H²O

When it comes to nutrition and fitness the best topic to start with is water. Water is a molecule that contains both hydrogen and oxygen. Oxygen is always good for the body, isn’t it?

More than that, water is absolutely everywhere: 71% of the earth’s surface is covered with water. It moves through a continuous circle. Water is essential for life, not only for humans but also for nature overall. You can see what happens in some countries where there is drought… Not only is the nature perishing but humans are suffering from it as well. Wikipedia estimates at 1 billion the number of people who do not have access to running water, and this number will increase over the years.

H2O

Water and numbers

Do you know that a large part of your body is made of water? Some sources estimate it to be between 50% and 65%, and much higher in infants (75%). Basically, it is vital. The quantity you should drink per day will vary depending on your size but also on how much exercise you do. A good average is between 1 and 2 liters per day (or 33 fl.oz to 67 fl. oz). Water helps your body to function. In the morning it helps to get in gear, during the day it helps your brain to concentrate and at night it helps you to rest. Remember that your brain is about 85% water and your muscles about 80%. So how do you want your body to respond effectively if you don’t give it its basic needs? I would like to see how long your green plant would live without water at all. At some point the green will turn yellow and the plant will dry until it dies. Even the longest food fasts cannot be done without fluids – especially water.

Body functions of water

For your body to function on the inside you need a constant cycle of fluids – a bit like the one in nature as we talked about. The best fluid you can provide your body is water. Water helps to bring nutrients into your cells, such as vitamins, minerals and glucose. It helps your body to get rid of what it does not need, or what we commonly call toxins. Although a lot of us do not like sweating, it is actually the process the body uses to get rid off what is toxic for your body and it also helps to regulate the temperature of your body. Water also helps your digestive system to function well. Just like oil, water is also a lubricant for body joints.

Consequences of lack of water for the body

The less water the body has, the thicker your blood is. This can cause hypertension, cholesterol or heart disease. Likewise, lack of water is closely linked to headaches, arthritis, heartburn and depression. One of the reasons why your body can feel sick is because it does not have what it takes to function properly. As every process includes water, lack of water would cause sugar to be stored as fat instead of being used for energy. Water should be your best friend to lose fat and also to take good care of your kidneys which play a crucial role in your body (i.e filtering toxins, wastes, etc.) To decrease fat in your body, increase the intake of water.

Other liquids but still not water …

A popular belief is that every kind of liquid is the same. It is true that water is in everything: in tea, coffee and all types of sodas. Yet, the consequences the later have on the body is miles away from what water brings. Drinks such as coffee or tea are diuretics; they drain away the water you put in your body and the effect you expect from it is not met. I was never as tired as when I drank liters of tea and coffee every day. Since I stopped this habit, I have much less headaches and the truth is, I feel more awake! On the other side, sodas are full of sugar. I remember watching a movie one day in which a man talked about how he almost turned blind because he was simply and only drinking sodas all day long. This type of liquids also can trigger diseases such as diabetes. No liquid on earth can replace the benefits water brings to your body.

Water can also be found in most fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon (hence the name I guess), apples, blueberries, strawberries, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and many more.

 Water applied to exercising

If you exercise, the intake of water should be higher than usual: before, during and after the exercise; always in small quantities but regularly. Water is highly important for your physical performance. The less water you drink the more dangerous it is for your body.

Water intoxication

Water intoxication happens when someone drinks too much water too fast. The body cells basically flood under water and the body cannot function properly. This is also the reason why it is important not to drink a big quantity of water in one shot. One should drink water with a glass instead of from the bottle and always take small sips. This majorly happens among marathon runners who drink too much while they run. Water intoxication can be fatal.

How to properly drink water

It is recommended not to drink too much water during a meal because it dilutes the food and prevents the enzymes to properly do their job. If you feel like drinking a lot when you eat, it might mean that the food is too dry or too salty. If you feel like drinking soda while you eat, it might mean that the food is too fat. At last, do not wait to be thirsty to drink.

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Related articles – non exhaustive list:

Wikipedia

http://www.theragear.com/article/water.php

http://www.nestle-waters.com/healthy-hydration/water-fonctions-in-human-body

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