Water makes up 70%-75% of our bodies and is of course an essential part of our dietary needs. We can live for up to four weeks without food but no more than three days without water. It forms the bulk of blood and tissue fluid, meaning that it’s essential for transporting nutrients, hormones and waste product throughout our bodies.
Our brains are made up of 95% water, blood is 82% water and our lungs, 90%. If your body’s water supply drops just 2%, it can trigger signs of dehydration such as fuzzy short-term memory, trouble focusing on smaller print and problems with basic math.
In fact, just mild dehydration is a common cause of daytime fatigue. It is estimated that nearly 75% of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration. This is kind of scary when you stop to think how easily we can access water through bottled water, drinking fountains or at home.
What Water Does For Us
Water serves as a lubricant and forms the fluids that surround our joints. It regulates our body temperature and helps alleviate constipation by moving food through our intestinal tract to eliminate waste – the best detoxing agent.
While you may not have thought of this, water plays an important role in preventing disease. Some experts say that if you drink just eight glasses of water a day, you can actually decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50% and even help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
Fight The Common Cold
The best way to fight colds and the flu is by preventing them in the first place. Washing your hands frequently, taking vitamins and staying away from people who have colds or the flu is a good way to do this. But many experts say that the most important and easiest way to prevent the common cold – now sometimes referred to as a rhinovirus – is called sufficient fluid replacement.
If you drink plenty of water, you are flushing out harmful impurities and toxins and helping produce mucus. Your body uses even more fluids when fighting off a cold or the flu, so drinking extra water when you’re feeling these symptoms can help you from becoming seriously dehydrated. And dehydration can result in a high fever.
We lose water when we breathe, sweat and have bowel movements. This water needs to be replaced so that our body is able to remove toxins and to keep our body functioning, but how much water do we need?
Some would say drink 1.5 to 2 litters per day, or 8 cups. It really depends on what you are doing and what foods you are eating. Fruits and vegetables often have a high water content so if you eat a lot of them you naturally need to drink less water. A watermelon is over 95% water, while an orange is about 87% water.
If you are exercising or sweating in a hot environment, than you will need to increase your water intake. Common sense is needed here. It’s best to drink water before you start to feel dehydrated. Try to drink a glass of water with each meal and one in between meals, and during and after exercising.