You might be surprised to hear that water is a crucial part of your physical health. The human body is made up of about 75 percent water and 25 percent solid material by volume. Brain tissue has an even higher water content of 85 percent.
To put this in perspective, consider an average man who weighs 175 pounds (79.37 kg). Of his total weight, 60 percent is water. That means that of the average 175-pound man, 105 pounds (47.62 kg) of him is nothing but plain water. The other 70 pounds are what we think of as being the person we know.
Obesity drives down the percentage of water to as low as 45 percent of body weight.
The water throughout our systems is one of the primary substances the body uses to regulate its functions. It is so important to our health that it deserves extra commentary.
A great deal can go awry without enough water. Dehydration can show up looking like many different health problems. For that reason it is significantly underdiagnosed. Some believe having a dry mouth is the only sign of dehydration, but in truth it is one of the late signs.
Symptoms of dehydration can include muscle cramps, heart palpitations, nausea, lightheadedness, weakness, and decreased or dark urine output.
The very best thing you can do to avoid any of these problems is to drink water, and plenty of it. The current recommendation states that people should drink six to eight glasses daily. But is this always the case? People come in all shapes and sizes, so I don’t believe a blanket statement with a concrete amount is the best approach. It’s best to drink water frequently before you notice the sensation of thirst. Drink it until you’re naturally content so you have a regular urinary output. A pattern you might try is to have a glass of water automatically in the morning when you brush your teeth. Have a glass of water with each meal, one before exercising, and two after. Keep a pitcher or water bottle handy.
Keeping the body hydrated can do so many wonders. Water truly is the fountain of youth. It boosts your immune system and helps the body heal efficiently with tissue and DNA repair. It helps digestion by helping to break down and absorb food and its nutrients. it lubricates joints, eyes, and the mouth. It maintains normal spinal disc height for proper shock absorption, posture, and body support.
Good hydration also helps prevent strokes and heart attacks. Sweating helps regulate the body’s temperature through both cooling and heating. It also helps get rid of bodily wastes such as urine and serves naturally as a stool softener. Moisture in the skin preserves your youthful complexion and glow.
Water provides an energy boost by preventing fatigue, especially during vigorous physical activity. Adequate hydration can boost your mood and concentration while preventing memory loss as you age. As mentioned before, it can be an effective appetite suppressor in weight loss. There are many more advantages to hydration—too many to mention.
Sanjay Jain is a US-trained Board Certified physician, with over 15 years of clinical experience. He is the author of the new book, OPTIMAL LIVING 360: Smart Decision Making for a Balanced Life (Greenleaf, February 2014). Sanjay represents a new wave of thought leadership and expertise developed not only from his medical and financial education, but also his life experiences. Follow Sanjay on Twitter at @sanjayjainmd and visit his website at SanjayJainMD.com.