Woman drinking water

The Importance of Hydration

Water in your body

 

Our body is composed of around 70% water. Within the individual organs the amount varies.

  • Kidneys – composed of 83% water.

Function - to rid the body of toxins and excess water and to absorb vital nutrients back into the body.

  • Heart – composed of 79% water.

Function - to pump oxygenated blood around the body and to pump de-oxygenated blood back to the lungs.

  • Brain – composed of 75% water.

Function - The brain and the spinal cord form the Central Nervous System (CNS) responsible for all voluntary and involuntary actions from muscle movement, memory and thought to control of vital organs.

  • Liver – composed of 86% water.

Function – The liver regulates most chemical levels within the blood. It produces and excretes bile to allow removal of toxins from the liver. All blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver. It also acts as a storage centre for glucose in the form of glycogen.

  • Skin – composed of 64% water.

Function – The largest organ, it protects the internal body from damage and infection. It helps to regulate body temperature and is sensitive to touch, heat and cold.

  • Blood – composed of 83% water.

Function – To carry oxygen and nutrients to the lungs and tissues. To carry de-oxygenated back to the lungs from the tissues. To carry metabolic waste products from the tissues to the kidneys and liver.

  • Bones – composed 22% water.

Function – Including production of new blood cells, protecting your internal organs and allowing your body to move.

  • Muscles – composed of 75% water.

Function – Skeletal muscle allows movement. Smooth muscle is responsible for digestion and cardiac muscle allows our hearts to pump.

  • Lungs – composed of 80% water.

Function – To allow absorption of oxygen from the air we breathe to enter our red blood cells within our blood. To remove carbon dioxide from our blood back into the air.

  • Joints – composed of 83% water.

Function – The juncture where bones and muscles meet to allow movement and stability.

  • Lymph – composed of 94% water.

Function – It transports oxygen and nutrients to different cells in the body. It removes metabolic waste including carbon dioxide and carries antibodies and lymphocytes to the blood stream.

Symptoms of Dehydration

 

Water is used in every cell, every organ and for every function within the body for it to work at optimal capacity. Dehydration can cause many of these systems to work less effectively and cause the following symptoms:

  1. Feeling thirsty.
  2. Dark strong-smelling pee.
  3. A dry mouth, lips and eyes.
  4. Feeling overly tired and irritable.
  5. Feeling dizzy and light-headed.
  6. Feeling off balance.
  7. Peeing little, less than 4 times per day.

These are the physical symptoms but essentially all the bodily processes explained above will be affected, particularly with long term dehydration.

Does Water Intake Effect weightloss?

 

The amount of water we drink can also affect weight loss goals. We may believe we are hungry when we are actually thirsty. Drinking adequate water at regular intervals throughout the day can reduce appetite and is a natural way to reduce calorie intake as well as improving your body’s ability to remove fat from the body.

How can I increase my water intake for the long term?

 

Forming strong habits with your water intake is key. To begin with set regular times of day for a drink. There are plenty of free apps available on App Store and Play Store to set reminders if you feel this would be helpful.  You can then set the regular reminders for every 1-2 hours to get up, walk around and grab a drink. This will also help those that spend a lot of sitting (for instance at a desk) to increase their daily step count. You will also feel more awake and ready to blast through your tasks with these regular short breaks. Winning!!

 

Ideally you will want to drink around 3 litres per day.

'Wow, that’s a lot' I hear you say. It really isn’t, as long as you start early in the day it can be quite easily done. Here is a sample timetable to increase your daily intake:

  1. 7am (or first thing) drink a large glass of water with your morning tea or coffee.
  2. 9am drink your 2nd large glass of water.
  3. 11am drink your 3rd large glass of water.
  4. 12pm or your lunch time. Drink your 4th large glass of water with your lunch.
  5. 2pm Drink large glass number 5.
  6. 4pm Drink large glass number 6.
  7. 5-6pm Drink large glass number 7 with your dinner.
  8. 7.30-8pm Drink large glass number 8.

By finishing by 8pm (you can still drink after this of course) you have had all your large glasses, so you won’t be woken up through the night with trips to the loo!

Do it for you!

Yes, in the first week or two you will be visiting the loo more often but look at this as your body functioning optimally. It is improving your body’s ability to flush out all the waste and toxins. It does settle down a bit after this time.

It can be easy, and once you start to feel the benefits of being fully hydrated through out the day you will never want to change back!

About LivFit

LivFit runs online fitness classes, and personal training sessions, for all abilities. LivFit owner, Zoe, qualified as a PT in 2015 and hasn't looked back since.

Zoe is passionate about healthy living and its benefit to body and mind. Get in touch today if you'd like to be stronger, fitter, and happier!