As we’ve already had a few warm days and will certainly have warmer days to come, we would like to remind you how important it is to stay hydrated. Since we all get the basics about water and what amount we should consume daily, here are some facts about water that you may not have known.
Everybody knows that our body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work properly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate your joints. Water is needed for overall good health. So far so good but did you know how much of the human body is water? Water makes up about 60 percent of our body weight. It ranges from 45-75% because our body composition varies according to gender and fitness level. Fatty tissue contains less water than lean tissue. The average adult male is about 60% water and the average adult woman is about 55% water because women naturally have more fatty tissue than men. The question that pops up here is what exactly does water do for our body?
- Water helps to maintain blood volume and allows proper circulation and regulates our body temperature
- Water acts as a shock absorber for our joints and our brain
- Water helps lubricate the linings of our inner organs and maintains healthy kidney function
- Water acts as a solvent that dissolves all materials (glucose, proteins, nutrients and ions) in the blood plasma (consists of 92% water) – all the solid components of the blood are useless if there is no liquid to carry them around
Water and skin
Water is known to keep our skin moist. Our skin is an organ, which is made up of cells, and skin cells like any other cell in the body are made up of water. Without water the organs will certainly not function properly. If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, a lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling. One could now say that water is responsible for a young and firm skin but unfortunately this is not totally true – just drinking water alone will not help you. The unfortunate truth about drinking water and skin is that water will reach all the other organs before it reaches the skin. Basically, the moisture level of skin is not determined by internal factors. Instead, external factors such as skin cleansing, the environment, the number of oil glands, and the functioning of these oil-producing glands determine how dry the skin is or will become. Water that is consumed internally will rarely or never reach the epidermis (the top layer of our skin).
Water and toxins
Drinking water is instrumental in detoxification. Water flushes toxins and waste from the body and transports nutrients to where they are needed. Without water, the contents of your colon can dry out and get stuck, eventually causing constipation. Water is a natural lubricant that softens stool and promotes evacuation of the bowels.
Our kidneys especially use water to get rid of certain waste products. If you don’t drink enough water, your kidneys don’t have the amount of fluid they need to do their job properly. Our kidney system is unique in its filtering capabilities and totally dependent upon water in order for it to work. The kidneys remove waste products from the blood, eliminate toxic substances in the urine, and receive water-soluble toxins from the liver for processing. They filter voluminous amounts of blood each day and in doing so maintain the body’s water balance and excrete toxins and excess fluid through the bladder. Daily fluid intake is essential for our bodies to function efficiently.
Water and Lemons
You surely know it… sometimes normal water is just too boring and then you tend to choose sweet drinks or drinks with added taste. To keep yourself away from Cola, Fanta & co, just add lemon slices or lemon squirts to your water. Besides a refreshing taste, lemon water has the following other benefits:
- Lemons are a rich source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. In fact, one squeezed lemon provides around 21% of a person’s daily value
- Lemons are rich in flavonoids. These have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and help to boost health and fight disease
Dehydration & heat stroke
Most people get excited about the thought of warmer weather and being able to get outdoors to enjoy summertime activities. While we enjoy what nice hot, sunny day affords us, we must also remember that there is a potential danger that exists in being in the heat for extended periods of time especially if you are very active in the heat. Dehydration and heat stroke are two very common heat-related diseases that can be life-threatening if left untreated. Let us first focus on dehydration.
Dehydration means the loss of water and salts essential for normal body function. It occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in. It often happens if an individual is overexposed to the sun and not drinking enough water. You should look out for the following symptoms and get the proper treatment for dehydration:
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Less frequent urination
- Muscle cramps
- Changes in body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate
The effective treatment is to replace lost fluids and lost electrolytes with drinking more water or with an oral rehydration solution, these contain water and salts in specific proportion to replenish both fluids and electrolytes.
A heat stroke occurs when the body’s temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius due to long periods in the heat or exerting yourself through physical activity in the heat. If we are dehydrated or in very hot and humid climates, then our bodies may not be able to cool themselves off as quickly, as heat is accumulating in our bodies and this causes a heat stroke. A heat stroke must be treated by medical professionals as soon as it occurs! You should look out for the following symptoms:
- Altered sweating
- Rapid breathing and heart rate
- Flushing of the skin
- Changes in behavior and mood (the person may seem confused and not able to think clearly)
Preventive measures are:
- Drink plenty of fluids prior, before, during and after being outside on hot/humid days
- Avoid extended periods of time in the heat
- Do not work out in the heat if possible
Velocity provides a lot of different vitamin waters for sale which helps you to stay hydrated before, during and after our classes. Maybe you get the chance to try out the Aquarius water bottles which we give away in our studios since last week, or Vitamin Well which we find to be functional and delicious thirst quencher, enriched with vitamins and minerals. It is non-carbonated and sweetened only with fruit sugar.