The human body contains 60 to 70% water. The brain contains 70% water, and the lungs are 90% water. But these organs are not static. Water moves in and out of them every day in a dynamic process. It is easy to see that without sufficient water intake on a daily basis, these organs would be unable to function anywhere close to their optimal level. On the flip side, drinking enough water can alleviate or prevent many diseases.
Water helps your body detoxify
The body primarily rids itself of toxins through urine, feces and sweat. Each of these is water-based. When you don’t drink enough water, or are even mildly dehydrated, toxins cannot be eliminated at the rate they should be. Instead, they remain in the bladder, bowel and skin where they can actually be reabsorbed into the body. Many toxins found in the body are carcinogenic, and their rapid excretion is imperative for anyone who is looking for health.
Lack of water affects many body systems
Proper digestion relies on water. The liver needs water to metabolize fat. And, the bloodstream needs water to mobilize and remove toxins and get nutrients to cells.
We excrete 10 to 15 cups of fluid each day in urine, feces, sweat and through exhaling. What is lost must be replaced by fluid in food and drink. If you are getting enough water, your urine should be nearly colorless.
How much water does your body need each day?
There are a lot of differing opinions on how much water your body actually needs. A lot of health experts recite the 8×8 rule, which means eight, 8-ounces glasses of water a day. Drinking half your body weight in ounces is also another rule that many try to follow. If you’re looking for a general recommendation, however, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends an adequate daily fluid intake is about:
- 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men.
- 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
Helpful tips to make sure you are drinking enough water
- Drink a glass of water as soon as you get up and when you go to bed.
- Carry a water bottle around with you at all times. This water is best if it is filtered, distilled or spring water, but not water that has been bottled in plastic.
- Drink a glass of water ½ hour before meals.
- Do not count sodas and caffeine-containing beverages as part of your water intake. They actually deplete the body’s water supply and add to dehydration.
- Add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. They are a great source of water.
- If it is very hot or you are working out, drink more water to make up for the water you are losing through perspiration.