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Hydrate to Invigorate: Uncovering Water’s Wonders

water

We know that water is good for us, but we might not be able to put our fingers on why. Here are some details on water’s health benefits and how to work more water into your day!

Who wouldn’t drink a nice glass of water sitting right in front of them? The little drops of coolness on the glass that catch the light like crystal bubbles, the psychedelic magnification effect as you gaze through it, the solid weight of it in your hand. Yes, a glass of water is a beautiful thing. The most wonderful thing about water, though, is that you really can’t get enough of it! Well, I take that back. There is a very rare condition called hyponatremia resulting from the intake of so much water that sodium cannot be absorbed by your body. If you are involved in extreme endurance sports such as marathons or triathlons, you should definitely be aware of this condition. Otherwise, follow along below for wonderful ways in which water invigorates our bodies and minds and healthy guidelines for enjoying it.

Why to Enjoy Water’s Wonders:

  • Your body is over seventy percent water, and your brain is over eighty-five percent water. Water is necessary for these to function properly.
  • Water washes out toxins and free radicals from your body.
  • Water hydrates and delivers nutrients to your cells.
  • Water keeps your digestive system moving along.
  • Water keeps your organs, joints, mouth, ears, and nose lubricated. These things don’t work well dry.
  • Water maintains blood volume and aids in circulation.
  • Water moisturizes your skin and keeps it firm and young-looking.
  • Water helps your nerves transmit signals from your brain.
  • Water lubricates your lungs so they can function optimally and you can breathe well.
  • Water alleviates and prevents cramping.
  • Water helps maintain your body temperature. Go ahead and sweat it out. That’s your body cooling itself.
  • Water makes you feel full, preventing over-eating.
  • Water gives you energy as it helps your body perform well and efficiently.
  • Water hydrates and gives support to your brain, helping your memory stay sharp, your concentration focused, and your thinking snappy.

How to Enjoy Water’s Wonders:

Lest I scare you with tales of hyponatremia, keep in mind this simple and general guideline: drink about eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day. If you are exercising or it is hot drink more.

  • Don’t wait to feel thirsty. By the time you feel thirsty dehydration will have already begun its organ-shrinking, joint-drying campaign on your body. Make drinking water part of your daily habit rather than a reaction to feeling thirsty.
  • Get a bigger glass for your desk that will have to be refilled less, and start carrying a water bottle with you. There are tons of stylish water bottles out there these days. Why not have one for every day of the week or even every mood? Uh-oh…she’s got her hot pink bottle today…watch out, people!
  • Flavor water naturally with a squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange; add some mint or basil leaves; or squeeze in a touch of honey.
  • Enjoy the money you are not spending on soft drinks, juice, sports drinks, or excessive amounts of coffee or tea.
  • Do urine checks throughout the day to make sure you’re on target. A clear light yellow color is the goal. Dense, dark, smelly urine is a sign you need to drink up. (Some vitamin supplements or medications change or darken the color of urine, so do keep that in mind.)

For years I’ve been telling myself to drink more water. But I have a new tactic to remind myself to partake in its wonders more regularly throughout the day:

Instead of just telling myself I need to drink more water because it’s good for me, every time I am not drinking water I imagine what’s happening inside my body without it. I imagine my beautiful organs shriveled and rattling around in a dry body, my brain shrinking, the skin of my face drying into wrinkly leather, and being too tired to work out or have fun. Okay, so maybe that’s a little dramatic, but it’s not that far off from the reality. Dehydration’s effects are so life-depleting, and they are absolutely preventable simply by enjoying water’s inexpensive and highly available wonders. What other health product can do so much for your body and your brain? So take up that beautiful glass of goodness and drink it down. Cheers to good health!

Brett Warren is a biochemical engineer from Boston, Massachusetts who develops sports supplements for Force Factor. He has done extensive research on nutrition and is an expert on nutraceutical science. He also has a passion for fitness and health. Brett’s work at Force Factor is supplemented by an active family life with plenty of gym time and outdoor recreation.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by mixtribe