By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com
We hear about importance of drinking enough water constantly. On the flip side, there has been a growing trend in the media lately that the commonly recommended eight cups of water daily is a myth, which is technically accurate, but not the whole story. Whether you need eight cups of water daily, or four or ten, most people are not getting the message that whatever their particular water needs are, they aren’t meeting them.
And even dietitians, nutritionists, and medical professionals are contributing to the problem by informing people that they get enough water in their diet in the form of fruits and vegetables. That might be true for some people, but after assessing the diets of countless people, I assure you that isn’t the case for most people.
Plus, have you ever noticed that when you throw vegetables in a pan and turn on the heat you’ll see liquid in the pan soon afterward, and then shortly after that you’ll see steam rising from them? That’s because you’re literally cooking the water out of the vegetables.
Researchers estimate that half of the world’s population is chronically dehydrated. And in America, that level is even higher at 75 percent of the population.
More than two-thirds of your body weight is water. Without adequate water your body’s biochemical and electrical (yes, electrical, read on!) processes begin to break down. The list of reasons your body needs water is as plentiful as the functions in your body, so due to space limitations, here are 10 good reasons to drink more water:
1. Your blood is over 80 percent water and needs water to make healthy new blood cells.
2. Your bones are over 50 percent water and, you guessed it, need water to make healthy new bone cells.
3. Drinking more water actually helps lessen pain in your body by getting your lymphatic system moving. The lymphatic system is a network of nodes, tubes, vessels, and fluid that move waste out of your tissues. It requires water to function properly.
4. Water helps to eliminate wastes and toxins from your body through the lymphatic system, kidneys, and intestines.
5. Water lubricates your joints and helps reduce joint pain and protect against wear and tear.
6. Water regulates your metabolism so if you’re overweight, chances are you may need more water.
7. Water balances body temperature.
8. Water helps to ensure adequate electrical functioning so your brain and nervous system function properly. Researchers estimate that your brain gives off about the same amount of electricity as a 60 watt light bulb. So, there’s some truth to the image of a light bulb going on when someone has a good idea.
9. Water alleviates dehydration (and I’ve already mentioned that most people are chronically dehydrated).
10. Every cell and organ in your body requires adequate water to function properly.
So, one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your health is to start drinking more pure water every day. Be sure to drink water an empty stomach or you’ll simply be diluting your digestive enzymes and making your digestion less effective.
And, choose purified water as much as possible (but get yourself a BPA-free water bottle so you won’t pollute the planet with all those plastic water bottles.) In wealthy, developed nations with plentiful access to water, we really have no excuses for not drinking enough.
Adapted with permission of the author from the upcoming book, The Phytozyme Cure. (Wiley, December 2010). Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook.