Today we’re talking about the true benefits of water inside our bodies. This is not going to be some huge lecture that’s boring and not interactive. It’s going to be a fun experience. You may be wondering, “How in the world is talking about water going to be fun?”
Good point. Well, if it’s not a super lot of fun (I’ll try) at least it’s going to be very informative and helpful 😊
Here’s the highlights of what we’ll go over.
- Blood volume, pressure and chemistry
- Organ function: heart, lung, kidneys, skin
- Energy, muscles, bones
- Attitude and brain
- Weight and sleep
I don’t want you to waste time, if the benefits of water are not something you feel you need to know. However, if you’re a human, and I’m guessing you are, water makes the difference in life or death. Also, it can improve or destroy your quality of life. So, just in case you’re interested in improving your quality of life, read on!
Important Water Benefits
Since adults are about 60% water, it just makes sense that this is important stuff. Of course, there are reasons the body amount varies for things like gender, fitness level, age, etc. Depending on how lean or how much body fat you carry, your water content also varies. This is because fat carries less water than lean muscle mass.
Considering these variances all adults should be at a healthy range of 50-75%. That’s a lot of water. Just imagine if you could siphon all the water out of a body, we would only be 25-50% in existence. That should give us some idea of how important this stuff is.
So why is it that most people worldwide exist in a state of dehydration most of the time. What many researchers have discovered is an enormous gap in lack of knowledge. Not that people don’t know they need to drink. We just don’t truly understand how much for what activity and we’re not in tune with our body’s needs.
Science Supports the Importance of Water
For instance, in a Pub Med article published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, they found that lean, healthy athletes often live in a sustained dehydrated state. They also found that athletic performance and success was directly related to their hydration status. Furthermore, they discovered a lack of nutritional knowledge was prevalent amongst these individuals.
Also, an Oxford Academic study in Nutrition Reviews attempted to uncover the existing knowledge about water’s effect on performance and functioning, general health, overall energy, weight and much more. They found a substantial lack in true understanding of the importance of the most critical nutrient. They also recommended a need for more in depth research and outreach to educate populations and improve the health of nations.
Blood Volume, Blood Pressure, and Blood Chemistry and the Benefits of Water Balance
Our blood volume is directly impacted by water and sodium intake. It’s also a complex interworking of tubules and filters that make of the kidney organ functioning system. Beyond the kidneys, there’s a competition for water in the body. Remember, water is a huge portion of blood volume.
If we don’t have enough fluid intake, the body systems compete in a very life-protecting fashion for the available water. Though blood volume should maintain at 5 to 6 liters, if we are dehydrated or exercising intently, or blood volume drops. Then, we have the competition.
Our largest organ, the skin, must protect our internal core temperature. Skin accomplishes this through sweating and cooling the body through evaporation. This complex mechanism allows the body not to overheat. Next, are the muscles and vital organs. Muscle strength and function are directly tied to availability of fluids to keep them healthy. However, muscles will be sacrificed when it comes to vital organs (heart and lungs) or the skin.
So, blood volume goes up or down according to our hydration status. Blood pressure will follow. Though small fluctuations of volume may not impact the blood pressure too much, dehydration states do directly impact our blood pressure both high and low. We won’t go into the direct and indirect physiology of raising and lowering the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Just know as volume goes down, blood pressure follows. Conversely, increased volume increases pressure. These effects are relatively short term unless the fluid shift is chronic leading to further troubles.
What is Osmolality?
Besides blood volume and pressure, blood chemistry can also be affected and quite deadly when fluid status is impaired. Lack of enough water in the body can lead to hyper-osmolality conditions. This means that there’s an increased concentration of particles in the blood. Things like sodium, potassium, phosphorus, etc. Conversely, higher fluid volume can lead to hypo-osmolality which leads to diluted blood and lowered sodium, potassium, magnesium levels, etc.
Both hyper-osmolality and hypo-osmolality can be deadly. Too much or too little sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc. in the body, can lead to organ shut down and inevitably death.
Bottom line is the water intake is critical to life. It affects everything about how your internal parts function. Even though we can sustain for a long time at a level of dehydration, regardless of what we think, our body is suffering.
Organ Function and Fluid Balance
Fluid balance is the body is regulated by homeostasis. You can think of this as the perfect balance for the body to function at its best. A major benefit of water is keeping helping keep this balance in check.
When this balance is upset, other parts of our wondrous bodies kick in to help rebalance things. Without us even knowing it’s happening some parts of our body will suffer and become ill at the expense of the others. This is how the body makes sure it’s able to keep functioning.
Unfortunately, we often don’t discover the sacrifices of our body until something goes awry and we are sick or have developed a chronic condition.
A variety of health consequences can be attributed to acute dehydration as well as long term chronic dehydration. Many of these you’ve heard of and most create fear in even the bravest of humans. For instance, cardiovascular or heart disease, kidney failure, diabetes, cancer and much more can all be attributed in some part to the lack of homeostasis in the body. Water and hydration are the greatest impactors on homeostasis.
In order to keep all organs functioning at the highest level possible, of course, there are other things besides water that must be done. But, never underestimate the power of this critical nutrient. Water can do amazing things.
Benefits of Water in Balance
It can help maintain the osmolality of the blood, which allows all organs to function without having to stress over cleaning up the blood supply. Water also helps assure our kidneys are working. Our skin can cool our bodies and not become dry and cracked and susceptible to infection. Hearts can pump adequately and push the blood to our furthest extremities in order to help them maintain health as well. Lungs can expel airborne toxins more easily and keep clean oxygen flowing for organ health as well.
The key for all organs is balance. Since we are made up primarily of water, it only stands to reason that this should be in balance as well.
Water Benefits: Muscle & Bones
Our skeleton makes up about 30-40% of our body weight. However, about half of that weight is water. Therefore, it reasons that the health of human bones are very much dependent on the availability of an adequate water supply. When that water supply is diminished, especially on a chronic basis, bone health suffers. This can manifest in symptoms like osteoporosis, poor production of red blood cells, joint problems, and many other musculoskeletal illnesses.
Suffice it to say, water is one of the most critical factors in keeping your bones healthy. The calcium used by the bones to regenerate and strengthen bone structure is also transported by the fluids of the body. If there’s not enough water, calcium may build up in your body and lead to painful things such as kidney stones.
Bones are the frame on which the rest of the body rests. Without a healthy skeleton, we become more frail, weaker, and more likely to become injured. Ligaments and tendons also attach to the bones to help hold our muscles and our overalls structure in place.
Water and Muscle
Though muscles work in conjunction with bones, ligaments, and tendons, without enough water, these fibrous materials will suffer and weaken. For muscles to maintain their health, grow, and be strong, an optimal water supply is required.
Muscles function at a higher level and give better performance when they are well hydrated. They also receive a better supply of electrolytes which keeps them healthier and stronger. When muscles are at work, you can bet, joints are busy doing something. These joints, too, depend on water. Joints move a lot when muscles in action. However, this can be quite painful if joints are rubbing or grinding because of diminished synovial fluid. Yep, you guessed it, water is needed for this also.
Other key features of water in muscle function are this allows muscles to have increased energy, endurance and pain tolerance. Any time we are working to improve muscle function or just working hard, muscles are in use, get tired, and can become painful. Water helps alleviate some of this. It also assists in an easier and shorter recovery time. Furthermore, the healthier the bones and muscles the better your energy level will be because they won’t be dragging you down.
Attitude and Brain Function Benefit from Water
Since the human brain is somewhere around 73% water, it stands to reason a lack of water would impair it’s function. When you’re talking about impaired brain function, things are starting to get serious. Since your brain is the control center for everything in your body, if it doesn’t function well, then something else is going to suffer.
Without enough water in your body, you can have attitude and mood issues. You may more easily anger, have a lack of focus, or suffer with anxiety and depression just to scratch the surface. Body functions may not work correctly. Afterall, your brain is the powerhouse that commands everything on what to do.
The brain is often thought of the greatest computer in existence and that’s with good reason. However, because it’s composed of so much water, if you don’t supply what it needs, rest assured your brain, body, and external life will not be optimized.
Even at work, you will suffer. Whether you realize it or not, you aren’t able to work up to your own potential. You’re leaving much of your life opportunity on the table for someone else to come along and scoop up. All because you don’t drink enough H2O.
Really? Can it be that simple? You bet it can.
Now that doesn’t mean you can just drink adequate water for a couple of days and expect your entire life and career to turn around. Be real. You must commit to a lifestyle change for your brain, body, health, wealth, and life. Assure you always have adequate water hydration from now on. It’s a guarantee you will see a difference in your life.
Benefits of Water on Your Weight and Sleep
You may find it a little odd that we speak of weight and sleep in the same context. The reason behind our thinking is that we want you to understand there is nothing about you that is not entwined with water and function. The body absolutely requires water for everything.
How water effects your weight may seem kind of weird, but it’s not really when you understand it. People often think you are more hydrated when you’re larger. The opposite is actually true. Lean bodies contain more water than bodies with more fat. That’s why men have a slightly higher water content than women. Because women naturally carry more fat on their bodies.
When fat becomes more of a problem, as in obesity, fat and water don’t mix. So, there’s less water when there’s more fat. Here’s a cool fact about the benefit of water when it comes to fat. Water washes away fat.
Yes, that’s correct. If you want to lose weight, increasing your water intake is a great way to give yourself a beginning boost. Of course, you may see a slight increase at first, if you’re dehydrated, but your beautiful body will quickly achieve homeostasis and you’ll be flushing out fat in no time at all.
While that fat is being flushed away, you’ll begin to see other praiseworthy and solid impacts on the rest of your life. Your energy will improve. You will feel more like being active. With improved energy and activity, you will see more weight loss.
All of this, plus, the increased water will improve your attitude, your outlook and yes, your sleep. As your sleep becomes more restful and less disturbed, you will be better able to continue your journey to health. You and your life will become more enhanced and fuller as the benefits of water bring you to a better state of health.
Water is the Fluid of Life
These are just a few of the benefits of water. There is so much more I could share. You can learn more about my health journey beginning here.
However, this was enough to get me started on water as my first objective to a happier, healthier me. Hopefully, this will give you a boost toward a happier hydration level and a better life 😊
Turn up a little glass
Or a big one will do
Drink plenty in the morning
And throughout the whole day too!
Your body will be glad you did
Your smile and brain with squeal
Those joints will no longer be
The constant squeak in the wheel!