Water – An Overlooked Essential Nutrient!

pouring water from a bottleWhenever we consider the nutrients that our body requires to function, we normally automatically think about all the different food types that we can eat in order to keep us from feeling hungry, fuel our daily activities and assist in the growth of our muscles. 

Yet there is one thing that our bodies cannot do without and that is simple water and is often an over looked essential nutrient that we really do need to make sure we drink enough of each and every single day.

Why do we need water?

drinking-waterOur bodies are made up of bones, muscles, fibres and nerves but do you realise that water actually makes up about two thirds of our total body composition.

Water is vital for us just to exist as it is used in so many of our normal daily functions from circulation and aiding the transportation of nutrients throughout our bodies, to the creation of saliva in our mouths and maintaining the correct body temperature.

Our bodies are constantly loosing water as we expel it when we breathe out, lose it through our skin when we perspire and our kidneys use it to be able to function properly so that we can pass urine and get rid of nasty toxins from our system.

We also require water to aid our body’s digestive system and consuming enough can not only help us become regular in our bowel movements, but also aid in the prevention of constipation.

Water is also vital for healthy skin, hair and nails and can help delay the effects of ageing on our skin by delivering essential nutrients to our cells. Drinking enough water will not only flush out the bodies toxins and impurities but can also help replenish the natural elasticity of our skin tissue.

Therefore it can help combat those tell tale wrinkles and fine lines that appear around our eyes and mouth and give you a healthy glowing complexion. Getting enough water on a regular basis is a lot better way of caring for our skin than paying huge amounts of money for all those ‘re-hydrating’ skin creams.

How much do we need?

It is essential they we drink enough water in order to replenish our systems and prevent dehydration and should make it a habit of constantly sipping it throughout the day rather than waiting until we are incredibly thirsty.

Do you realise that if you don’t get enough water your body can actually go into ‘survival mode’ and starts storing what supplies you have, which can then result in water retention and swollen legs, feet or hands.

There are several different theories on how much water the average person needs in order to function efficiently. Generally though as women we should have at least one and a half to two litres of water a day, more so if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, live in a hot dry climate or participate in physical activity.

If you are exercising regularly you will normally lose a lot more water as your body temperature will rise and you generally sweat a lot more.

If you are using you major muscle groups then you need water to help replenish these muscles and also aid their recovery. So it is essential that you make sure you also regularly refill your body’s water supply before, during and after your workouts.

Tiredness and general fatigue

bottled-water Dehydration can play a major part in fatigue and you can check if you are drinking enough water by looking at the colour of your urine throughout the day, to make sure it is light coloured.

If you regularly feel tired and sleepy at some point throughout the day then often a simple large glass of ice cold water can be the ‘magic cure’ as it can not only help fight that fatigue but make you more alert.

Studies have also shown that it can help get rid of nagging headaches and even migraines in certain cases if drunk constantly at regular intervals.

Consuming thirst quenching liquid is also a great way to give yourself a natural boost that can improve your mood, concentration level and also help you focus better on the task at hand.

Feeling hungry?

We often mistake the feeling that our body is in dire need of water for that of hunger or cravings for all the wrong food choices, so reach for a candy bar rather than that much needed glass of H20.

It has been shown that if you drink a glass of water before a meal you will actually eat less food at that meal time.

Also getting enough water throughout the day can help curb your snacking tendencies and naturally help boost our metabolism, therefore aid in faster weight loss results for those on a diet.

watercooler
So instead of grabbing a sweet sugary drink that will cause your blood sugar to spike and then dip again later on – why not grab a bottle of re-hydrating water. I live in a hot climate and also only like cold water, so have constantly got a bottle of water in a ‘water cooler’ attached to my side.

Constantly drinking plain water can get a little bit boring, so often in the afternoons I will add some low sugar cordial to it, so as to have a nice tasting refreshing beverage.

Another perfect alternative to plain water is fizzy soda water with ice and lime as it still has no calories but is both thirst quenching and refreshing.

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16 Responses

  1. Layne says:

    Water really seems to be the miracle drug we need more of. I often forget to drink water throughout the day. I’ve found that if I make it a part of my morning and evening routine I can get about half of what I need. For example, I drink a tall glass of water immediately upon waking up, after going to the bathroom, and right before bed. I usually drink water with my meals and that is what will determine if I got enough water that day. I’ve been thinking of using a timer to remind me to drink more throughout the day. I’m even considering getting a camel pack as silly as those look, if it boosts my energy then it’s worth it.

    • Emma says:

      Hi Layne,

      You are on the right track by drinking water as soon as you get up and before bed. Most people forget to drink water throughout the day, this is why I always have a bottle of water in a ‘cooler’ which I constantly sip from. This way I know exactly how much I have drunk and I do feel the difference if I don’t get enough of it.

  2. Philip says:

    I love water and drink large quantities every day due to the fact that it is so good for our bodies. I never really knew why it is healthy for us, I just knew it is. Thank you for delving deeper into why water is healthy for us. It is wonderful to know what the deeper “mechanics” is behind drinker more water.

    • Emma says:

      Hi Phillip,

      Thank you so much for your positive feedback and I’m glad you found the post useful.

      As you said most people do know that drinking water is good for our bodies, but just do not realise the reasons why it is so important.

  3. Derek Marshall says:

    Hi there Emma,

    A great article and thanks for sharing it with us. When it comes to water I never go by the X litres per day rule as it varies so much. I tend to go by the colour of my urine rule as general guideline as how hydrated I am. The lighter and clearer the more hydrated I am.

    Just a word of warning to anyone reading this stay hydrated, being medically dehydrated is no laughing matter and involves hospitalisation as your body starts to shut down! ! (I know, I have been there! 3 night stay)

    • Emma says:

      Hi Derek,

      Thank you so much for your positive feedback!

      I’m sorry to hear that you seen and felt the effects of being medically dehydrated first hand, I’ve witnessed a few cases of people with it here in Thailand and it is definitely not nice.

      I too am an avid watcher of my urine, as as you rightly point out the clearer it is the better hydrated you are.

      Keep drinking that water and stay healthy.

  4. Yousef says:

    To know the importance of water to the body, have a look on the amount of water in the body: Babies have water in their body of about 78%. By one year of age, that amount drops to about 65%. Adult men, about 60% and adult women have 55% of their bodies are water. loosing 10-15 percent of body water can cause severe dehydration and sickness till death.

    • Emma says:

      Hi Yousef,

      Thank you for your informative feedback, it is very true that water is vital to our health and not having enough of it can have dire consequences.

  5. Dennis says:

    You are so right about water. For men as well as women! Great info you have shared. I didn’t realize some of the physical things you spoke about it affecting. I am guilty as many others when it comes to substituting snacks or soft drinks. After reading this I am definately going to up my water intake especially before meals!
    Thanks, Dennis

    • Emma says:

      Hi Dennis,

      I’m so glad you liked the post and that you found the information useful.
      It is often too easy to grab a sugary snack or drink to give us a lift throughout the day when water is really the better choice.

      I’m really pleased that after reading this you are going to increase your water consumption, you will benefit from it!

  6. Abod says:

    Hey Emma,
    Super awesome article! Filled up with great and useful information which I did not hear of before! I really enjoyed reading without getting bored, glad that I found this article. Thanks for sharing
    Just a small question here, I do drink a lot of water without counting x litres but I would like to know like what is the minimum litres for the bodybuilders..

    • Emma says:

      Hi Abod,

      Thank you for lovely comment and I’m really pleased you found the article useful.

      When I’m training at the gym I tend to drink at least 3 -4 litres of water a day and sometimes a lot more.

      The amount is different for each individual really and will depend on weight, environment and what supplements you’re taking.

      Just make sure you have enough water before training so that you start off properly hydrated and constantly sip it throughout and after. A great indication to check if you are hydrated enough is that your urine is a pale colour.

      Thanks again for the positive feedback and have a great gym session.

  7. Wing says:

    Water truly is the most overlooked nutrient. It does so much more than just hydrate, it’s the product of the hydration that we need. Just like you said with hunger issues and fatigue, a lot of people don’t realize all they need is just a bit of water, not the moisturizing creme or the caffeine.

    • Emma says:

      Hi Wing,

      Thank you for your comment,

      You are correct many people don’t realise that if they drank more water then it would help with so many issues and just how important getting enough of it is to us.

  8. Gabriela says:

    I agree that water is so overlooked.

    I’m someone who’s always nagging people around me to drink more water when they complain about things like fatigue, sleepiness, etc.

    The body needs and craves water so much but people would rather buy energy supplements and drink coffees with getting almost no water in their day. I’l share! 🙂

    • Emma says:

      Hi Gabriela,

      Thank you so much for your feedback,

      I’m really pleased to hear you encourage those around you to drink more water, and will also share this post to let more people out there know just how important it is for our general well-being.

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