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Hydration: Benefits of Drinking Water

There are many health benefits of drinking water daily. Our bodies are made of around 60% water. The percentage of water in our bodies is based on age and gender as well as our fitness level.

Babies and children have a higher percentage of water in their bodies than adult males and females, around 65-75%. Men have a higher percentage than women and obese men and women have a lower percentage than lean adults, due to fatty tissues in their bodies.

Percentage of water in our bodies:

  • Our bones have around 30% water content.
  • Our lungs have around 83% water content.
  • Our brain have around 73% water content.
  • Our skin have around 64% water content.
  • Our kidneys and muscles have around 79% water content.

How water functions in our bodies:

Staying hydrated is crucial to our health and well-being as our bodies are around 60% water.

  • Water acts as an insulator, using respiration and perspiration to regulate our internal body temperature.
  • Water lubricates our joints. Cartilage in the joints contain around 80% water.
  • Water carries toxins and wastes from our bodies via our urine and bowel movements.
  • Water helps the body metabolize carbs and proteins.
  • Water carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells in our bodies.
  • Water keeps our skin healthy, preventing premature wrinkling and skin disorders.
  • Drinking water instead of sugary juices and sodas can help with weight loss as well as the prevention of tooth decay.

Not drinking enough water will result in the following:

  • Imagine a desert landscape that hasn’t had any rain, it’s dry and cracked. We don’t want that to happen to our skin.
  • Dehydration can lead to digestive problems such as increased risk of heartburn, stomach ulcers and constipation.
  • As our brains are around 73% water, dehydration will impair our cognitive abilities and increase the risk of headaches.
  • The kidneys regulate fluids in our bodies, dehydration may lead to kidney stones.
  • Dehydration may increase the risk of (UTIs) Urinary tract infections.
  • Dehydration can lead to seizures and loss of consciousness.

Where to get the water our bodies need to function properly:

Don’t like drinking water, how about eating your water instead. There are hydrating foods that can contribute to your water intake.

  • Crispy Iceberg lettuce has 95.6% water content. Use in salads or substitute for burger buns or tortillas.
  • Cauliflower has 92.1% water content and is packed with phytonutrients and vitamins.
  • Radishes have 95.3% water content. Filled with antioxidants, they’re a great crunchy addition to any salad.
  • Celery has 95.4% water content. It contains Vitamins A, C and K as well as folate. Celery has very few calories and contains fiber. I like to add a little peanut butter and have as a healthy snack.
  • Green peppers have 93.9% water content and is full of antioxidants.
  • Tomatoes have a 94.5% water content and can be used in salads as well as sandwiches.
  • Spinach has 91.4 water content. It’s rich in potassium, fiber and Vitamin E. I sometimes add spinach to my sandwiches instead of lettuce.
  • Watermelon has a 91.5% water content and has cancer-fighting antioxidants. Infuse with water for a refreshing twist on your drinking water.
  • Broccoli has a 90.7% water content. It contains potassium, fiber and Vitamins A & C.
  • Grapefruit has a 90.5% water content. Eating a grapefruit daily can help lower cholesterol levels as well as reduce food cravings.
  • Strawberries have a 91% water content, add to smoothies for a great post workout snack.
  • Cantaloupe has a 90.2% water content. It’s low in calories and contains Vitamins A & C.
  • Baby carrots have a 90.5% water content. A great snack all by itself, or you can enjoy with guacamole or dip.
  • Cucumbers have a 96.7% water content. You can add it to your salads, infuse your water with it or make chilled cucumber soups for those hot summer days.

Cold Cucumber Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of Greek yogurt (plain)
  • 1 1/2 cups of olive oil
  • 2 large cucumbers (halved, seeded and peeled)
  • 1 lemon (zested & juiced)
  • 1 garlic clove (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp of fresh dill (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup of parsley (loosely packed)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup of purple onions (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup of tomatoes (chopped or diced)

Directions:

  1. Use a blender to puree yogurt, cucumbers, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, dill, garlic, parsley and salt until smooth.
  2. Pour into serving bowls and top with purple onions and tomatoes.
  3. Serve immediately

The recommended daily allowance is 8 glasses of water a day or half your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 200 pounds, aim to drink 100 ounces of water a day. Sometimes, when you feel hungry, you’re really not. Your body is just dehydrated, which can result in headaches. So before reaching for that snack or that headache pill, try drinking a glass of water.

If you don’t like the taste of water, you can always infuse your water by adding fruit slices to your water pitcher/bottle. I constantly infuse my water with strawberry, watermelon and citrus slices. It not only taste good, but its packed with vitamins and antioxidants depending on the fruits added of course. You can infuse your water by adding fruit slices to some water before going to bed and leaving it in your fridge overnight.

I listen to my body and take little sips of water throughout the day. I tend to drink more water during the summer months and on days that I workout.

What’s your favorite way of incorporating water into your day?

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Margarette Darbouze

6 Comments

  1. I had no idea our bones contained water! I’m not sure why I’ve always thought our bones were just preserved by water, so that was really cool to learn.

    I used to hate water, until one day I passed out from dehydration during band practice back in high school. My journalism teacher actually told me that if you’re not used to drinking water, a good way to get into the habit of drinking water is to carry a water bottle with you everywhere, so when you’re thirsty, you’ll automatically reach for the nearest liquid.

    I decided to give it a try and I even ditched soda completely for the next 2 years after that. While soda and drinks are fine in moderation, over the years I’ve gradually increased my water intake. Now, at 30 years old, I drink AT LEAST 2 liters of water every day.

    I have water to thank for more hydrated skin (especially during the winter months) increased energy as well as a fast metabolism.

    • I’m sorry you had to pass out to come to the realization that your body needs a sufficient amount of water to function. I believe that as we get older, we need more water so that our skin can keep its youthful glow as long as possible.

  2. Drinking water is almost as important as breathing the air I’d say. I drink at least 2 liters of water daily and during the summer even more. A glass of water is something that I take first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. I like your list of hydrating foods that can contribute to water intake. Thanks for sharing this great article!

    • You’re welcome Blanka. I enjoyed learning about these hydrating foods. And that’s only a few, there are lots more but I chose to write about the ones that I eat on a regular basis since I’m more familiar with them.

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