Health News

How Water Fuels Your Body

We can’t live on air and sunshine alone, we need food and water to survive. While it’s known that humans can live for 21 days or more without food, we can only survive about three to four days without water.

How Water Fuels Your Body

How Water is Used in the Body
Fresh water is essential to human life. It quenches our thirst, keeps us clean, and is vital to all body processes. Water acts as a lubricant for our joints and helps protect the spinal cord from injuries. We also regularly lose water through sweat, breathing, and digestion. This means that we need to constantly replenish our supply so that we can meet our body’s needs.

Helps us Beat the Heat
As a cooling mechanism, our bodies naturally sweat in order to cool down and rid ourselves of excess toxins. Water helps us regulate our body temperature through both our sweating and respiration.

Improves Body Processes
Water is essential to all our body processes on many different levels. It’s used to transport vital vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients around our body via our bloodstream to wherever it’s needed the most. The water in our body is used to clean toxins and flush other waste from our systems as well.

Gives us Cleaner, Healthier Looking Skin
In addition to removing harmful toxins that can accumulate in the body, proper hydration can help improve the appearance of skin. Drinking the recommended eight glasses a day to stay hydrated can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while also improving skin elasticity. Without adequate water intake, skin can appear duller and make pores and wrinkles more pronounced.

The results of consuming water are also nearly immediate. One University of Missouri-Columbia study showed that drinking about two cups of water immediately increased blood flow to the skin, which aided in tissue repair and healing.

Water and Athletic Performance
When we exercise or do any amount of strenuous effort, we sweat. This is usually one of the hallmarks of a good workout. It means that we got our blood pumping and met our optimal heart rate for aerobic exercise. But all that sweat lost when we exercised (as much as 0.8 to 1.4 liters [roughly 27.4 to 47.3 oz.] per hour for an average person) needs to be replenished in our bodies after our workouts.

Athletes, children, and outdoor workers especially, because of their high activity levels, need to be careful of their fluid intake and stay hydrated, before they feel thirsty, to maintain proper hydration.

Water and the Brain
The brain is particularly sensitive to drops in body fluid. Even mild dehydration of about 1.5 percent loss of body weight can have major effects on mood and make it difficult to concentrate. With all types of dehydration, mild to severe, headaches are also common. Chronic dehydration has additional unfavorable health consequences which can even include heavily reduced cognitive function.

How do you know if you are getting Enough Water?
Most people can meet their daily needs for water by consuming a glass of water in the morning, one before going to bed, a glass with meals, snacks, and whenever they feel thirsty.

A good rule of thumb for determining if you are drinking enough water is to examine the color of your urine. It should be a very light yellow color, if it is clear you are drinking too much water and if it is dark you are probably not drinking enough.

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers also need to consume more water than others to compensate for the fluids used as part of growing and feeding a baby. If you are in doubt that you are getting enough water consult an online water calculator or speak with a medical health professional.