How to make water your new best friend
You probably know that water makes up the majority of your body. Between 70 to 75% of your total body weight is water, which is your body’s most important nutrient.
Why is water important?
Water performs a number of important roles for your body, including ensuring that your body temperature is maintained correctly. It helps your digestive system, metabolises your body fat, cushions and lubricates all of your organs, helps transport nutrients around your body and, equally important, flushes the toxins you don’t need away from your body.
Experts will tell you that you should drink 64 ounces of water every day, but if you exercise regularly or you’re at the other end of the scale and you’re overweight, you should consume even more water because your body will get through and use more.
Your blood ensures that nutrients are transported around your body; it also takes energy to your muscles and waste away from your tissues. Some 90% of your blood is water.
What happens if you don’t take in enough water?
When you fail to drink sufficient water during the day your body will look to collect it from other places and this includes your blood. Some of your smaller vessels, known as capillaries, will close which makes your blood thicker. This increases the chances of your blood clotting and it makes it harder for your heart to push blood through your system. For people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and perhaps an unknown heart disease, this can result in serious problems. A lack of water can also cause you to have headaches, heartburn and arthritis.
When, after waking up in the morning, you find that your shoe is too tight to wear, there is a good chance that you have a water retention problem and salt can often be the cause of this. Your body needs and uses a certain amount of sodium, but if you consume too much salt, your body will need more fluid to dilute it.
When you don’t introduce enough water to your body, larger amounts of glucose will stay in your bloodstream until it reaches your liver. The excess glucose will be stored as fat. When there’s less water in your fat cells, you will be less mobile because water contributes to energy storage in your body.
One of the jobs that your liver completes for you is to turn fat into energy. Your kidneys will help with filtering waste, toxins, and remove salt from your bloodstream. When you don’t drink enough water and you are dehydrated, perhaps without even knowing it, your kidneys are not going to work properly and your liver will have to work overtime to compensate. The result is that your body will metabolise less fat which is why when you’re trying to reduce the amount of fat around your body, you should always drink plenty of water.
Water is a suppressant of your natural appetite, so consumption of water before a meal helps you eat less.
Drinking pure water is best for you, even better than coffee, tea or soda drinks. Those drinks increase your need for fluid because your body needs to work harder to remove the caffeine and sugary substances. These are all good reasons to make water your new best friend.
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Image: USACE HQ