Water is an essential part of life!  Whether it is the animal kingdom or the plant kingdom, all of us rely on water.  The earth itself needs and is surrounded by water. Water scarcity is currently becoming a global emergency and measures need to be taken for water conservation.

Drinking an appropriate amount of water every day is vital to your health.   What exactly does water do in our bodies? Why is it an essential part of our health?  How much water should a person drink?  Let’s explore this pertinent subject a little further.

Two-thirds of the human body is water, which makes it the main component of our systems.  Some of the functions of water in the human body include regulating body temperature, detoxifying its major systems, providing moisture to organs and joints, and maintaining the body’s metabolism.  Every cell in your body needs water!  When the body does not get an adequate amount of water, you can show signs of dehydration. Such signs include fatigue, constipation, muscle pain and cramping, dry skin, headaches, blood pressure problems, dark and strong smelling urine, weakness, chills, head rushes, hunger and thirst.  If loss of water continues, you can see severe signs of dehydration including increased heart rate and respiration, decreased sweating and urine output, increased body temperature as the body tries to cool itself down, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps and tingling in the extremities.  If dehydration continues even further after these symptoms, it can result in shock and finally death.

Prevention of dehydration is key.  The average person can lose around two to three liters of water a day through breathing, sweating and urination.  That number can increase depending on the daily activities of the person and if they consume caffeinated beverages. To prevent dehydration, a person should simply replenish the liquids that are lost throughout the day.  Experts say at least 8 glasses of water a day.  This may need to be increased depending on the person.  It is also recommended to take a person’s body weight and divide it in half and that is the amount of water (in ounces) that a person needs to consume.  By the time that you feel thirsty you are probably already dehydrated.  Pay special attention to infants, children and the elderly because they are more apt to lose water and not replace it, especially during those hot summer months.

There are other benefits of drinking water besides avoiding dehydration. Water consumption increases the ability to lose weight, prevents headaches and fatigue, flushes out wastes and toxins, improves skin texture and tone, acne, boosts stamina, promotes the ability to concentrate, aids in digestion and constipation and overall improves a person’s mood and memory.

As the spring moves behind us and the weather is filled with the hot sunny days of summer…don’t forget to drink water!