The human body is made up of anywhere from 50-75% water, with the average person ranging usually sitting somewhere between 50-65% made of water. Dehydration happens when our water intake isn’t equal to our water output, and since our bodies use water for so many important jobs dehydration can completely stop our productivity. It has been said that the average person works through about 2-3 liters of water per day, which measures out to about 8 glasses. This statistic is where the recommended water intake comes from but for some of the more superficial benefits more than that would be ideal.
Aside from making us feel balanced and prepared for our day having an adequate amount of water also has these primordial effects on basic health.
When our bodies have enough water they use it to:
- Regulate internal body temperature.
- Building block of cells.
- Metabolize carbohydrates and proteins, aid in digesting and swallowing food.
- Lubricate joints.
- Acts as a shock absorber by insulating the brain, organs spinal cord and fetus (if there’s one in there).
- Flush waste and toxins from the body.
These crucial functions in the body make water essential to life, but it can have some superficial benefits as well. These beauty and psychological benefits include making skin more clear and lustrous and helping to control calorie intake by replacing more highly caloric beverages. One of the most relevant benefits of getting enough water in our systems daily is the connection between stress and water intake. There is a well documented connection between dehydration and stress that causes many scientists to concur that the stress that a water deficit can have on our organs translates to higher stress levels all around. Director of performance nutrition at Athletes’ Performance Amanda Carlson, RD stated that “being just half a liter dehydrated can increase your cortisol levels. Cortisol is one of those stress hormones… When you don’t give your body the fluids it needs, you’re putting stress on it, and it’s going to respond to that.”
With at least 75% of the citizens in the United States not drinking enough water, we have to ask ourselves what the culprit might be. Many Americans turn to caffeinated beverages, sodas and sports drinks when they’re feeling thirsty. The issue with this response to the body’s call for more water is that these popular thirst quenchers will only further dehydrate us due to the toxic additions of caffeine, sugar and some other harmful chemicals. To get the right amount of water daily we’ve just got to ovary up and drink the clear stuff. Some people say that they absolutely ‘hate the taste of water’, for them I’d suggest adding fresh fruits and/or vegetables to your water to add a bit of flavor. Some good places to start are mint strawberry water or lemon cucumber water, just be sure not to leave the fresh foods in water for too long because the flavor will turn sour eventually. Similarly, fruits and vegetables are made up of a lot of water, so adding more of these colorful little buggers to our diet can help us keep our water levels balanced.
Cannabis and Water Intake
With common occurrences like cotton mouth in the marijuana community it’s obvious that having water around while medicating is a good idea. Even more crucial than drinking water and smoking is drinking water while eating edibles. In order to give us those beloved effects edibles are using our body’s nutrients, which can make us feel tired and stressed. Have a bottle of water and a nutritious snack nearby in case things begin to make a turn for the worst.
Personally, to ensure that I get enough water I keep my Nalgene water bottle nearby at all times. I am to drink four full bottles per day but usually get somewhere around two or three. Do you have any tips for getting enough water? What is your favorite fruit water recipe? We’d love to hear in the comments below.