Sixty percent of our body is made up of water and just a drop in 2% of our water level can send us into dehydration. Our brain, blood, and lungs are made up of 95%, 82%, and 90% water respectively. From that alone, you can see the importance of why humans need water for survival. Did you know that when you’re thirsty it is your body’s signal telling you that you are already starting to become dehydrated? Signs of dehydration include fatigue, weakness, headaches, impaired memory, and trouble focusing on things like basic math and reading. Make sure you are getting the adequate amount of water daily by this easy equation. For the average person, dividing your body weight in half is how many ounces of water you should drink daily. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should roughly drink 70 ounces of water per day. Of course this varies with your activity level, how much you sweat, and the climate in which you live and work. If you were drinking bottled water, the average bottle containing 16 ounces, you would need to drink 4.5 bottles a day to meet your daily requirement of water for a 140-pound person.
Water is essential to the human body just as gas is for your car. All cell and organ functions that make up our entire anatomy and physiology require water to function.
There are many benefits that you receive when you drink enough water:
• Water removes toxins from our body. Water flushes toxins through the process of urination and sweating. If we are dehydrated, the body will pull fluid from our stool, which can result in constipation. When our gastrointestinal track is not removing waste regularly, this can result in excessive build up of harmful substances, which can be poisonous to our body. Drinking enough H2O is an easy way to insure waste is removed quickly and regularly. Our kidneys and liver play an important role of filtering our blood and bodily fluids and they perform more effectively and with much more ease when the body is properly hydrated.
• Water can help control caloric intake. Water doesn’t have any magical effect on weight loss, but it is a great substitution for higher calorie liquids. With sweet tea being a staple in our state, just think of the calories that can be spared if water replaced our tea intake. A small glass (approximately 8 ounces) of sweet tea contains 150 calories and 36 grams of sugar (9 teaspoons). Lets do the math. Just drinking one glass of sweet tea with every meal racks up a total of 450 calories in just 3 glasses. In a week, that is 3150 calories just in drinking sweet tea alone. 3,500 calories makes up one pound, so you can see in just a month of drinking 3 small glasses per day would add up to 4 pounds of potential weight gain. The good news is if you swap the sweet tea for water, you could lose 4 pounds per month. That is huge amount for such an easy step to take in your health!
Another way of reducing caloric intake is making it a conscious habit of drinking of glass of water before each meal. Water helps you feel full, not to the point of eating actual food, but will make you feel fuller faster which will result in you eating less.
• Water makes your skin look healthy. Our skin is a protective barrier to prevent excessive fluid loss and is made up mostly of water. Water is essential to maintain the optimum skin moisture and aids in the delivery of nutrients to our skin cells. When we are dehydrated, our skin looks wrinkly and discolored but when we are properly hydrated, this helps reduce the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines.
Since water plays such a vital role to our bodies, it is important we are drinking clean, high quality water that is free of chemicals and other toxins. It would be a good idea to invest in a water filter that removes everyday chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride, that are found in our tap water. Brita and Pure water filters are inexpensive and can be kept in your refrigerator. Some helpful and easy ways to increase your intake of H2O include: have a glass before each meal or snack, anytime you leave the house be sure you have water with you, and consider downloading a free water phone app. There are phone apps available to track how much water you drink per day and remind you when you fall short of your daily requirement.
A great article that shows that water has a major effect on the body is a case written in the U.K. Google- “Drinking 10 liters of water a day took ten years off my face”—this person describes the positive changes that took place with her body and she has pictures included to see the difference it made. Check it out!
The human body is very resilient and if we treat it well, our body has the ability to heal on its own in so many areas. Remember, if you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. Cheers to drinking your way to health and achieving your goals.

Dr. Rachel Steiner is a Tuscaloosa area chiropractor.

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