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Benefits of Water

Being properly hydrated does more than just quench your thirst. Water is responsible for many vital roles in our bodies.  Afterall, our bodies are 60% water! There are many reasons why it’s important to be consuming enough liquids each day. Today I’m going to share with you some of the most important reasons why water, and other hydrating fluids, are essential to achieving optimal health.

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Image from shutter stock

Water Benefits

Moistens Tissues

  • Water helps keep membranes like the nose, mouth and eyes from getting dry. Also, water is what allows for proper lubrication of our joints

Regulates Body Temperature

  • When water evaporates from our skin as sweat, it has a cooling effect. Therefore, water plays a role in helping our bodies maintain an even body temperature.

Flushes Out Toxins

  • Drinking enough water helps to keep the kidneys and liver (our main detoxifying organs) working properly, helping to rid the body of unwanted toxins. The toxins can be flushed out via sweat, urine or stool.

Increases Absorption of Nutrients

  • Without water, the vitamins and minerals we consume would not be dissolved. When these nutrients are dissolved, it allows for better absorption and assimilation of the nutrients into our body’s cells

Increases Sports Performance

  • An athlete who is dehydrated may have decreased performance. Proper hydration enhances performance of the body, delays fatigue, maintains plasma volume, reduces heat stress and prevents injury.

Brain Health

  • Optimal hydration improves mood and improves concentration. Drinking enough fluids may also help reduce headaches. Being hydrated promotes improved cognitive performance, attention, psychomotor and memory

Aids in Digestion

  • Having enough fluids in our digestive tract makes it easier to pass stool.

Helps with Weight Loss

  • Increasing water consumption is associated with significant loss of body weight and fat over time, independent of diet and activity 

How Much Water Should You Drink?

The old rule of drinking 8 glasses a day is a great foundation. But, if you are consuming lots of water-dense foods like fresh salads, fruits and soup, that will also contribute to your total water intake. The chart below is the recommendation from Health Canada

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Health Canada. 2011. “Dietary Reference Intakes.”
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/nutrition/dri_tables-eng.pdf”  http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/nutrition/dri_tables-eng.pdf (accessed June 20, 2015)

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/quest-for-hydration?page=3
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/multimedia/functions-of-water-in-the-body/img-20005799
http://jn.nutrition.org/content/142/2/382.long
http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/nutrition/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18787524
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