The Anti-Aging Secrets of Water
Everyone is casually aware of the benefits of water. For decades, we’ve had the recommended 8 glasses of water daily drilled into our heads to maintain optimum health until it’s become a sort of white noise.
It should be noted that the official recommendation of water consumption is now determined per individual. Some people need more while others do not. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “Daily fluid intake recommendations vary by age, sex, pregnancy, and breastfeeding status.”1
The (Invisible) Plague of Chronic Dehydration
A report published by CBS News found that nearly 75% of Americans fall drastically short of recommended water intake. It is defined as a chronic dehydration.2
The primary culprit is determined to be massive soda consumption. Within an hour after drinking a can of soda, you experience a blood sugar spike, the conversion of the sugar to fat cells, a rise in blood pressure, as well as the binding to (and flushing away) of magnesium, calcium, and zinc as the diuretic properties kick in.3
An article in Health stated, “In addition to excess calories, studies have linked soda to tooth decay, headaches, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and decreased bone health. And despite its name, diet soda is no better: researchers at the University of Texas found that in the course of a decade, diet soda drinkers had a 70% greater waist circumference than non-drinkers.”4
There is zero nutritional advantage to soda – and it actually steals nutrients that you’ve consumed from other sources. When you factor in a much greater coffee culture than ever before, you see a picture of the population drinking many highly caffeinated, diuretic beverages that leave them sugar-crashed and robbed of nutrients.
Grace Webb, Assistant Director for Clinical Nutrition at New York Hospital, explained, “Water is necessary for the body to digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients. It’s also key to proper digestion; it detoxifies the liver and kidneys, and carries waste away. People think that when they start to get a little weak or they have a headache, they need to eat something, but most often they need to drink.” To make matters worse, Webb added, “We have a tendency in the U.S. to drink a lot of beverages that are mildly dehydrating.”
That’s a conservative outlook. With the ease of bottled beverages, supposed “health” and sports drinks, and dozens of different sodas available in even the smallest convenience store, most consumers simply don’t choose water.
Unless it happens to be “doctored” up in some manner with some sort of “flavor” added, maybe a bit of carbonation, and a label that tells you how good it is for you.
Benefits of Water Consumption and Eating Water-Rich Foods
You might not be a “water drinker” but you really want to be. Your body is more than 60% water. Without getting enough every day, basic functions inside you suffer.5
According to a report released by the U.S. Geological Survey, the human brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are 31% water.6
Not carbonated soda, not tea, not highly marketed water wannabes. WATER.
Water is what keeps the most critical systems in your body running smoothly. Every organ inside you depends on it and the likelihood that you don’t drink enough is (statistically) pretty high. Water consumption is about more than maintaining the right body temperature and satisfying thirst.7
Approximately 20% of your hydration is supposed to come from food. If you’re not drinking water and eat foods that provide little or no fluids – your body could be crying for hydration.
7 Benefits of Water
- Moisturizes Soft Tissues: The soft tissues of your ear, nose, and throat need hydration to guard against bacteria and viruses. However, there are many other soft tissues found in your body. Your spinal cord, joints, bone marrow, and exterior membranes of your cells require enough water to remain supple. Think of water as interior lubrication that helps prevent joint pain, muscle cramps, and congestion.
- Nutrient Processing: The entire digestive process begins with saliva and the primary compound in saliva is water. Enzymes in saliva break down the vitamins and minerals found in food, making it easier for your body to absorb them. Proper hydration also improves blood flow, which is how those nutrients and oxygen are transported to the places they’re needed most.
- Control Weight and Banish Cellulite: A favorite benefit of water is the greater success in maintaining a healthy body-weight. Along with the proper diet and regular exercise, water will improve your chances of weight loss that lasts. It’s a natural appetite suppressant, encourages your body to burn fat storage, and removes toxins. Getting additional water through water-rich fruits and vegetables helps to plump your skin cells from the inside out, making them appear smoother while also flushing fat and toxins from your system.
- Lightens the Load: Not only does water make you “regular,” it also takes some of the stress off your liver and kidneys by flushing toxins more easily. That lets them do their primary job of metabolizing fat and turning it into energy. You get rid of pollutants through sweat as well as urination and…the other. Those who drink enough water have a lower risk of kidney stones, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and constipation.
- Anti-Aging: Dehydrated skin ages faster, encourages the formation of wrinkles, and may appear splotchy. Your face is one of the first places a lack of water can be seen and felt. If you want soft skin that seems to glow from the inside out, water should be the first item on your beauty task list.
- Boost Mental Clarity: Your brain is 73% water and requires more oxygen than any other organ in your body. Even mild dehydration causes fatigue, dizziness, mood swings, and a decline in cognitive thinking skills. Drinking more water improves blood flow to the brain, nutrient absorption, and improves the communication system within your central nervous system. Many headaches are the result of dehydration (so are hangovers). If you’re feeling foggy, drink a glass of water to refresh your brain.
- Get More Out of Your Workout: If you exercise regularly and don’t get enough water, your cells are the first to suffer. When these foundations shrivel up from dehydration, the result is muscle fatigue. Your brain sends the kidneys a signal to keep water in reserve. Water retention can make you feel sluggish and bloated. The best treatment for retaining water is to drink more water so your brain lets your kidneys stop hoarding water for thirsty cells. More water means more oxygen to the muscles and that helps you get stronger with less physiological stress.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Over the last two decades, the debate about sufficient water consumption has confused more than one person trying to up their intake. Most people know the “8 glasses of 8 ounces per day” rule. If you don’t drink water, that’s a good rule of thumb to get you started but experts agree that everyone’s water needs are different.
The climate you live in and your personal level of exertion have a lot to do with what you need. The new “calculator” for water is one-half to one full ounce of water per pound you weigh.
- 150 pounds x 0.5 ounces of water = 75 ounces of water per day if you are sedentary or live in a cool climate where you don’t sweat much.
- 150 pounds x 1 ounce of water = 150 ounces of water per day if you are physically active person who lives in a hot or humid climate where you might sweat just getting in and out of your car.
Again, you may get a slightly different recommendation if you were to go through another source. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake for average people is:
- About 15.5 cups (124 ounces) of fluids for men
- About 11.5 cups (92 ounces) of fluids a day for women8 9
Note: No matter what, pregnant or nursing women may need to increase their water intake due to how many additional fluids their bodies use on a daily basis.
Basically, your body needs more water benefits. Start with the old standby of 8 per day and work your way up gradually. Skip the flavored waters and sports drinks high in chemicals your body doesn’t need. Instead, squeeze a bit of fresh lemon or lime into your glass or bottle for a fresh taste that boosts fat burning! You can also infuse your water with cucumbers, berries, mint, or citrus overnight to add a nutritional punch to your “basic” water.
When you provide your body with enough pure hydration, you’ll going to notice a difference right away in how you feel and think. Over time, the benefits of water will even manifest in how you look.
Don’t delay…get yourself a glass right now!
1 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Get the Facts: Drinking Water and Intake
2 Medical Daily: 75% of Americans May Suffer From Chronic Dehydration, According to Doctors
3 Daily Mail: What a can of Cola REALLY does to your body
4 Health: 21 Worthless Foods a Nutritionist Will Immediately Cut From Your Diet
5 Mayo Clinic: Dehydration
6 U.S. Geological Survey (U.S. Department of the Interior): The Water In You
7 The New York Times: Dehydration: Risks and Myths
8 Mayo Clinic: Water: How Much Shoulder You Drink Every Day?
9 The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine: Report Sets Dietary Intake Levels for Water, Salt, and Potassium To Maintain Health and Reduce Chronic Disease Risk