Water is the building block of life. That might sound melodramatic, but think about it this way – the human body is about 60 percent water, and in some lifeforms, it can be as high as 90 percent. When scientists scan the skies for planets that might be able to sustain life, water is the first thing they look for. In fact, NASA describes H2O at the molecule of life.
It’s no giant leap of the imagination, then, to understand that we need water to survive and that if we don’t get enough of it, there are going to be severe consequences. But that doesn’t stop us from ignoring the facts. Recent studies suggest that an astonishing 75 percent of Americans do not drink enough water and suffer from chronic dehydration.
There’s Water and Then There’s Water
It’s easy to assume that these are just scare statistics dreamed up by marketers who want to sell overpriced bottled water. But getting your eight glasses a day or equivalent, shouldn’t mean breaking the bank. Let’s look at bottled water first – for one thing, it costs a fortune, but for another, the impact of all those plastic bottles is creating an environmental disaster for which our children and grandchildren will pay a far higher price.
And thirdly, bottled water is nothing magical. It has simply been filtered. So what is the point when, at a tenth of the financial price and practically none of the ecological cost, you can go with a water filter like bigberkeywaterfilters? That way, you know exactly how the water has been filtered, and that the contaminants and chemicals have been removed, while the health-giving natural minerals remain. It’s a win / win on every level.
According to the Mayo clinic, an averagely active man should be drinking around three liters of water a day. That sounds like a lot, and other sources will quote something closer to two liters. Obviously, there is no “one size fits all” answer, but this calculator is a handy tool to get you closer to the answer.
So now you have a better idea of how much water you should be drinking. Still not convinced? Then now we’ve covered the “what,” let’s consider the “why.”
We think of food as “fuel,” but look at it this way – if your car runs out of gas, it will sit glaring at you till you put some more in, then it’s off again. If you let the engine or gearbox run out of oil, though, the result will be catastrophic. Humans need water in a similar way. It keeps the metabolism going, rids the body of toxins and essentially keeps all systems functioning as they should.
Shed Some Pounds
Surely water can’t help you lose weight? Here’s the point. We often mistake thirst for hunger. Drink more water and you will find yourself less inclined to reach for a candy bar, or a sugar-filled carbonated drink. Just try it for a week and see what happens – you will be amazed.
If you are dehydrated, your muscles will not be able to operate properly – the water that is such a core part of your body is actually what creates that pumping feeling when you lift a weight. But the implications of dehydration can run deeper. A reduction of as little as 1.5 percent in hydration can lead to muscle wastage and strength loss.
No Pain No Gain?
It’s a well worn phrase, but what’s it got to do with water? Well, while you’re probably well aware that if you’re dehydrated you will tire faster, a study published in the Journal of Psychophysiology strongly suggests that if you drink more water, your tolerance to pain improves. Research using 17 healthy male volunteers and some icy cold water showed that those who were dehydrated had a greater sensitivity to pain. If you’re involved in any sort of sport where you have to battle through the pain barrier from time to time, it’s worth remembering.
Improve Your Skin
The skin is the largest organ on the body and it is also the one that is most exposed to external factors. Little wonder, then, that if you are dehydrated, it will be severely affected. Wrinkles, crow’s feet, dryness, sagging skin and acne are just a few of the consequences if you don’t drink enough water.
It’s Not Just What You Drink
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that drinking is not the only way our bodies absorb water. When you take a hot shower, the pores open and will soak up more water than you might think – especially if you are at all dehydrated. For this reason, it is worth installing a filter on your shower – after all, it would be a shame to carefully filter out all the chlorine and other nasties from your drinking water only to soak them all up again through your skin.