If we were more conscious of the critical role that water plays for our bodies we would no doubt choose the bottle of water over the Diet Coke.
By weight, adult bodies are made up of between 50-65% water, with the brain and heart comprised of approximately 73% water, and the lungs 83% water. 64% of the skin is water, muscles and kidneys are at roughly 79%, and surprisingly, even our bones are around 31% water.
With our bodies made up of so much water, it's pretty clear that excellent health will come from adequate hydration, especially when that water is clean and pure.
If we were more conscious of the critical role water plays in our bodies, we would no doubt choose the bottle of water over a Diet Coke.
Water serves several essential functions that keep us alive, which we'll look at below. However, the beauty of effective hydration is that it not only will keep you alive, but it will make you feel better than ever.1. Dehydration is a Major Cause of Daytime Fatigue
Many of us make it worse by drinking caffeinated drinks such as coffee to keep us awake and focused. Too much caffeine can overstimulate our adrenal glands into producing extra cortisol and adrenaline, which, in an already tired and dehydrated body, can quickly lead to burnout. So next time you're feeling tired, why not have a large glass of water instead? Or better yet, mix in one of these energy-boosting blends into a glass of water and have a double-shot of energy!2. Without Effective Hydration You Can’t Have Effective Nutrition
Water plays a significant role in effectively metabolising our food. Not only does it aid in breaking food down, but it also helps flush away waste from the intestinal tract. This frees up the small intestines to absorb broken-down nutrients into the bloodstream by way of our circulatory system.
Water also helps transport nutrients around the body via the bloodstream, as blood plasma is 90% water. Plasma’s primary role is to transport nutrients, hormones, salts, enzymes and proteins around the body.3. Water is the Key to Waste Removal
Water also plays a significant role in the body's removal of waste through the digestive tract. As our food is broken down and absorbed in the small intestines, excess waste is then passed on through the large intestines as it travels through the colon.
This process requires a significant amount of water for the body's organs to digest and subsequently remove waste effectively. Water also plays a vital role in the healthy functioning of the kidneys, which is involved in the excretion of waste from the body, as well as the liver, which is responsible for the removal of toxins and waste from the blood.4. Water Regulates Your Body Temperature
Water plays a vital role in ensuring that we stay cool in hot environments. On a hot day or at the gym, sweat is your friend. When it evaporates from the surface of your skin, your body cools down.
Interestingly, water has a high specific heat capacity. Although it takes lots of energy to heat it up, it also takes a lot of energy to cool it down; meaning that water also plays an essential part in regulating our body temperature in cold environments. Blood is mostly water, and it moves toward our vital organs when the body needs to conserve heat. In fact, the water in every cell of the human body acts as a protective buffer against sudden changes in temperature.5. It’s an Effective Shock Absorber
Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear, colourless and slightly alkaline body fluid found in the brain and spine. Its primary role is to act as a cushion for the brain and provide essential protection from shock, in addition to immunological protection.
Cerebrospinal fluid is 99% water. This really highlights the vital role water plays in the health of our bodies.
Drinking enough water prevents joint pain and injury by maintaining our levels of synovial fluid, which is the water-based lubricant that protects our joints. The cartilage around our joints is also made up primarily of water; anywhere between 65-80%.
By now it’s clear that hydration goes much further than keeping our internal organs running efficiently. Most of us are aware that hydration is vital for clear skin, but did you know that our skin is our largest organ, with adults carrying on average around 3.6kg of skin that could cover approximately 2 square metres? Perhaps you may be underestimating how much water is required to get that dewy makeup-free glow?
Just like any other organ, the skin is made up of cells. And skin cells, like any other cells, are made up of water. Without adequate hydration, these cells won't function at their best. In regards to skin cells, a lack of hydration will show up as dry, irritated and cracked skin, which in turn means the skin is less resilient and will be more prone to wrinkles over time.
After a big drink of water, your internal organs will be nourished before the benefits reach your skin; so it's best to look after your skin not only by drinking water but through natural external products as well. Effective hydration treatments include applying a hydrating moisturiser to the skin straight after leaving the shower, as this is when the skin is most porous and open to nourishment.
Another great tip is applying a product that contains hyaluronic acid to the skin before moisturising. Hyaluronic acid is an amazing discovery, as it can hold 1,000 times its weight in water!8. Water Affects Your Mood
It's no surprise that dehydration affects your mood. When you're thirsty, your entire body lacking its most valuable resource, so of course, it won't work properly! The mind is no exception, and chronic dehydration can lead to poor mental health.
Research also shows that short-term dehydration will make you cranky and moody, so for positive vibes throughout the day, make sure you drink water before you even begin to feel thirsty.9. Athletic Performance Improves
We're better athletes when we're hydrated. As our muscles are 60% water, they won't function at their best without adequate hydration. A 2% drop in body weight through water loss during a workout may lead to declines in the performance of up to 10%!
You may not be an elite athlete, but it makes sense to get the most out of your workouts and boost the benefits of keeping fit. When your performance during training improves, you'll reach your fitness goals faster and have a lot more fun along the way. Drinking more water is the key!10. Water is the Key to Life
It's fitting that the last point is a basic yet all-encompassing benefit to drinking more water. Water is at the centre of nutritional life. We can live for several weeks without food, but only around 72 hours without water, and even less in extreme weather conditions.
We can all benefit in so many ways from drinking more water, so try increasing your intake by carrying a large water bottle with you during the day.
Fun fact: Herbal teas are just as hydrating as water, but they also provide that nutritious and delicious edge. Whether you need support with cleansing, sleeping better, or boosting your immune health - we have an organic, naturopath-approved herbal tea for you!
And if you're looking for more hydration inspiration, here are 12 ways to make water more fun!