Water the elixir of life

We all know we should drink water but just how important is it and why do so many overlook this nutrient?

We all know we should drink water but just how important is it and why do so many overlook this nutrient? As for the importance and value of drinking water, since our bodies are about 70-80% water and we lose around 10 cups of water daily from natural body processes such as perspiration, urination, breathing etc. It seems logical that we should replace the one thing our body cannot survive without for no more than a week.

The consequences of dehydration, range from thirst, dry or sticky mouth, not urinating much, darker yellow urine, dry skin, headache, muscle cramps, to; not urinating or dark yellow or amber-colored urine, dry-shriveled skin, irritability or confusion, dizziness/ light headedness, rapid heartbeat, breathing rapidly, listlessness, kidney or organ failure, shock (lack of blood flow through the body), unconsciousness or delirium. Dehydration if left untreated can lead to permanent brain damage, seizures or death. The very young and the elderly are more prone to these effects.

Then why is it so underrated?

Water is so readily available and plentiful in most places, I suspect it is for this reason why it is taken for granted and overlooked. Reminds me of a saying ‘you never miss the water till the well runs dry’ pun intended. Water supports many health benefits, here are a few benefits and reasons to incorporate water into your daily regimen:

Circulation

Our body is comprised of mostly water (80-90%) and serves as a means of transportation for nutrients and oxygen to every cell of our body. It is like a highway system carrying nutrition to and fro and we definitely don’t’ want a traffic jam or concentrated, congestion now do we?

Detoxification

This one seems like a no brainer to me but hey, what do I know with only a lifetime spent studying and living a life centered on health-wellness restoration and three degrees in science, nutrition and natural medicine. The idea of washing the inside of our body just as we wash the outside seems to make sense and personally my body responds very favorably to this. When it comes to decreasing the toxic burden our bodies face day to day, drinking plenty of clean, chemical free water is an easy way to help out this process.

Skin

Ask just about any female or model about the importance of drinking water for skin and beauty and I’m pretty sure the consensus would be unanimous and in favor of this great tool in the beauty arsenal. Yes, skin is about 80% water and in order to retain it’s elasticity, suppleness and youthful glow it is imperative to have plenty of water daily.

Weight loss

Not only is water a zero calorie, inexpensive way of filling up in between meals but it actually requires energy (in the form of affecting or ñBMR –basal metabolic rate) from our bodies in order to heat up the cold water to the internal temperature of our body. This contributes to the energy in energy out equation and increases the likelihood of creating a deficit that would result in weight loss.

Kidney Health

If all the previously stated reasons were not enough to convince you of the value of water, how about to maintain the health of our kidneys. The kidney is one of the main organs of excretion whose primary role is to filter the blood (99% of it) and remove waste (1%) via the urine. Water is used as a vehicle to cleanse and filter the blood of toxins by way of the kidney. I like to think of the kidney as our sieve or strainer that keeps the good things in and returns it to our blood and gets rid of what is not needed. Most of us know of someone who has at some point had kidney stones. Do your own research and see if there is a correlation between the frequency of kidney stones or infections and lack of water intake. I’m sure anyone who has had a kidney stone would be happy to share with you just how important it is to drink sufficient water.

Are you hydrated?

As you can see water is important for the look, feel and function of a healthy body and as a result is completely deserving of the title ‘Elixir of Life’! Without this valuable nutrient we would not survive more than a week or so and a very ‘dry’ existence at that.

While most of us are familiar with the notion of drinking 8-8oz glasses of water daily there are new and other recommendations and guidelines out there such as 125ounces for adult men and 91 ounces for women and per kg of body weight.

In my opinion, if you are striving for these as a goal and you fall anywhere close to this I think you are doing your body a service, let’s not get carried away in the minutia. Another guide I like is the good old color test, try to keep your urine around a light yellow straw color by keeping sufficient water on board at all times.

Lastly, yes there is such a thing as too much water, it’s called hyponatremia (an imbalance of too much water and too little sodium in the blood). This can also be a very dangerous life-threatening situation so let’s try to keep things balanced and stay away from the extremes on both ends is my best recommendation.

Zamar McPherson

Nutritional Health expert | Zamar McPherson

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