by Shelley Rosenberg, BA, CPT, PN1
I know this time of year is hard for most people to ingest water with such cold temperatures. However, fluid balance is essential for optimal functioning and health. Here are a few reasons why:
- 60% of our body is water. This fact alone should explain the importance of drinking water.
- Fluid balance is just like energy balance (food in vs food out), water in versus water out should be equal for ideal health.
- Dehydration results in decreased performance and mental focus and clarity.
- Water acts as a solvent- water dissolves proteins and transfers them throughout the body
- Water acts as a catalyst- in the presence of water, chemical reactions can proceed when they might otherwise be impossible.
- Waters acts as a lubricant- water lubricates joints and acts as a shock absorber for the eyes and spinal cord. During pregnancy, amniotic fluid which is composed mainly of water, protects the fetus from mechanical forces from the mother’s body.
- Water acts as a temperature regulator- this is where sweating comes into play. When body temperature increases, we begin to sweat. As the sweat pools on the skin, it evaporates and lowers the body temperature.
- Water acts as a mineral source- water contains many important dietary minerals including fluoride, calcium, magnesium, and more. This is why drinking distilled water (which has no minerals at all) can be dangerous to our health.
- Water acts as a regulation of growth- water is important in the synthesis of proteins, glycogen, and other macromolecules.
On an average, 2-3 L of total fluid intake is required per day to balance out water losses. Water intake comes from both food ingestion and water consumption. About 1 L of water is ingested from the food we eat each day. Many fruits and vegetables carry more water such as cucumbers, carrots, and oranges (another reason why it is important to eat your fruits and vegetables). Therefore, 1-2 additional liters of water is needed per day for optimal functioning. Are you drinking enough water in order to perform your daily tasks as efficient as possible?