How Do You Stay Hydrated And Healthy? Drinking Water!
Dilution is the solution to pollution! A phrase I learned from my Functional Medicine teacher, Dr. Dan Kalish. This is a great thing to remember because water is a solvent - it carries dissolved substances all around your body, transferring nutrients, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and waste products from one area of the body to where they need to go. Vitamins and minerals dissolve in water to be absorbed, while oxygen and other nutrients move throughout the body with the help of water. Because we come into contact with so many toxins through our day, we need to stay hydrated so that they can be carried through our detoxification system and removed out of our bodies more easily.
Water is a vital element of our body. Adults are about 60% water and our blood is 80 to 90% water. Most of the water in our body is found inside the cells, however, a small amount of water can also be found in other areas. Keeping the body well hydrated is necessary for allowing the body to function well.
Our kidneys, located in the back and lower part of the torso, work in part to regulate the fluid balance in our bodies. They filter between 120 to 180 liters of fluid every day (approximately 31 to 48 gallons). Normally an adult passes 0.5 to 3-liter urine daily and dehydration happens when the amount of water leaving our body is greater than the amount we are taking in.
Water leaves our body when we:
- Breathe and exhale
- Perspire or Sweat
- Urinate and from bowel movements
A decrease in hydration can cause:
- Increased blood thickness
- Increased blood pressure
- Headaches, constipation, lethargy
- Muscle weakness, fatigue
- Dry mouth
To stay hydrated, a person needs to drink a sufficient amount of water each day, around 8 cups, just to replace the water that leaves during a normal day. Exercise, higher temperatures, and even illness can increase the amount of water needing to be replaced.
Health Benefits of Drinking Water
Drinking enough water daily is the first rule of health and nutrition. Health benefits of hydration include:
- Lubricates joints
- Keeps mouth, eyes, and nose moist
- Helps regulate body temperature
- Support clearing of waste products through the bowels and bladder
- Improved memory and mood
- Reduced cravings for sugar and sweets
- Maintained body weight
- Improved stamina
- Easier bowel movements
- Can reduce headaches and migraines
- Helps to prevent kidney stones
How to add more water to your day:
- Add some fruit/lemon to kick up the flavor
- Start your day with a large glass of room temperature or warm water – this is also beneficial to help get your bowels moving in the morning.
- Use a water tracking app
- Use a water tracking water bottle
- Notice the benefits of adding more water to your body
You may need a bit of time as you up your water intake, to let your kidneys and bladder get used to the increase. You may find yourself going to the bathroom more frequently, however, your body will get used to it and you’ll find your rhythm.
I would recommend avoiding water “flavors” that are full of chemicals or artificial compounds because these do nothing to support the health and well-being of your body.
I hope you’ve found this information helpful and if you would like more help in supporting your health through Functional Wellness Medicine, please contact Dr. Georgia and see how she can help you create more lasting wellness in your life!