Water is essential for life and here are some of the reasons your body needs a daily supply of water:
1. It lubricates the joints
Cartilage, found in joints and the disks of the spine, contains around 80 percent water. Long-term dehydration can reduce the joints' shock-absorbing ability, leading to joint pain.
2. It forms saliva and mucus
Saliva helps us digest our food and keeps the mouth, nose, and eyes moist. This prevents friction and damage. Drinking water also keeps the mouth clean. Consuming water instead of sweetened beverages, it can also reduce tooth decay.
3. It delivers oxygen throughout the body
Blood is more than 90 percent water, and blood carries oxygen to different parts of the body.
4. It boosts skin health and beauty
With dehydration, the skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and premature wrinkling.
5. It cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues
Dehydration can affect brain structure and function. It is also involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Prolonged dehydration can lead to problems with thinking and reasoning.
6. It regulates body temperature
Water that is stored in the middle layers of the skin comes to the skin's surface as sweat when the body heats up. As it evaporates, it cools the body. Some scientists have suggested that when there is too little water in the body, heat storage increases and the individual is less able to tolerate heat strain. Having a lot of water in the body may reduce physical strain if heat stress occurs during exercise.
7, The digestive system depends on it
The bowel needs water to work properly. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation, and an overly acidic stomach. This increases the risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers.
8. It flushes body waste
Water is needed in the regular processes of sweating and removal of urine and feces.
9. It helps maintain blood pressure
A lack of water can cause blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.
10. The airways need it
When dehydrated, airways are restricted by the body in an effort to minimize water loss. This can make asthma and allergies worse.
11. It makes minerals and nutrients accessible
These dissolve in water, which makes it possible for them to reach different parts of the body, and access every cell.
12. It prevents kidney damage
The kidneys regulate fluid in the body. Insufficient water can lead to kidney stones and other problems.
13. It boosts performance during exercise
Dehydration during exercise may hinder performance. Some scientists have proposed that consuming more water might enhance performance during strenuous activity. More research is needed to confirm this, but one review found that dehydration reduces performance in activities lasting longer than 30 minutes.
14. Weight loss
Water may also help with weight loss, if it is consumed instead of sweetened juices and sodas. "Preloading" with water before meals can help prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness.
The goal is to drink approximately 60-80 ounces of water a day unless otherwise recommended by your doctor. If you are not at that 60-80 ounce goal, we suggest building up slowly to prevent flushing out your electrolytes. A great way to do this is by adding an extra half cup of water each day until you are at your goal.”
Times when it is most important to drink plenty of water include:
when you have a fever
when the weather is hot
if you have diarrhea and vomiting
when you sweat a lot, for example, due to physical activity
Be sure to start drinking your water throughout the day to keep your body in peak form and know that it is the best choice to reach for when thirsty!
References from: Maughan, R. J., & Griffin, J. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. 16(6):411-20. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19774754 Medical New Today and other sources