The human body is approximately 60% water. Physicians recommend that we drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. An easy way to think of this is the 8 x 8 rule. But why do we need so much water? Why is hydration important?
Water helps to maximize physical performance. According to Authority Nutrition “dehydration can have a noticeable effect if you lose as little as 2% of your body’s water content. However, it is not uncommon for athletes to lose up to 6-10% of their water weight via sweat. This can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, increased fatigue and make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally. Optimal hydration has been shown to prevent this from happening, and may even reduce the oxidative stress that occurs during high intensity exercise. This is not surprising when you consider that muscle is about 80% water.”
Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good. Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. When you are dehydrated the skin looks more wrinkled and dry.
Water Helps Energize Muscles. According to WebMD cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. “When muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids, they don’t work as well and performance can suffer.
Dehydration may cause headaches. Some studies have shown that water can relieve headaches but that depends on what type you may be suffering from.
Age reduces the sensation of thirst. The sensation of thirst is a rather complex biological mechanism which allows the body to realize that it lacks water. Thus, when we feel thirsty, our body is already slightly dehydrated. In seniors, the sensation of thirst is decreasing, and therefore they are more at risk of becoming dehydrated.
All this science is telling us what our bodies already know. Water is essential for the proper circulation of nutrients in the body. Water serves as the body’s transportation system and when we are dehydrated things just can’t get around as well. Bottoms up!