Water makes up approximately 70% of the human body. Whereas food is considered as the primary fuel source, water makes the body look young and fresh. The impressive hold this trio of molecules can have on the inside and outside of a healthy looking body is tremendous. From elevated mood to revitalized nourished skin, water has impeccably diverse functions.
Water promotes healthy kidney function. The kidneys filter the blood removing waste and extra water creating urine which the body expels. Keeping water flowing through the kidneys allows them to operate efficiently removing waste and toxins from the body. People who do not drink sufficient water experience higher incidences of kidney stones and kidney disease.
One symptom of dehydration is fatigue. Water helps the blood transport oxygen and other essential nutrients to the body’s cells. Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrink, which can result in muscle fatigue, especially when there is physical exertion. Avoid muscle cramping by drinking water periodically throughout the day and even more water during a physical workout.
Dehydration makes the skin appear dry and wrinkled. As the largest organ in the body, skin contains a lot of water and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. Using a moisturizer on the skin can prevent further loss of moisture, but the skin is hydrated from the inside. Keeping those skin cells nice and plump results in younger looking skin.
An obvious fact to most people is that water has no calories, therefore, if water replaces calorie laden drinks (including many of those popular sports drinks) a person’s total calorie intake will go down, promoting weight loss. Drinking more water also helps boost the metabolism to keep the calorie engine burning. A fun fact is that a glass of ice water burns more calories because the body works harder to bring down the water temperature – every calorie counts.
The gastrointestinal tract is very dependent on water to keep things moving. When the colon doesn’t have sufficient water, it pulls water from the stools to maintain its function. When too much water is removed, the result is constipation. Drinking water keeps the colon hydrated and working properly.
The blood in the body is about 90% water. When the body is dehydrated, there is less water in the blood and blood becomes thicker. The heart and muscles in the extremities are now required to work harder to move the thick blood around the body to supply the nutrients required, and this results in higher blood pressure. Drinking more water allows the blood to flow smoothly around the body.
Types of Water
Water is essential. No other substance is so important to a body’s physiology or health, but is some water better than others?
- All natural sources of water (well, spring, artesian spring, and mineral) contain essential minerals the body needs.
- Tap water is treated water (to remove bacteria and toxins), but may also contain chlorine and fluoride.
- Distilled water is created through a condensation process and as a result does not contain minerals.
- Alkaline water (through a machine or mineral water) is claimed to have some additional health benefits, but researchers have not verified these claims.
- Bottled water is cleaned up tap water, but there has been some concern about the plastic containers.
No matter which water one chooses to drink, drinking more water of any type results in numerous health benefits.