We have all heard that our body is mostly water. We’ve also heard you need to drink 64 ounces a day to stay healthy. And the rule of threes states you die if you don’t (a) have air for three minutes, (b) water for three days, and (c) food for three weeks.
We fritz out quite quickly when we’re dehydrated and the fact is most of us are dehydrated most of the time.
Let’s explore some cool facts about why we need water and maybe that will encourage you to sip a bit more throughout the day.
- Our bodies are 60% water. Our brains are 70% water. And our lungs are 90% water.
- We need 2 1/2 quarts a day either through the food we eat and what we drink (water or other liquids) to stay properly hydrated.
- Water lubricates joints and helps the spine stay flexible.
- Water helps us eliminate waste. We sweat it, pee it, and poop it out.
- Hydration helps us maintain an even body temperature.
- Dehydration can make you irritable, decrease brain function, and decrease muscle strength. Eventually you die.
- The 64 ounces a day requirement is actually false. There are a lot of variables to hydration. Just look at the toilet when you urinate. If it’s straw yellow, you’re good. If it’s darker, drink more.
- Beverages with sugar and caffeine actually count towards your daily intake. Yep, even coffee and low alcoholic beverages. Just don’t go nuts because you know better.
Nine times out of ten, when I have a headache, it’s because I’m a little dehydrated. Usually a cup of herbal tea or glass of water will fix me right up. That 70% liquid brain number really helps to explain why!
There are many variables to hydration besides the ones listed above. You’re weight and size, the level of humidity, the air temperature, even what you ate can increase or decrease your need to hydrate. You can even over-hydrate which can cause just as many problems as dehydration.
We talk about carbohydrates, protein, and fats as being the three macronutrients that make our bodies hum. I nominate water as a fourth macronutrient, because without it, we’re clearly in dire straits.
So what do yo think? Do you get enough water? Do you try to drink 64 ounces a day? Or do you check the toilet for the right color? We’d love to hear what you think.