60% of the human body is made of water, most of it located within our cells: 90% of our blood is water; 75% of muscles and brain is water, 80% of the kidney is water, 70% of the liver is water, and even 22% of our bones are water! The human body uses this water in all of its cells, organs and tissues, doing much more than just quenching your thirst. Water is imperative for the body to perform the following functions:
Digestion: water helps the body break down food and assimilate nutrients into your blood stream.
Waste: Not only does waster help flush toxins from the body through urination but adequate fluid intake prevents constipation and ensures proper waste excretion
Temperature regulation: If the body becomes too hot, our bodies sweat to remove heat from the body.
Brain Health: Considering our brains are pretty much the control tower for our bodies, adequately hydrated brain cells are vital for general function, processing ability and even short term memory.
Skin Health: Our skin is considered out first line of defense. Keeping it hydrated from within creates a strong barrier from pathogens and infection. And the added bonus is preserving elasticity and reducing wrinkles and signs of aging.
Heart Health: Our blood is responsible for delivering oxygen not only to our brain, but to our entire body. Water also helps to regulate blood pressure and heart rate.
Joint health: Water acts a a lubricant for joints and muscles, helping them function efficiently
Water is undoubtedly the most important nutrient for humans, but ensuring you get enough hydration through food as well as drinking water is important too. The body has no way of storing water which means, the average adult loses approximately 3 liters a day. That loss must be replenished through food and drinking water. The tricky part is knowing exactly how much we need and its not a one size fits all. We must take into account our climate, our exercise habits, and our diets. For example, if your diet is high in protein or fiber, you will require more fluid to process the protein and prevent constipation. If you are mostly sedentary and live in a colder climate, you will require less water than a person who exercises intensely and lives in a warm climate.
How much do I need?
* For every 30 minutes of exercise, add 16 ounces of water
* If you live in a hot climate, add 16 ounces of water
By body weight:
100 lbs – 67oz per day
110 lbs – 74oz per day
120 lbs – 80oz per day
130 lbs – 87oz per day
140 lbs – 94oz per day
150 lbs – 100oz per day
160 lbs – 107oz per day
170 lbs – 114oz per day
180 lbs – 121oz per day
190 lbs – 127oz per day
200 lbs – 134oz per day
CUCUMBER 96% water: 1 cup of chopped cucumber contains 6oz of water
WATERMELON 92% water: 1 cup of cubed watermelon contains 4oz of water
STRAWBERRIES 90% water
PEACHES 89% water
CANTELOUPE 90% water
CITRUS 90% water
LETTUCE 96% water
ZUCCHINI 94% water
CELERY 95% water
TOMATOES 94% water
BELL PEPPERS 92% water
COCONUT WATER 95%
CHIA SEEDS: Chia seeds absorb thirty times their weight in water meaning they can help the body retain electrolytes and regulate fluid levels, preventing dehydration
DEHYDRATING FOODS AND BEVERAGES
MINERAL WATER: Although the sodium found in mineral waters in naturally sourced, it’s still sodium, which can dehydrate the body if drunk excessively.
ALCOHOL: Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it causes your body to remove fluids from your blood and other organs at a faster rate than other liquids. Too much consumption can leave you severely dehydrated.
PROTEIN: Protein requires more water to process to just be mindful of upping water intake if on a high protein diet.
PROCESSED FOODS: Processed foods are generally very high in sugar and sodium, both of which dehydrate the body.
WAYS TO INCREASE HYDRATION:
Infuse your water with lemon, cucumber, berries or mint for a natural hint of flavor
Invest in a glass or stainless water bottle than you can refill throughout the day
Invest in a home soda water machine (sodastream) to make your own sparkling water to avoid sodium in mineral water.
* Humans can survive without water for only 3 days, but can survive without food for up to 2 months!
* Did you know you can lose up to 2 liters of water during a 3 hour airplane flight? Due to the decreased air pressure, the body has to increase its respiration (breathing), meaning moisture from your tissues and lunges is expelled. Couple that with the dry air of an airplane and the body can lose a lot of its water. Be sure to hydrate before and during a flight.