We have all heard how important it is to keep our bodies hydrated. We’ve probably read that the earth is 70 percent water; coincidentally or not, our bodies are 60-70 percent water, too. Some people say we’re supposed to drink a gallon of water each day. That sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Others will tell you the magic number is 8 full glasses of water daily. That might be more manageable, but it is still a challenge. It would be easy to think that only athletes or gym addicts need to drink this much water in a 24 hour period, but the truth is much more interesting. Let’s take a realistic look at daily water needs with Waiakea water, and why it is important to stay hydrated 24/7.
How Does Our Body Use and Lose Water?
Everyone’s body shape and type is unique, but science tells us that the average adult body is made of 50 to 65 percent water. The amount of water found in infants can be as high as 78 percent. That’s remarkable and well worth understanding how our bodies need water to function properly on a daily basis.
Our organs, tissues, and cells use water for many different reasons. Water can regulate our body’s temperature. Without it, and the mineral components in water, our temperature can rise. Water help us digest foods. Without proper hydration, we can become constipated which can be painful and sometimes harmful. Our blood needs water as a component to quickly move through our arteries and veins. Bones and joints use it to create lubricants for easy movement. Our spinal cord uses water to encase our most precious nerve bundles in protective fluid and insulate itself from injury. We need water for healthy hair, skin, nails, and even to remain alert and focused. Already, we can see how essential water is to help our body function properly. But what are the consequences of a lack of proper hydration?
Imagine if your eyes were very dry. The sclera would become red and irritated. Rubbing them would feel like using gritty sandpaper against this delicate tissue. Another example most of us are familiar with is chapped lips. Licking them only makes it worse due to digestive enzymes in our saliva. Adding to this painful cycle, our saliva evaporates in low humidity conditions causing our lips to dry out even more. Thankfully, we can apply a lip balm or lotions to moisturize and help our lips heal. But what about the rest of our body, the parts we aren’t even aware of that are in desperate need of hydration?
Everyday Signs That You Need More Water
Most of us know that when we are sick, we need to be sure to replenish the water we’ve lost. Flu-like symptoms are two of the fastest ways to lose water volume. Water naturally contains minerals and electrolytes such as potassium and sodium, which help conduct electrical impulses in your heart. Without a healthy balance of water volume, your heart could be in jeopardy of developing arrhythmias which are improper beats of your heart, either too fast or too slow. But what if we aren’t excessively sweating in the midday heat or losing water through sickness? Do we still need to drink water? The answer is yes. Absolutely.
One of the easiest ways we can see signs of chronic dehydration is darker-colored urine. Many soda and coffee drinkers don’t realize that their favorite beverage can lead to problems. Caffeine is a diuretic which can cause you to urinate more, depleting those electrolytes and minerals we talked about. The urge is reach for another soda or refill that cup of coffee, but that is only making it worse. Obviously there is water in coffee and sodas, so you aren’t in mortal danger, but you might find yourself with some bothersome and rather uncomfortable symptoms of dehydration. Muscle fatigue, constipation, dizziness, and extreme thirst are commonly found in caffeine drinkers. A person can simply look at their skin. Dark circles under the eyes, flaky or itchy patches, and dullness are all signs that the largest organ in the body, our skin, is begging for more water.
The goal is to hydrate your body daily with a proper balance, so as to not over do it nor neglect your water needs. Your body size, shape, where you live, and your activity levels all play a role in deciding how much water you need. And of course, this can vary depending on your activity levels and the seasons. A person can also drink too much water, leading to a condition called hypernatremia. This can cause severe kidney function problems and loss of electrolytes, which cause the heart to malfunction. This can be fatal. A conservative rule of thumb for water consumption is half an ounce for each pound of weight, but always consult your doctor first to get their recommendation. For example, a 200 pound man would drink 100 ounces or 12 cups of water. That sounds like a lot, but think of it like this: a Big Gulp has 30 ounces of liquid in it. Starbucks venti drinks are 20 ounces. If we can toss those down with wild abandonment, imagine how much better off our skin, joints, hair and body would feel if it was water instead?
Waiakea: Giving You More Than Water
There are people who don’t drink water because they don’t like the way it tastes. Many don’t realize that the amounts of minerals in water plays a huge role in the flavor of water. Waiakea bottles water from a source at the base of an active volcano. Rain and snowmelt flow down the volcano and through the volcanic rock, absorbing minerals and vitamins in this short journey to the aquifer.
In addition to having a pleasant taste and being an easy way to hydrate, Waiakea water is an ethical brand that is dedicated to sustainability and giving back. The company’s product – namely, water – is sourced sustainably and transported with low emissions vehicles, while the company itself has partnered with PumpAid, a charitable organization dedicated to providing clean water to disadvantaged communities.
They say that with exercise, it’s important to find something fun to make sure you stick to it. Maybe with hydration, the key to is stand by a brand you can trust.