I often speak to people who don’t believe drinking water is that important, or underestimate the importance of drinking water, so I’m going to explain a few (well quite a few) things about water.
Approximately 2 thirds (at least 60%) of the human body is water, so not surprisingly plays a crucial role in the majority of biological processes – from carrying nutrients and oxygen to every cell in the body to regulating bloody pressure to flushing out toxins.
Without food a healthy body can survive about 3 weeks before it starts to die, and can take up to 40 days for death to happen. Go without water for only 3 days, and the body will start to die, and won’t take much more than 7 days to do so. There are other factors that will speed up or slow down the process of course, such as somewhere very hot which will induce sweating and increased water loss.
Everyone knows water hydrates them, but what does that really mean?
Muscles are around 70% water – not feeling as strong as you used to, muscles not as big – water plays a key role in supplying the necessary nutrients to the body, as well as preventing the breakdown of muscles. Maybe your performance during exercise is suffering, and recovery time has slowed – again a lack of water will play a role here.
Water plays a key role in brain function, and lack thereof is linked to brain fog, memory problems, poor sleep, headaches, depression and more. Lack of water impairs the neurotransmitters that send messages to and from the brain. Some of the major hormones effected include the ‘happy’ hormones like dopamine and serotonin, which are linked with depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, ADHD to name but a few.
How are your joints? Stiff or painful at all? Water plays a key role here, helping to protect the joint. The cartilage padding that protects the joints, a bit like the stabilisers on the car protect the suspension on bumpy road by absorbing the impact, are largely water. When dehydrated this padding becomes weaken and deteriorates; your car shock absorbers no longer absorb and everything crunches when you hit a pot-hole!
Blood is about 92% water, so when dehydrated the blood will become thicker. This will decrease blood flow and lead to elevated blood pressure as the heart works harder to pump the blood. There is also an increased risk of blood clotting.
When the body is deprived of water, it will prioritise. Organs will of course be top priority, so skin and joints for example will suffer first, in time with signs, such as spots or dry skin, achy or painful joints.
By the time we’re in to winkling skin and really painful joints that are preventing regular and prolonged walking, there’ll could be memory issues, sleep problems, general low mood or depression, constipation, weight gain because your body is unable to effectively flush toxins, high cholesterol because your body is trying to prevent water loss from your cells, and, but not least, signs of early aging.
The skin is a sign of early aging, but underneath the organs are also showing signs, we just can’t physically see it, and unfortunately too many people seem to be happy with the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach. Until it's too late of course, then they wish they'd looked after their bodies, like they did their cars, when they were younger.
But hey, in all the doom and gloom, do you know what the good news is?! All you’ve gotta do is drink some clean, natural, mother natures finest, water. The stuff that is designed specifically for our bodies to provide the greatest health benefits. It even falls from the sky so we don’t need to do much work to obtain it.