Thursday, August 18, 2016

An Easy Way to Improve Your Body’s Functions

An infographic of how much water your body needs every day as well as what percentage of various human body parts are made up of water.
Image: Shutterstock

Hydration matters. According to NASA, the human body is about 70% water. In some parts of the world, alcohol or soda are more easily accessible than clean drinking water, but it’s important that every human being is consuming water daily. There is still debate on how much water the average human should be drinking because necessary water intake is dependent on a multitude of different variables including diet, weather, and activity level. The body loses liquid not just through urine, but through perspiration and respiration.

Dehydration starts to have an effect on both the body and the mind once as little as 1% of the body’s water is lost. Losing 2-3% reduces the body’s ability to regulate temperature and reduces energy levels and mood. It will also reduce brain and memory performance. This makes physical activity feel more difficult, and can also affect performance at work or school.

Staying hydrated is beneficial for the organs, too. Dehydration can lead to both constipation and kidney stones. Water ensures that organs are functioning properly and clearing out any unwanted materials and toxins.

Dehydration is also a key component in why most people feel miserable during a hangover. It is the number one contributor to the thirst, fatigue, headache, and dry mouth experienced the morning after intoxication. Alcohol is a diuretic and interrupts communication between the brain and the kidneys. It causes the kidneys to release more water from the body.

Finally, water intake can help regulate food intake. Foods with a higher water content tend to be or look larger. These foods require more chewing and are generally slower to digest. This allows the stomach to feel fuller longer. Drinking a glass of water before meals also helps the stomach feel fuller. This regulates hunger pangs and can help with proper food intake.

In conclusion, whether you are an athlete, watching what you eat, or trying to improve your performance at work, making sure you are hydrated is a quick way to ensure that you are helping your body perform at its best.