survival. It is crucial for healthy organs, blood, skin, and so much more. Water is a liquid form of life; we need to regularly be staying hydrated. Carry water with you everywhere, sip on it during the day to avoid dehydration, drink it when you are hungry or before meals; theses small inclusions of water will leave you feeling fresh and cheerful. Your body will thrive and thank you. Live well, be happy and drink up!