Updated: May 16
Everyone knows that water is important. But there are still so many people that are not drinking it enough.
Water is probably the first medecine you should try when you experience fatigue, headaches or muscle pain.
And here is why.
The 1st component of your body
Up to 60% of the human body is water. This only information says a lot about its importance.
75% of the brain, the heart and muscles is water too.
Staying hydrated allows to regulate your body temperature, protects organs and tissues, lubricates joints, dissolves nutrients and minerals to make them accessible and much more (check out what are the 5 main essential minerals).
Everyday you are losing water through breathing, sweating, urinating. You lose even more if you exercise or if temperatures are high.
You get water from fluids but also from food.
In average, 20% of the daily water intake comes from nutrition. And for the 80% left, it represents about 1.5L for women and 2L for men per day.
If it can sounds difficult to drink that much water every day, there are few tips that can help you.
Drinking water as soon as you wake up.
In fact, you spent the last 8h without driking so it makes sense that water should be your first thought in the morning. Starting with a full glass of water will help you replenish and start your day hydrated.
Carrying a bottle of water with you all day is also a good way to think about it.
You can also give yourself targets and goals. For instance, drinking 2 glasses of water with each meal of your day would be a great way to help you reach your daily goal.
As mentioned before, water is primordial in the transport of nutrients and minerals through your body. Including the musculoskeletal system.
It encourages muscle growth because it participates in the delivery of the material needed to construct glycogen structures.
Having enough water insures that you have an appropriate electrolytes level, that your joints are lubricated enough and that you avoid cramps.
But water is not only important to perform, it also helps you to recover.
In fact, drinking water flushes toxins out of your body and helps with muscle soreness and tensions.
Did you know that dehydratation is the first cause of headaches?
Next time you experience one, before taking any medecine, try to drink water and see how it goes. This might be why your head aches a bit in the morning. You have spent quite a lot of time without hydrating your body and so your brain.
In fact ' a 2% decrease in brain hydration can result in short term memory loss and have trouble with math computations. Prolonged dehydration causes brain cells to shrink in size and mass, a condition common in many elderly who have been dehydrated for years.'
Not consuming enough water can have severe impacts on your brain performances such as inability to focus, fatigue and sleep issues (the best conditions to sleep).
It is well known that you can survice longer without eating rather than without drinking water.
What type of water drinking
Drinking enough water means keeping your electrolyes in the right balance, and in terms of electrolytes, the one you probably need the most is sodium.
When you sweat, you lose lots of sodium and so it is important, especialy if the weather is hot, to replenish your body stores.
Sodium helps you preventing muscles cramps but not only.
It will help your blood pressure regulation, your muscle function, your digestion and optimizing your brain functions (Does salt water hydrate you more effectively?).
If you want to perform better when you are providing a long effort, adding a tea spoon of salt for a liter of water sounds like the right thing to do. Chose a salt that is mostly componed of sodium (sea salt for example), and get ready for a great performance!