We are all told to drink plenty of water, but do you actually knowwhy it is so important?
Our bodies are actually about 60% water! Your body uses water all the time in its cells, organs and tissues to maintain bodily functions everyday. We are losing water all the time through breathing, sweating, urinating and defecating.
The amount of water you require will depend on several factors including:
-Where you live and the climate
-How often you exercise or how much you sweat
-If you have been unwell and had diarrhoea or vomiting
-And believe it or not how large a person you are, if you a re a 6 foot man your skin surface area is larger then say a 5 foot woman.
As a general guide I advise everyone to try and consume 3 litres a day, especially if you are physically active.
What water does for the body:
-It helps lubricate not just our sensitive areas like eyes and mouth but also provides cushioning for our spinal cord and joints.
- It helps remove waste from our system; without enough water our body retains waste and toxins we don't want or need, the build up of these toxins can cause us to get sick. Especially if we are having trouble defecating, there is evidence to suggest this can also lead to cancer.
-Water aids digestion, digestion starts in the mouth with saliva, which is 98% water. Saliva helps to breakdown food in the mouth. If our digestion system is inadequate our body can struggle to obtain the nutrients and minerals from the food we eat. Water also helps digest soluble fibre which is important for gut health.
-Increases feelings of satiety
-Improves our energy, clarity and focus.
-Boosts our immune system
-Speeds up our metabolism
-Important for the proper functioning of our muscles
- Lastly water helps maintain your body temperature. When you are dehydrated your body temperature drops. When your body temperature drops your body needs to try and increase the temp again, so what does it do? It starts storing fat.
So keep your fluids up! If you struggle to drink much water try and slowly increase to 2 litres a day first.
If you find you forget to drink water:
-Its a great idea to keep a large bottle on your work desk to sip on throughout the day.
-Or make reminders in your phone to drink 550ml with breakfast, 400ml at morning tea, then another 400ml at lunch, 400ml at arvo tea, 750ml at training and 500ml with dinner.
-You can also download apps onto your phone to help remind you to drink water too (Plant Nanny, Water Logged, My Water Balance)