I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about water and the importance of hydration. I think everyone generally knows it is “healthy” and important to drink plenty of water, but why? WHY is water so important? In this post, I am going to explain the answer to this question and give you a simple formula to figure out how much water you should be drinking each day!
Water accounts for 55-60% of our total body weight, and is the most important nutrient in the human body. Did you know you can go about 8 weeks without food, but only days without water? If the body’s water volume drops as little as 2%, it can cause fatigue. A drop of 10% can cause digestive problems, cardiovascular problems, immune and musculoskeletal problems. Anything less than a 10% loss can cause death.
Water is vital to an incredible amount of body processes. Just to name a few, water:
- improves oxygen delivery to cells
- transports nutrients
- moistens oxygen for easy breathing
- cushions bones and joints
- absorbs shock to joints and organs
- regulates body temperature
- removes wastes
- flushes toxins
- lubricates joints
- improves cell-to-cell communication
- maintains normal electrical properties of cells
- empowers the body’s natural healing process
In the book, Your Body’s Many Cries For Water, F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. claims, “Chronic cellular dehydration of the body is the primary etiology of painful degenerative disease”. In plain english: not drinking enough water is the main cause of chronic disease.
The main idea behind this post I would love for you to take away is this: Water is the most common nutritional deficiency in America. You would think this to be false because of the abundance of clean water in our country, but most people do not hydrate properly. The average American consistently fuels themselves with diuretic beverages and not enough quality sourced, pure water.
Since water cannot be stored in the human body, daily consumption is essential. As a byproduct of metabolic processes, the body produces about 8% of its daily needs. This means the remaining 92% must be consumed through the foods we eat and the beverages we drink.
Think for a second about the beverages you’ve consumed so far today. Did you know coffee, juice, soda, some herbal teas, and alcohol are all diuretic beverages? Most people start their day with a few cups of coffee, some juice with breakfast, a soda or two with lunch, and round out their day with a glass of wine/beer/mixed drink because, well, life is tough. Hopefully there was some water thrown into the mix, but the point being all the other beverages this person drank throughout the day are diuretic- meaning they are dehydrating to the body.
Diuretic beverages accelerate the process at which the kidneys process water, causing an increase in the total amount of water excreted. AKA- diuretics make you pee. Not only do they make you pee, diuretics pull water molecules from the cells and force them to be excreted instead of absorbed into the body. This is how diuretic beverages contribute to cellular dehydration.
Are you starting to see the problem here? If your cells aren’t hydrated properly, they cannot function properly. If cells are dehydrated, they cannot bring an adequate amount of oxygen to other cells, they cannot transport nutrients, they cannot remove wastes and toxins, they cannot conduct critical cell-to-cell communications, they cannot properly heal, they cannot lubricate joints, they cannot regulate body temperature. As you can see, cellular dehydration is an enormous problem and unfortunately common.
How can you make sure you are properly hydrated?
Have you ever focused on drinking a lot of water in a day, but ended up feeling like you spent all day in the bathroom? Oh, I’ve been there before. Peeing more frequently when increasing water consumption is a given, but you shouldn’t be going so frequently that you are annoyed. So, why does this happen? Most times, this can be a sign of electrolyte imbalance.
Electrolyte balance is necessary for water absorption on a cellular level. Water does not freely remain within a cell unless there is an electrical charge pulling that water into the cell. In basic terms, electrolytes are minerals that become capable of conducting electricity when dissolved in water. If there are not adequate electrolytes within the body, the water will not hydrate the cell. Instead, the water will pass through the body and excreted as urine.
What Can you do to help maintain electrolyte balance?
Thats right! Add a pinch of REAL Mineral Salt to your water. I do this every with every glass or bottle of water I consume. Just a pinch of sea salt in a large glass of water will help balance your electrolytes and is so minuscule that you can’t even taste it! It is important to use non-iodized sea salt or himalayan pink salt to ensure you are getting the true, natural mineral form.
How Much water should you drink in a day?
Take your bodyweight and divide it by two. This is the minimum number of ounces you should drink each day. Ex: a person weighing 200 lbs. should drink a minimum of 100 ounces of water each day.
You also need to account for the amount of diuretic beverages you consume as well. As you learned earlier, diuretics cause dehydration. To make up for this, we need to be drinking even more water. For every cup (8 ounces) of diuretic beverage consumed, we need to drink 1.5 times that in water. Ex: if a person drinks 2 cups of coffee per day, they need to drink an extra 3 cups of water.
Here is a full example using myself: I weight 125 lbs . My minimum water consumption would be (125/2) 62.5 ounces. Since I also consume 2 cups of herbal tea in the morning, I need to add three more cups of water to my daily total. 3 cups = 24 ounces. My total daily water consumption should be around 86.5 ounces of water.
I hope you have found this post to be helpful! Please feel free to Contact Me if you have any questions!
If you are interested in learning more about hydration, I suggest reading Your Body’s Many Cries For Water by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.
**Disclaimer- These calculations are simply meant to be a guide for you. Everyone is a different bio-individual with different nutrient needs. For example, athletes may need higher daily water consumption due to perspiration, exhalation, and exertion.
I may be compensated through my affiliate links in this post, but all opinions are my own. This compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running! Thank you for your support with What Cait Ate!