Proper hydration is one of the basic tenets of taking care of your health. However, what exactly is water’s role in your body’s functioning? From ensuring every cell gets the nutrients they need, to maintaining an efficient waste disposal system, this universal drink is an open secret to good health. As temperatures drop, remind yourself to drink sufficient water and learn how it will benefit your body.
How much water should you drink?
Water is lost from our body, not just through our bladders, but sweating, breathing and bowel movements. The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily intake of 13 cups of beverages (around 3 litres) for men, and 9 cups (or 2.2 litres) for women. Individual adjustments should be made for strenuous physical activity, ambient temperature and co-existing conditions like renal (kidney) failure.
Why drink more water?
Water has immense health benefits. Some of the perks of drinking more water include:
- Water is the primary medium for carrying nutrients and wastes across every cell in our body. As a transporter, it maintains a balance of fluids and electrolytes in our system. This balance is what enables normal functioning of our nerves, muscles and organs.
- Water also helps restrict excess calorie intake. Not to mention, water flushes out toxins in our system, which get filtered into urine and washed out daily. The more water you drink, the cleaner your body will be.
- Your kidneys not only maintain water balance, but themselves depend on water to remain healthy. Inadequate hydration can have dire consequences as listed next.
What does dehydration do to you?
- The excretory system consisting of your kidneys, bladder and urethra can be adversely affected by dehydration. Urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and rarely, even kidney failure can all result from dehydration.
- Imbalance of electrolytes like sodium and potassium can suddenly lead to severe complications in your brain, heart and muscles, sometimes fatal.
- Dehydration can also cause your skin to become parched, wrinkly and dry. Apart from moisturisers, make sure you’re drinking enough water.