With all the focus on what to eat for optimal health these days many of us forget that what we are (or are not) drinking is equally important. This is a big mistake that may be robbing us of vibrant health. Water is essential to the body. Although I make every effort to stress this point, I just read an article written by The Mind Unleashed entitled 11 Reasons Dehydration is Making You Sick and Fat, that made some really great points I’d like to share.
For instance, did you know that 75% of our brain and body, 92% of our blood, 22% of our bones and 75% of our muscles are composed of water? Water also serves as a medium for many enzymatic reactions in our body. In other words, inadequate hydration slows down nearly every process in the body.
This is exactly what we do not want to happen. Especially for those of us looking to lose weight.
Here are 6 other reasons that dehydration may be standing in the way of your health goals!
1. High Blood Pressure
When dehydrated the blood becomes thicker causing resistance in blood flow resulting in elevated blood pressure.
2. Skin Disorders
Dehydration impairs the elimination of toxins through the skin and makes it more vulnerable to all types of skin disorders such as dermatitis and psoriasis, as well as premature wrinkling and discoloration.
3. High Cholesterol
When the body is dehydrated, it will produce more cholesterol to prevent water loss from cells.
When short of water, the colon is one of the primary regions the body draws water from in order to provide fluids for other critical body functions. Without adequate water, wastes move through the large intestine much more slowly or sometimes not at all, resulting in constipation.
5. Weight Gain
Many times we eat because we are actually thirsty. Drinking cold water can also speed up your metabolism and burn more calories. Researchers also estimate that over the course of a year, a person who increases his or her water consumption by 1.5 liters per day would burn an extra 17,400 calories for a weight loss of approximately 5 pounds.
6. Premature Aging
When chronically dehydrated, the body’s organs, including its largest organ the skin, begins to wrinkle and wither prematurely.”
Read the full article and view infographic here.
My take on this:
Increasing our daily water intake is an easy way to improve our health. Don’t wait until you are thirsty! This often means that you are already dehydrated. My favorite rule of thumb is to consume approximately half of your body weight in pounds, in ounces each day. For example if you weigh 150 pounds, drink approximately 75 ounces of water per day. It is also important to note that exercise, hot temperatures, pregnancy/breastfeeding and illness can result in increased water needs. Please be sure to adjust accordingly!
Finally, always be sure that the water you drink is filtered! Fluoride and chloride-free is ideal. You can purchase a home filtration system or also check http://www.findaspring.com to find a pure source of water near you! Also, always sure to drink from glass bottles (rather than plastic) to avoid leaching chemicals.