H2O is the Way to Go
Author – GaeLynn Peterson
What do people, sheep and pine trees have in common? They all need WATER! In the hot days of summer, we’re more apt to get the water we need. Perhaps it just tastes better in the summer, but we need hydration just as much in the winter!
According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, the main chemical component that makes up 60 percent of our body weight is water and it only takes a 1 to 2 percent loss of fluid to cause dehydration. Every system in the body depends on water. The functions of this bodily fluid include digestion, absorption, circulation, lubrication and maintenance of body temperature.
It is estimated that we lose 8 cups (64 ounces) of water a day depending on age, activity level, the weather, and general health. We can replace lost liquid with some of the foods we eat in addition to the liquids we drink. Experts suggest several reasons for drinking plenty of water:
- It can control calories – water is not a magic bullet for weight loss, but choosing water over a high caloric beverage and eating water-rich foods that are healthy and more filling can help you trim your caloric intake. (Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., author of The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan.)
- It builds muscle tone – water prevents cramping and lubricates the joints.
- It lowers stress – 70 to 80 percent of the brain tissue is water. If you are dehydrated, your body and your mind are stressed.
- It boosts energy – water helps transport oxygen and other nutrients to the heart and other cells and amps up metabolism. If the water is cold, your body burns more calories to warm the water.
- It reduces kidney stones – water dilutes salts and minerals in your urine that can cause kidney stones.
- It nourishes your skin – water helps remove impurities and plumps up the skin cells, giving you a younger look. It also improves blood flow, which gives a healthy glow.
- It aids in digestion – water helps you stay regular by dissolving waste products and moving them smoothly through your digestive track.
The following tips from The U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health can help you get the water you need:
- Carry a water bottle with you when you are at work or running errands.
- Freeze water in freezer-safe water bottles to take with you all day.
- Choose water instead of other beverages when eating out.
- Give your water a little pizzazz by adding a wedge of lemon or lime.
If you are tired, stressed, have joint or headache pain or feel wrinkly and heavy — grab a glass of water. It may be just what the doctor ordered!