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We all know how important water is, and with summer just around the corner it’s more important than ever! In terms of mankind’s survival, it’s the most valuable commodity on the planet. Our bodies are made up of over 50% water and you can’t survive more than a few days without it. From aiding the expulsion of waste products from our bodies, to transporting nutrients and oxygen around and controlling our body’s temperature, water is vital for all of our bodily functions. So why do many people underestimate the importance of water to their bodies?
Whether you’re young or old, male or female, lead an active or sedentary life, the rules are the same: hydration, hydration, hydration. Not just to stay healthy. Simply to function.
A vital nutrient
So here are the stats. 82% of our blood is water. 90% of our lungs are water. And a whopping 95% of our brains are water. It’s no wonder that when we dehydrate we can feel so off kilter. There’s such a delicate balance that just a 2% drop in our body’s water composition can affect our neuromuscular coordination, as well as shrinkage of our brains. It will come as no surprise that this slight deficiency in fluid can lead to headaches, illness and fatigue!
So aside from avoiding the mother of all headaches, how else can keeping ourselves topped up help or improve our general wellbeing?
The healthy benefit
As well as overall health for the body and mind, water is crucial for absorption of nutrients and chemical reactions, including brain function and heightening memory performance. It assists the urinary tract and digestive system in addition to supporting the body’s metabolism and excretion of waste products.
Water helps to maintain healthy joints; the synovial fluid that protects them contains water and if you become dehydrated then there will be less synovial fluid to offer that protection, which will put greater stress on your joints.
Of course, we all love to have clear skin. By staying hydrated you’ll flush out all those nasty toxins, and have fewer blemishes and (hopefully!) fewer wrinkles! It has to be nature’s most organic, original and cost effective skin care regime known, and it’s available to all of us! Who needs expensive facial treatments and creams?
It may all seem simple. But with our busy lives it can be easy to forget to take care of ourselves. Especially during the working day. We have a duty of care to ourselves, and sometimes for others too…
Be kind to you and yours
All employers understand that it’s important to maintain the health of their employees and workforce, and the positive effect that will have on not only productivity but ultimately their profit margin! Encouraging staff members to stay hydrated becomes a whole lot easier with access to a fresh supply of mineral or filtered water. A simple way of doing this is by installing a water cooler in the office, a practice that is commonplace across the globe. Keeping a glass of water on the desk beside you will remind you to drink. Whether you’re a sipper or a guzzler – it doesn’t matter! As water is essential for reducing lethargy and fatigue, the more hydrated you remain, the better your performance will be.
And this advice isn’t just for the desk jockeys among us. You may have a manual job, or an active life outside of work but the guidance remains the same – keep a bottle of water with you at all times.
So with all this extra H20 flowing through our systems, won’t we bloat? After all, water is heavy, man! And…
Fluid retention is bad
It’s the dehydration of our bodies that will cause them to retain water. Swollen hands, legs and feet are the most easily spotted visual signs that we need to take on more water. When our supplies are depleted our bodies recognise this as a threat to life, and then start to retain every single drop in order to survive.
As water is stored in extracellular space, water retention usually results in swelling of the extremities. Drinking water in order to relieve this might seem contradictory, but by making sure we stay hydrated our bodies will not feel under threat, thus allowing them to maintain their normal processes, eliminating the need to retain water.
We all strive to live a full, healthy and active life. This is essential if we are to fulfil our goals, dreams and desires. It’s not rocket science. We know what to do.