by Leigh Richards
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Drinking water is extremely beneficial and a key element in maintaining good health. Chances are, you’ve heard this all before, but are you doing everything you can to stay hydrated? With warmer weather on the horizon and more opportunity for outdoor activities, hydration is now even more important.
Did you know that almost 75% of the human body is water?
- Blood is 83% water
- Muscles are 75% water
- The brain is 95% water
- Lungs are 90% water
Pretty staggering fact, isn’t it? In order to keep our water-centric bodies working well, we need to feed them with enough water.
The reality is there are endless reasons to drink water. Water helps you have more energy, fight disease, avoid gaining weight, have healthy skin, boost your immune system and generally feel good.
Here’s a list of our 3 favorite benefits:
- Muscles and joints: Water acts as a lubricant for our muscles and joints, which are needed in order to keep everything working properly. Our muscles and joints allow us to sit, stand, walk, run, and keep moving throughout the day. As mentioned in the previous fact, 75% of our muscles are made of water. Drinking water prevents muscle cramps and helps us avoid muscle injury. This is especially relevant post-workout.
- Metabolism: Hydration really helps with the digestion of food and absorptions of nutrients from the digestive track. In order for nutrients to get absorbed into our bloodstreams and delivered to our cells, water needs to dissolve them first. Our bodies need water in order to aid the digestive process. Dehydration slows the digestive process and chronic dehydration leads to constipation. In general, proper hydration leads to proper digestion.
- Energy levels: Let’s face it: we are all busy and on-the-go all the time. As a result, we need all of the energy we can get and consuming too much caffeine or too many sugary drinks can be an unhealthy choice. Water is a natural way to stay energized and feeling good. Dehydration causes fatigue, and if you consistently drink less than 8 cups of water a day, you may be sluggish all of the time. Make a goal for yourself to increase your current daily water intake. Try it for a week and see if your general energy level increases (Hint: we’re pretty sure it will!).
Here is a great article by Cathy Wong, a licensed naturopathic doctor and an American College of Nutrition-certified specialist (and speaker at Be Healthy Boston 2012), on 5 Ways to Boost Your Water Intake.
So this Spring, make it a goal for yourself to drink more water, and become healthier as a result!