Welcome to a new month. As a startup to a healthier month for you, we are talking about WATER. Why water? Remember the saying, ‘water is life’? Well, water is your body’s most important nutrient, accounts for 50-80% of body weight and is involved in every bodily function. The human body can last weeks without food, but only days without water. Water is an essential nutrient because it is required in amounts that exceed the body’s ability to produce it.
Water performs a lot of functions in the body which includes;
- Body temperature regulation
- Elimination of waste
- Digestion aid
- Transportation of nutrients
- Dissolving nutrients
- Lubricating and cushioning organs
- Body fat metabolism
Facts you may not know about water and your health
- Not drinking enough water can increase the risk of kidney stones and, in women, urinary tract infections. It can also lower your physical and mental performance, and salivary gland function, and lead to dehydration. This is easily fixed by increasing fluid intake. Adult women should consume around two litres (eight cups) and adult men 2.6 litres (about 10 cups) of fluids a day to prevent dehydration.
- Drinking too much water can also damage the body and cause hyponatraemia (water intoxication). If large amounts of plain water are consumed in a short period of time, the kidneys cannot excrete enough fluid. Hyponatremia can lead to headaches, blurred vision, cramps (and eventually convulsions), swelling of the brain, coma and possibly death.
- Many people believe that drinking water causes fluid retention. In fact, the opposite is true. Drinking water helps the body rid itself of excess sodium, which results in less fluid retention. The body will retain fluid if there is too little water in the cells. If the body receives enough water on a regular basis, there will be no need for it to conserve water and this will reduce fluid retention.
- Water is a great natural appetite suppressant. There are three ways we get water into our bodies. We get it from the foods we eat, the fluids we drink, and as a by-product of metabolism. It is always better to drink pure water instead of soda, tea, or coffee. These products actually increase your need for fluids because most contain caffeine, which is a diuretic. Diuretics force out stored water along with certain essential nutrients.
- Water and diabetes
Drinking water is a healthy solution to reduce sugar impact in a diabetic diet. Pure water contains no calories and no sugar. That is why drinking water should be considered as the main source of hydration.
- Water and obesity
Preliminary research among overweight adults who are dieting as part of a healthy lifestyle, suggests that drinking water as the first source of hydration would result in weight loss.
- Clearer skin
Certain toxins in the body can cause the skin to inflame, which results in clogged pores and acne. While science saying water makes the skin wrinkle free is contradictory, water does flush out these toxins and can reduce the risk of pimples.
Now you know. So, keep yourself hydrated. Get in the habit of keeping a water bottle on hand at all times. And if the taste begins to bore, add a squeeze of lemon for variety!
To a healthier you!
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Dennis E.A., Dengo A.L., Comber D.L., Flack K.D., Savla J., Davy K.P. and Davy B.M. Obesity 2010; 18:300-307