Water is life’s most essential nutrient and yet it’s far too easy to forget how incredibly wondrous and vital it really is. Did you know that on average a human can only survive for three to five days without water? Or that water accounts for around sixty percent of your body weight? Water performs some miraculous roles in your body, even when you’re not paying any attention all.
You probably don’t consider your extremely fragile organs when jumping into rain puddles or running to catch the bus, but luckily water acts as a protective cushion in your body. It surrounds and cradles vital organs like the spinal cord and the brain. Water is also responsible for protecting and lubricating your joints, and keeping tissues in your eyes and mouth functionally moist. Insufficient hydration can compromise the stability of your joints and frequently causes pain and discomfort.
Water is likely to be on your mind during meal time. However, it’s probably not the key roles that it plays in digestion that you’re thinking about. Saliva, which is comprised mostly of water, helps break down food and dissolve the nutrients so that your body can transport and absorb them. Water also aids in flushing out toxins through your kidneys, liver, and intestinal track. Adequate hydration is necessary for nutrient absorption and a healthy digestive system.
You may notice the sweat beading up on your forehead during exercise or sitting out by the pool on a hot summer day, but you probably give little thought to how your body is using water to regulate its internal temperature. As you sweat, your skin is cooled by the process of evaporation and in turn your core temperature is affected. Without adequate water stores, your body loses it’s ability to effectively regulate temperature and can put you at risk of suffering from a heat related illness.
Whether your puddle jumping or pool lounging, the water in your body is dutifully working and you’re in charge of replenishing it daily. If you don’t think you consume enough water, try these simple strategies to increase your daily water consumption. Carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day for convenience and to help remind yourself to drink more. Order water instead of other beverages, like soda, when dining out. Motivate your taste buds to drink more water by squeezing a wedge of lemon or lime in your glass or water bottle. You might not hear it, but your body will thank you.