Benefits of Drinking Water & Drinking Enough!
All life needs water to survive.
Plants, animals, and of course, humans rely heavily on this organic compound to properly function on a day-to-day basis. Water is an essential ingredient to our well-being. It is the key to maintaining physical and cognitive health, which is why humans generally understand the importance of drinking it. But why is this clear, flavorless substance so important? What exactly does H2O do for the human body and how does a person know when they need more? Thankfully, science has helped answer these questions.
According to researchers Dr. Shaun K. Riebl and Dr. Brenda M. Davy, the human body is made up of about 45-75% water.*4 However, our bodies are also constantly losing water, which occurs through various channels of the human body. Listed below are some of the different ways the body loses water:
Sedentary adults lose about 250-350mL per day through respiration. However, when engaging in physical activity, the average adult loses approximately 600mL/d through respiration.*4
Sweat is an obvious channel of water loss. What is not obvious is how much water is actually lost via our sweat glands. Sweat exerts about 450mL/d, but this can increase to up to 3L per hour when engaging in physical activity in warm temperatures.*4
Urination and Gastrointestinal:
The most well-known channel of water loss is through urination. Urine releases 1,000-2,000mL/d4. On average, that’s about 75% of the water the average adult is supposed to consume daily. Fecal water exerts approximately 100-300mL/d.
Total Water Loss = 1,500-3,100mL/d
Fortunately, the water we intake is approximately 70-80% from water-based beverages and approximately 20-30% from water consumed via soups, stews, fruits and vegetables. That means that if the average adult wants to stay hydrated, all they have to do is eat and drink water-based foods and drinks. It’s a simple remedy for what could be a fatal problem.
Dehydration causes weakness, dizziness, fatigue, fainting, nausea or vomiting, and even a fast heart rate, mental confusion and sleepiness.*4 Researchers across the world have studied the harmful effects of dehydration and how water helps our bodies function properly. These researchers have found numerous scientifically proven benefits of staying hydrated.
Here are some of the benefits of drinking water:
Water Helps Us Stay Fit:
Most people understand that it is important to drink water while exercising. However, many people do not understand exactly how water helps their physicality.
For starters, muscle mass is approximately 70-75% water.*4 Engagement in a physical activity without proper hydration affects speed, endurance, muscle recovery and overall leads to a higher rate of exhaustion.*5 If the body is not properly hydrated, it will not be able to power through a workout.
Water Helps Us Maintain A Healthy Brain:
Visual attentiveness, concentration, reaction time, and short-term memory improve when hydration is properly maintained. Women who are dehydrated have shown negative effects in mood, vigor, and fatigue. Dehydration has also been show to increase moodiness and anxiety. Our cognitive and emotional performance can be affected by as little as a 1-2% water loss, which can easily be lost through daily activities.*4
Water Helps Our Organs Function Properly:
Not only does water allow the brain to function properly but it also helps our other organs work efficiently.
As Barry M. Popkin explains in his article “Water hydration and health”, “Water excretion via the kidney removes solutes from the blood.”*3 The kidneys are responsible for cleaning out harmful toxins from the body, and without sufficient water intake, these toxins cannot be removed and can cause harm to the body.
Urine generally gives an estimate of how hydrated a person is by changing color. For example, when the body is dehydrated, the urine will turn a dark yellow, sometimes even brown. The more hydrated the body is, the clearer the urine will be.
How to Stay Properly Hydrated:
Unfortunately, by the time a person senses the thirst sensation their body may already be moderately dehydrated. Also, the body loses the thirst sensation before adequate hydration is attained. This means it is up to the individual to consciously maintain proper water balance.
Now that you understand how staying hydrated benefits your body, here are some simple ways to stay hydrated:
- Drink plenty of water: Drink your recommended daily 8 glasses of water – When engaging in everyday activities, the average adult should be drinking at least 2,000mL / 2 liters / 64 oz per day. However, when engaging in any form of physical activity, the average adult women should be drinking at least 3,000mL / 3 liters / 101 oz per day; the average adult male should be drinking at least 3,700mL / 3.7 liters / 1 gallon per day.
It is useful to have a proper reusable water bottle that will make hydrating easy. Bluewave Daily 8 water bottle is equivalent to 2 liters / 64 oz of water and is a great option for those who don’t have time to constantly refill. For those that require a higher capacity, Bluewave 1 Gallon water bottle is also a great option. It is an easy reminder and you know how much you should hydrate every day.
- Take a reusable water bottle with you – It’s important to have water easily accessible at all times. The 64 oz water bottle mentioned previously is great for exercising and staying hydrated, but it isn’t always easy to carry with you when you’re going to work or just enjoying a casual day. Smaller bottles fit comfortably inside a purse or backpack and can be refilled to maintain hydration levels. For that you can check out our sports water bottle or our glass water bottle. These smaller size bottles are also great options to keep you hydrated during your daily activities.
- Know the dehydration signals – If urine is a dark yellow or brown color, the body is signaling for more water. Also, any symptoms such as thirst, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, constipation, poor concentration or even mood imbalance can be signs that the body needs more water. Unfortunately, once these symptoms arise, you’re probably already dehydrated. Remember to drink consistently before you feel the aches and pains of dehydration.
- Eat water-based foods – Eating soups, stews, fruits or vegetables contribute to water intake and can help the body stay hydrated. Even tea and fruit infused water equal the same amount of water intake as regular water.
- Eat salty foods – When we drink too much water our sodium levels drop. Snack on salty foods such as pretzels or salted nuts to maintain sodium levels.
Conclusion: Drink Your Daily 8 Glasses of Water
Fortunately, there are many simple steps we can take to maintain hydration. It is not enough to drink a few glasses of water with dinner and call it a day; the average adult needs at least 2,000mL / 2 liters / 64 fl oz per day, but when engaging in exercise, the average adult needs at least 3,000mL / 3 liters / 101 fl oz per day.
Always keep a reusable water bottle on hand. When exercising, use a larger bottle such as our Bluewave Daily 8 water jug or Bluewave 1 Gallon water bottle, mentioned previously; using a large bottle will make water intake much easier. When you are not exercising, keep a small bottle with you so that you are constantly reminded to drink more. I recommend using at least a 1 liter / 34 oz sports water bottle, so that you only have to drink about two of these to stay hydrated.
It is also important to know the symptoms of dehydration. Thirst, fatigue, dizziness and headaches are the most common symptoms; Constipation, poor concentration, moodiness and anxiety are other symptoms associated with dehydration.
Lastly, eat water-based foods. These include (but are not limited to) fruits, vegetables, soups and stews. Tea and fruit-infused water have been proven to increase hydration just as much as water, so it’s okay to add these drinks to your diet as well. Once you add more water to your diet your entire body will begin to feel healthier. Your cognitive performance and your physical performance can improve greatly, just by staying hydrated.
Sources & Citations
- Boschmann, Michael. “Water drinking induces thermogenesis through osmosensitive mechanisms” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Oxford Academy. 1 August 2007.
- Palma, Maria Lidia. “Relationship between the dietary intake of water and skin hydration”. Biomedical Sciences. Biomedical and Biopharmaceutical Research. 2012.
- Popkin, Barry M., et al. “Water, Hydration and Health.” Nutrition Reviews, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Aug. 2010.
- Riebl, Shaun K. and Davy, Brenda M. “The hydration equation: Update on water balance and cognitive performance”. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. U.S. National Library of Medicine. 17 Nov & Dec 2013.
- Ruxton, Carrie. “Promoting and maintaining healthy hydration in patients”. EBSCO Host. Nursing Standard. 4 April 2012.
- Tate, D F, et al. “Replacing Caloric Beverages with Water or Diet Beverages for Weight Loss in Adults: Main Results of the Choose Healthy Options Consciously Everyday (CHOICE) Randomized Clinical Trial.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 2012.