Tapping the Benefits of Drinking Water

We cannot live without water, but what are the practical benefits of drinking water? What health benefits can there possibly be to drinking water? What are the anti aging benefits of drinking water? There are no essential micronutrients in the water we drink, are there? "All it does is make me have to go to the bathroom more often. And as I grow older, I don't need more trips to the bathroom!" "I'm trying to lose weight, and water just makes me seem fatter!"

Why do people encourage us to drink so many glasses of water each day? Our bodies need water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to all our organs. Water also transports oxygen to our cells, removes waste, and protects our joints and organs.

Water and Your Cells

The 100,000,000,000,000 cells of the human body are made up of an average of 55% to 78% water, depending upon age, gender, and body size. Your cells surely need macronutrients (proteins, carbs, & fats) and micronutrients (vitamins & minerals), but they also need water too. If you don't drink an adequate amount water, your cells will suffer from dehydration. They will begin to move water from inside the cells to the bloodstream, in order to maintain blood volume and pressure.

If cell dehydration continues, these symptoms will occur: thirst, reduced sweating, reduced skin elasticity, reduced urine production, and dry mouth. Brain cell dehydration can result in confusion, or even a coma, in severe cases. The older we get, the more important it is to know the benefits of drinking water, since our thirst center does not function as well as when we were younger.

Water and Anti Aging

One of the benefits of drinking water is softer, moister skin. Loss of hydration in the skin shows in all sorts of ways - dryness, tightness, flakiness. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling. Water is essential to maintain skin moisture and is the vehicle for delivering essential nutrients to the skin cells. It is important to note here, for soft, moist skin, drinking an adequate amount of water is probably more important than lotions applied topically. In other words, if your skin cells are dehydrated, they need water from the inside more than lotion from the outside. It probably goes without saying, but water is also cheaper than dermatological concoctions.

Another one of the important benefits of drinking water is the unhindered removal of wastes from the body. Not drinking sufficient water every day can result in these related conditions: constipation, acne, and repeated urinary tract infections. Urination is required for the removal of various toxins from the body. When fluid volume is diminished, the ability of the body to remove toxins through urination is also diminished. Water soluble toxins cannot be easily removed through the bowels, especially when a lack of water also causes constipation. When these toxins must then be eliminated through the skin, the increase in body toxin levels can cause headaches and fatigue. The attempt by the body to remove excess levels of unwanted chemicals through the skin can cause acne and will aggravate eczema.

How Much Water is Enough?

In order to receive the benefits of drinking water, how much should you drink? To determine how much is best for you, use one of these formulas:
    body weight in pounds / 2 = number of ounces daily
    body weight in kilos / 30 = number of liters daily

If you are exercising, you should drink an additional 8 oz. (.25 liter) for every 20 minutes of exercise. About 20% of the water you need will be supplied by the foods you eat. The other 80% should come from pure water and the other beverages you drink.

You cannot count the alcohol or caffeinated drinks you consume since these contain diuretics which actually "trick" your body into "thinking" they're getting water, when they're not. Avoid drinking sugar-sweetened drinks and full-strength fruit juices, since they are so high in carbs. Consider diluting fruit juices two parts water to one part juice. And if you are convinced of the positive food value of everything that is in non-caffeinated, sugar-free soft drinks, go ahead and drink them at your own risk! Obviously, water is the best choice.

Finding Sources for Water

With the popularity of bottled water, concerns about its safety, purity, and cost have been raised. Consider these findings:
    1) Dr William Shotyk, Royal Society of Chemistry's Journal: "Traces of a chemical called antimony, which is used in the making of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, is leaching into the water within the bottle itself."
    2) Natural Resources Defense Council Report points out that as much as 40% of all bottled water comes from a city water system, just like tap water.
    3) Bottled water costs affluent countries somewhere between 240 to 10,000 times more than water taken from the tap and filtered through a coarse home-filtering system, like charcoal.

Throughout the years mankind has come up with many ways to measure things: cubits, carats, pounds, inches, liters, kilometers.
To measure the intelligence of consumers, they put water in plastic bottles, to see who would buy it.

Find a refillable, hard plastic bottle, and fill it with water filtered from your tap. Save yourself a lot of money, cut down on pollution, and give your body what it needs. As basic as the benefits of drinking water, are the benefits of exercising; start on an exercise regimen that you can make a part of your life.