A hand holding a glass of water

10 Reasons Why We Need to Drink Water

Read on for 10 reasons why we need to drink water and easy ways to optimise hydration. Most of us know that water is essential for life. It can still be all too easy to end up dehydrated when life gets busy and we forget just how many processes in the body are dependent upon it.

Interesting Water Facts

  • We are made up of around 70% water.
  • Water makes up 90% of our blood, 80% of our lungs and 98% of our internal secretions.
  • 5 days is the longest we can survive without water, as water supports all our internal body functions.
  • For our level of body fluid to remain constant, we need to match the amount of water entering the body with the amount of water leaving the body.
  • We lose about 3 litres of water every day through urine, faeces, perspiration and exhaled air.
  • We take in around 1 litre of water from our food, with fruit and vegetables ranging from 85-90% water. White fish and rice are 70% and even meat can contain as much as 50% water!
  • We also create around half a litre of water during internal metabolic processes.

That still leaves us short of 1.5 litres, and the only way to get that is to…..drink it!

10 Reasons Why We Need to Drink Water

  1. Water is a vital component of body fluids, cells, tissues, blood, lymph and glandular secretions.
  2. We need water for every bodily function including circulation, digestion, absorption and elimination.
  3. Water carries electrolytes which are the mineral salts that convey electrical currents in the body.
  4. Keeps mucous membranes lubricate and free from friction.
  5. Improves our chances of fighting viruses.
  6. Carries nutrients throughout the body.
  7. Maintains body temperature.
  8. Flushes out waste via the kidneys.
  9. Helps with memory and concentration.
  10. Lubricates cartilage and protects joints.

The Effects of Dehydration

Even a small degree of water loss can have a negative effect on physical and mental function. Chronic dehydration is linked to many health conditions including arthritis, high blood pressure, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes and many more.

When the body is deprived of water, it sources it internally from the colon, leading to hardening of faeces and constipation. Kidneys can become clogged and less effective at flushing out toxins.

Symptoms can include thirst, dry mouth, headaches, lethargy, dizziness and mental confusion. We may notice that skin, joints and mucous membranes become dry.

Staying Hydrated

  • Drink at least 1.5 litres or 8 glasses of water a day.
  • Requirement may increase in warmer weather or with exercise.
  • As water intake increases, the thirst mechanism becomes more efficient and you may want to drink more.
  • If you aren’t keen on the taste of water, try adding a slice of cucumber or lemon, or a sprig of fresh mint to your BPA-free water bottle.
  • By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated, so get into the habit of drinking regularly throughout the day.
  • If you find it hard to remember, try an app such as ‘Drink Water Reminder’.
  • Herbal teas can count towards your daily fluid intake. However, coffee, tea and alcohol do not. They are diuretics and remove more water than they supply.
  • The quality of the water that you drink is important. It should be free of bacteria, chemicals, pollutants, fluoride and chlorine. So drink filtered, spring or mineral water.
  • The purer the water that you drink, the better hydrated you are as pure water can permeate your cells more easily.
  • You should drink enough during the day so that your pee is a pale clear colour.
  • Avoid drinking with your main meals as this dilutes the stomach acid and can reduce food digestion.
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