Water is critical to life. It makes up over 50% of our bodies, you just can’t survive without it. From transporting nutrients and oxygen around your body to getting rid of waste products and controlling your body temperature, water is essential for all our bodily functions. So many people underestimate the importance of water to their bodies. Regardless of age, gender and whether you are active or inactive, we all need to ensure our bodies are properly hydrated at all times.
The Most Important Nutrient
Water is the most important nutrient for our growth, development and overall health. As our blood is 82% water, our lungs are nearly 90% water, and the human brain comprises of 95% water, it is also the most abundant nutrient in our body. Its composition is a delicate balance as a drop in 2% of our body water can affect our neuromuscular coordination as well as cause shrinkage of the brain. It’s no surprise that mild dehydration is a common cause of fatigue.
The Health Benefits
Essential for overall health for the mind and body, water is vital for nutrient absorption and chemical reactions including brain function and enhancing memory performance. It assists the digestive system and urinary tract as well as supporting the body to metabolize food and excrete waste products. Water is also important to maintain healthy joints. The synovial fluid that protects your joints also contains water. If you become dehydrated then there is less synovial fluid to offer that protection putting greater stress on your joints. Finally of course, maintaining hydration offers great benefits to your skin. Water is nature’s original, cost effective anti-ageing product and well hydrated skin will have less wrinkles and fewer blemishes due to the toxins being flushed out of your system. Why bother with expensive face creams when drinking water is more effective?
Improve Your Performance
Most employers understand the importance of maintaining the health of their workforce and its positive effects on productivity and their profit margin. Encouraging your staff to remain hydrated becomes easier with access to fresh mineral or filtered water. The installation of water coolers in offices throughout the UK has become common place. Water is essential in reducing fatigue. As all energy reactions need water to take place, the more dehydrated you become, the increase in lethargy and fatigue. So being well hydrated is crucial to improving performance whether you are an athlete training for a race or an office worker trying to cope with a heavy workload. Keeping water with you at all times either in a bottle when you’re travelling or in a glass on your desk at work will remind you to keep drinking.
Being dehydrated can result in fluid retention and swollen hands, legs and feet. When the body thinks it is in a state of dehydration it identifies this as a threat to life and starts to retain every drop of water in the body in order to survive. As water is stored in extracellular space, that is, space outside of the cell, water retention can result in the swelling of extremities. Drinking water to relieve water retention appears to be a strange concept but staying well hydrated ensures the body does not feel under threat allowing it to maintain its normal process of elimination negating the need to retain water.