Why Is Drinking Water & Staying Hydrated So Important?

With the sun kicking in at full swing, it is highly recommended to stay hydrated and keep drinking water at all times. Water is an extremely essential requirement of your body for various reasons. But the question is why?

We all are well aware that about 60% of our body weight is made up of water but still it is heavily emphasised that we need to consume water throughout the day. In this article, we’ll be talking about everything you need to know about why water is essential for the body.

Why Body Needs Water?

Don’t think water is simply overrated. Here are some reasons why our body requires water in a decent amount. 

1. Water Flushes Out Toxins

One of the most common and known requirements of water in our body is to flush out toxins. The kidney is our organ which has the primary function of removing toxins and waste from our body in the form of urine. The urine carries all the unwanted toxins that our body doesn’t require and here, water plays a vital role. 

The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen which is formed when the protein in our body is broken down in the liver. It is a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine. If these toxins are not removed from the body, it could lead to Uremia which is a clinical condition caused due to the building up of toxins in the blood. 

2. Water Helps Regulate Body Temperature

Water helps regulate our body temperature and there is no rocket science in that. This mechanism is called thermoregulation and it is another important reason our body requires the body for. Temperature regulation is a type of homeostasis and a means of preserving a stable internal temperature in order to survive.  How much water we consume ensures the hydration status of our body. When the body loses water in the form of sweat is closely associated with the cooling mechanism of the body. To make up for the lost water in our body via sweating, drinking a sufficient amount of water is essential.

3. Water Help Spinal Cord, Tissues and Joints 

 Muscle tissue consists of approximately 75% of water, which helps to form protein in muscles and protects joints. When we don’t drink enough water, this could lead to reduced muscle tone by preventing muscles from contracting.

Now, let’s talk about cartilage. Cartilage is a connective tissue that lines the surface of the joints and acts as a cushion between the bones, absorbing shock and easing friction. Cartilage is kept lubricated by a gel-like liquid known as synovial fluid, which is formed by glycosaminoglycan bonding with sulphur compounds.

Joint pain usually occurs when the cartilage has been weakened or damaged. Since approximately 60% of joint cartilage is made from water, it is crucial to keep our bodies hydrated. If failed to do so, our production of synovial fluid will be reduced and we increase our risk of friction pain and cartilage deterioration.

4. Water Helps In Digestion

Water is also considered very important in the process of digestion. It helps break down the food you eat, allowing the nutrients which are present in the food to be absorbed by your body. After you drink, both your small and large intestines absorb water, which moves into your bloodstream and is also used to break down nutrients.

Water also regulates the production of saliva in the body. More water intake promotes more saliva production which plays a crucial role in digestion. 

According to the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, when your large intestine absorbs water, stool in your body changes from liquid to solid.

Furthermore, water reduces the chances of constipation.

5. Water Aids Physical and Cognitive Performance

Staying hydrated improves the physical performance of athletes. Any sport involves lots of sweating and athletes lose a massive amount of water while performing. Even the studies suggest that athletes may lose up to 6-10% of their body weight. Hydration also affects your strength, power, and endurance.

Drinking enough water and staying hydrated improves cognitive health. Dehydration may negatively impact focus, short-term memory and focus as is also proven by the research.

Why Happens When The Body Doesn’t Get Enough Water?

Woman drinking enough water

Not drinking enough water affect our body negatively and could lead to dehydration. If the dehydration gets severe, it can cause dizziness, confusion and even seizure.

Not drinking enough water could affect the working of kidneys and urine formation. It is well-noted fact that when we drink enough water, the colour and the concentration of the urine are affected.

It could further lead to joint pains and muscle weakness.

How Much Water Does Your Body Need Each Day?

The infamous  8×8 rule is quite famous as the required amount of water in a day however, many experts and NHS doesn’t support it. Some even say a gallon of water should be drunk each day. The basic guideline for how much water you need varies if you don’t go by your thirst. But there are some basic guidelines:

  • For men, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends a total of 13 cups (about 3 litres) of fluid each day.
  • For women, IOM suggests that 9 cups (a little over 2 litres) of fluid each day is sufficient.
  • For Pregnant women, it is recommended to drink about 10 cups of water daily as per IOM and those who breastfeed require nearly about 12 cups.

What Contributes To Your Water Intake?

drinking enough water

Your recommended water intake can be fulfilled by many sources. However, not every fluid contributes to your water intake. Certain fluids have their drawbacks.

Water is the primary but juices, smoothies, tea, coffee etc can contribute to water intake but they might not be such a good option.

Juices, sodas, and smoothies can contain a high amount of sugar and calories whereas coffee and tea have caffeine in them. provide water, too. When caffeine consumption increases our body loses more water.

Similar to caffeine, even alcohol can make you lose more water.

Sports drinks have a high water content along with carbohydrates and electrolytes, which can help you absorb water and keep your energy levels up. They are good for consumption but ensure that they do not contain extra calories, sugar and salt.

Energy drinks contain sugar and a stimulant like caffeine in very high amounts. They are made to give an instant boost of energy and what is better than sugar and caffeine.  However, it is not recommended to drink energy drinks excessively.

Related Read: How To Read A Nutritional Label

Fruits and vegetables contain water too. Watermelon, melon, cucumbers, and lettuce are over 90% water. They also provide a variety of different vitamins and minerals. They are regarded as good for consumption.

What Happens In Case Of Excessive Water Drinking?

Although it may seem like there is nothing like excessive water drinking however in extremely rare cases, you can drink too much water as well. 

Hyponatremia is a condition which develops when you drink excessive water and your kidneys are not able to get rid of that extra water. This extra water dilutes the mineral in your blood and your sodium levels could drop tremendously. 

It could further lead to body swelling.

Our Final Thought

Drinking enough water and staying hydrated are extremely important for us. It is our basic requirement to provide the amount of water it needs. During summers, your body loses extra water while in winters we feel less thirsty. No matter what the weather is, be mindful of your body requirements and take special care of yourself!

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