We’ve all heard the “8 glasses of water a day” rule, but why is it so important that our bodies have enough water? What roles does water play in helping us survive and thrive? Keep reading our Lucid Life article , where we will talk about the importance of staying hydrated and which hydrating foods can help us make that task easier, even to lose body weight.
4 amazing things that water does to the body
Without water, nothing lives. This is why NASA recently found potential traces of water on Mars; they were ecstatic, as it meant that with the presence of water, life is possible. Back on earth, we are fortunate to have an abundance of this resource that clearly goes unnoticed.
1. Water gives our cells their structure
Water is the main adhesive component of the cell structure. The cell membrane is aligned around the presence of a specific amount of water. Too much or too little water will cause cell membranes to collapse or burst, rendering them useless.
2. Water carries energy, nutrients and waste
H2O is an important component of our blood. Blood is the method of transport of choice for energy (from the breakdown of food) and nutrients (such as vitamins and minerals) to reach every cell in the body.
Once energy and nutrients are delivered to all of these cells, the blood then carries any cellular debris to the kidneys, liver, and spleen for detoxification and elimination from the body.
A proper balance of water is required to allow nutrients and waste to dissolve in it so that they can be moved from organ to organ, allowing our entire body system to function optimally.
3. Water is required for inter-cell signaling
The signals can be sent between the cells of our body, in many different ways. The cells that make up our nerves (neurons) signal to each other and to other organs (muscles, heart, lungs, digestive organs) using neurotransmitters, which are small proteins formed with the direct input of water.
Another method of cell signaling is by hormones. Hormones are formed in various glands and organs of the body (hypothalamus, thyroid, adrenal glands, etc.) and are transported through the bloodstream to their target cells. Without water, cell signaling and communication would be impossible.
4. Water is necessary for proper digestion
Without the correct amount of water in our diet, the food we eat cannot move through the digestive tract at the correct rate. If there is too much water, often the food we eat will travel too quickly through the tract, and will not be absorbed properly.
This can also lead to diarrhea. If there is not enough water, food moves very slowly and can become dry and lumpy, which can lead to constipation. A proper balance of water intake and absorption through our intestines is required to move food through the digestive tract.
Great, so now that we know we need a proper balance of water in our bodies, how can we achieve it? Water is absorbed into the body in the large intestine. However, much of our food intake is high in water composition.
Those who eat a diet higher in fruits and vegetables, which are hydrating foods, do not need to drink as much water daily as people who have a diet higher in fat, protein, and processed carbohydrates. With them, in addition, you will feel fuller in fewer calories and zero fat, losing weight faster if you incorporate them into your reducing diet.
16 hydrating foods that will help you lose weight
Consider the following high water hydrating foods to include in your daily diet. Not only will they help you reduce your size if you eat them regularly, but they will keep you deflated by eliminating retained fluid thanks to their hydrating and diuretic properties.
- Lettuce, Cucumber = 96% water
- Zucchini, Radish, Celery = 95% water
- Tomato = 94% water
- green cabbage = 93% water
- Watermelon, Strawberries, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Red Cabbage, Peppers, Spinach = 92% water
- Grapefruit, Broccoli = 91% water
Try to add more of these hydrating foods to your daily diet if your goal is to stay more hydrated and it is difficult for you to drink water regularly. Dehydration and overhydration are not matters to be taken lightly, as the effects can be far-reaching. It is important to consume a safe amount of water daily between 6-8 glasses per day – and ideally, that the water comes from a filtered source.
Plastic bottles are not good for the environment, nor are the contents of the bottles safe for repeated use by humans. Much of our water has been contaminated with herbicides, pesticides, and chemicals that are used in various industries around the world.
Many of these chemicals can have negative effects on our bodily function. Our municipal water treatment plants are good but they don’t get 100% of the potentially harmful substances out of our water, so it’s important to filter your water before you drink it.
Most people should drink 6-8 glasses of filtered water, in a glass or metal container (BPA free) daily. If you are very active or work in higher temperatures, more water is needed to keep you cool and to function properly. If you eat a cleaner, greener diet, you may not need to drink as much water as others.
If you suffer from a medical condition or are taking any medication, please talk to your doctor or pharmacist before changing your water intake.