“Healthy Monday is our way of kicking off the week with useful health tips, information or news put together by our team of Health Consultants.”
A precious gift freely given by nature, water, is known to be one of the most basic and fundamental necessities of life. This odorless, colorless, and tasteless fluid can be referred to as a lubricant of life because of its enormous importance in the normal functioning of the human body. Medical experts say a healthy individual may be able to go without food for weeks, but would not be able to survive that long without water. Does this not tell us something about the great significance of water? Water is probably the only liquid that has the ability to completely quench a thirst on a bright sunny day at a temperature of over 800F.
A lot of people know that water is good for some reasons, but its significance in the optimal functioning of the human body and the effects of failing to consume an adequate daily requirement of water on the body are not really discussed at length. The brain, for example, is made up of about 90% water, and if it lacks an adequate supply it will not be able to function well resulting in ailments such as migraines and other headaches. The truth is that every function of the body is tied to the flow of water, as the transportation of nutrients to all vital organs is accomplished via blood, which is largely composed of water. Our body is also made up of about 75% water, which is continuously being evaporated via perspiration, urine, etc. With this evaporation, the requirement to have the level of water in the body replenished on a regular basis becomes absolutely necessary.
Drinking a substantial amount of water is vital to your health, as it provides tremendous benefits. Other forms of liquid such as tea, soda, coffee, juice, and other manufactured beverages do not provide the same beneficial advantages associated with drinking water. While water passes freely and quickly in the body, these other drinks need to be digested. The benefits of water are amazing and powerful, and those that do not enjoy drinking water should take a moment to review these healthy benefits and reconsider their habits and lifestyle.
Water helps with weight loss. One of the most important benefits of drinking water is that it helps you to lose weight because it serves as an effective and natural appetite suppressant. Some studies have shown that thirst and hunger sensations are triggered together. If there is slight dehydration in the body, the thirst mechanism may be mistaken for hunger and one may eat when the body is actually craving fluid. Try drinking water before a meal and you will be surprised at your reduction in food intake; once you eat less food, you will have a lower amount of food to turn into body fat, which eventually helps you lose weight or prevent weight gain among other things. Studies have also shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits. This is because the kidneys cannot function properly without an adequate amount of water. When the kidneys are unable to work at the optimum capacity, some of their load is taken over by the liver. One of the liver’s primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. If the liver is performing some of the kidney’s work, this will naturally prevent it from operating at optimum capacity. As a result, the liver metabolizes less fat and a higher quantity of fat remains stored in the body. This cycle will eventually prevent weight loss from being realized. Water also helps flush the by-products of fat breakdown in the body. Finally, water has zero calories, thereby providing no additional calorie gain.
Water aids faster digestion and prevents constipation. Drinking water provides a smoother digestive activity by the body system; thereby leading to an increase in the body’s metabolism. Consequently, constipation is naturally avoided with water intake because of the proper digestion of food and the ease of bowel movement
Water detoxifies. The detoxifying effect of water in the body can be attributed to its significance in removing and flushing out toxins and other waste products from the body. It is often said that your sense of thirst decreases with age; however, even if this is true, the body also needs more detoxification as you grow older. So, even if you don’t feel thirsty quite often because of old age, create a schedule to ensure you drink water at regular intervals so that you do not miss the associated benefits. Spending a lot of money on detoxifying medication such as colon cleansers will not achieve much if an individual neglects drinking the right amount of water as required for the normal functioning of the body.
Water relieves fatigue, headaches, and cramps. Many organs use water for various activities in the body. For instance, a lack of water by the heart would lead to a situation whereby more energy is exerted in order to pump blood to other parts of the body; thereby causing the individual to feel more tired and worn out as a result of the extra work performed by the related organ. Also, water is often referred to as a natural remedy for headache because one of the causes of headache is dehydration – drinking water helps prevent this. The next time you are having an afternoon headache, try drinking a glass of water and it might just make you feel better. Also, proper hydration helps in moistening and lubricating the joints in the body thereby reducing the probability or effects of cramps and sprains. Finally, drinking a lot of water makes the brain function at an optimal level, which will eventually lead to increased alertness, focus, concentration, and productivity.
Water reduces the risk of certain diseases. Drinking a reasonable amount of water helps to fight against ailments such as kidney stones and heart disease. Experts also advise that a lot of liquid be taken, especially water, when fighting certain viral infections such as the common flu. Water helps manage and reduce the risk of cancer. Some studies have shown that water has the ability to reduce the risks of colon and bladder cancer by diluting the concentration of cancer-causing agents in the urine thereby shortening their contact timeline with the lining of the bladder.
Water boosts your energy level. A dehydrated individual would always be fatigued with low levels of energy. Consequently, water can provide an increased energy boost and serve as an effective mood-booster by ensuring the body is less fatigued.
Water helps with creating a youthful appearance. Proper hydration of the body makes the skin supple and glow, as water helps to moisturize and replenish the skin tissues. As water moisturizes the skin, the effects of aging are gradually reduced.
Most people find it difficult to drink water because it is somewhat tasteless, plain, and boring. Some other people would actually say that water does not quench their thirst and that they hardly gain any satisfaction by drinking it. Soda, juice, and other flavored or energy drinks have taken preference over water in the choice of drink for so many people. Let us take a moment to reflect on the healthy benefits of water when compared to the harmful effects of soda and sugared drinks, which have a way of gradually causing various health problems to an individual when not taken in moderation. There is no doubt about the fact that other drinks and soda are more enjoyable because of their high sugar content, but we are all aware of the negative impact of sugar to the body and one’s health. As a result, we all need to make an extra effort and take the necessary precautions to reduce our sugar intake.
Modern societies also consider the substitution of soda and juices for water as the status quo. This becomes a problem, because eventually the taste buds of most individuals become accustomed to the flavor of these manufactured beverages, which gradually reduces the urge or inkling to drink water, even in situations where these drinks are unavailable.
However, just as too little of anything may prevent us from enjoying its associated benefits, so is too much of the same thing, which also applies to water. Water intake should be increased gradually in order to avoid overworking the kidneys and the digestive system.
The benefits of drinking water cannot be overemphasized. We all need to take a second look at our lifestyle, and whenever we find ourselves grabbing a glass of juice or can of soda we should think deeply for a moment, remembering all the benefits of drinking water that have been shared so far and make a decision to reach out for a glass or bottle of water instead. You will be doing yourself more benefit than harm with that simple action.
Have a healthy week!
Culled from a previous article published in the Golden Icons Magazine.
Photo Credit: benefitsofdrinkingwaterdaily.com