Here's the hard truth: Your body was meant to function on water and nothing else. However, many people are hooked on sugary beverages, which the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has linked to weight gain, high blood pressure, an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and more. And in the United States, more than one in three adults and one in six children from ages 2-19 are obese. The goal of this article is to help you understand your body's need for water, how much you should drink, and why it's the only thing you should be drinking on a regular basis.
Why Your Body Needs Water
Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain all other bodily functions such as moisturizing your skin and tissues, lubricating your spine and joints, maintaining brain function, and so on. You also lose water through breathing, sweating, and digestion. As a human being, you are made up of 70% water, so wouldn’t it make sense to only drink the same substance if you want your body to perform at optimum levels?
If you don't drink enough water, your body will begin to dry out and the less moisture you have in your body, the more likely you will suffer from dehydration that can lead to a variety of issues such as dizziness, dry mouth, headache, and fatigue. If you experience these symptoms, this is good feedback from your body, which is an indication that you need more water.
You also need water to properly excrete waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation. Your kidneys, liver, and intestines also use water to help flush out waste. This can even lead to better digestion as minerals and nutrients are more easily distributed throughout your body.
7 Benefits of Drinking Water
Here is a list of reasons why you should only drink water:
- Flushes Out Toxins
- Boosts Your Natural Energy
- Relieve Fatigue
- Reduces Headaches & Migraines
- Improves Skin Complexion
- Maintains Regularity
- Prevents Cramps & Sprains
How Much Water Does Your Body Need?
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
- About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover receiving water from both food and beverages. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and 80 percent from drinks. However, the amount of water that your body needs will always differ depending upon your day's physical activity, climate, health condition, etc. If you're outside running errands or playing sports, then obviously your body will need more water than if you're relaxing at home.
Another good way to determine if you're drinking enough water is to check and see if your urine is clear or dark. If it's clear, you're in good shape. If it's dark, you're most likely dehydrated. Below is a urine chart to determine if you have enough hydration:
Pay Attention to Your Body
One of the best ways to determine how much water your body needs is to monitor how your body reacts and responds to the amount of water you drink. Focus on your body and begin paying close attention to how it feels throughout the day. Look at your skin, is it moist or dry? How about the amount of saliva in your mouth? Do your eyes have enough water?
Again, pay attention to your body and how you feel throughout the day to adjust your water consumption. This will help keep your mind connected with your body. By doing so, you'll maintain your hydration regardless of the climate, activity, or any illness you're going through.
What Kind of Water Sources Are the Best to Drink From?
Safe Drinking Water Sources:
- Filtered Water
- Steam Distilled
- Water from Glass Container
- Water from Stainless Steel Container
Unsafe Drinking Water Sources to Avoid:
- Plastic Bottles - Drinking from plastic can leach chemicals such as Bisphenol A (BPA), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) , and Phthalates. These chemicals have been found to negatively affect the endocrine and reproductive systems and to increase the risk of breast, prostate, ovarian, brain cancer, liver cancer, testicular atrophy, and sterility in males. The plastic can also contain contaminants of fecal matter, saliva, and food residues.
- Aluminum Cans - Drinking from aluminum cans has been clinically proven to cause systolic blood pressure that can lead to cardiovascular disease. Usually also lined with Bisphenol A (BPA).
Optional Drinking Water Sources:
Reverse Osmosis - This process removes both bad and good elements from water so it's double edged sword. While it can remove chemicals like pesticides and herbicides, it also removes trace minerals in the water that are beneficial for your body to perform like iron and manganese. If you live in a heavily polluted area, this may be a good option, but otherwise, stripping your water of the good minerals may not be ideal for you.
Related Article: How to Stop Drinking Sugary Drinks