The Importance of Hydrating
Many people have heard that the body is made up of 70 percent water, as if it's a fixed value. Most people admit to not drinking enough water, even though they have no idea what ideal water consumption looks like. This article will talk about the importance of water intake specifically, though hydrating can be accomplished through the intake of various ingestible liquids that lack the diuretic components of lactose, alcohol, or caffeine.
[FOREWORD: I've read and watched many articles and documentaries on water. It is common knowledge today that water has a way to store information. It has memory. It also has properties in nature acquired through the process of tumbling and imploding across the landscape that are not found in bottled waters. These bits of information will be left out so as to simplify the concepts I will share with you concerning my personal experience with water and its hydrating effects on the body.]
In my findings over the years, I've realized water plays roles in our bodies that we too often take for granted.
- Lubrication. Transportation of nutrients. Removal of waste. Cooling. These are all vital functions, but hardly anybody takes the topic of hydration with any more seriousness than they do Sunday morning shenanigans. Let me touch on these functions in hopes of enlightening you on the true importance of hydration that even the doctors haven't been very well educated on. Lubrication - it never quite occurred to me the potential for ease of movement that water truly provides until I began my career in massage and bodywork. Think about it. Dry sponge vs wet sponge. Jerky vs fresh meat. Modeling clay vs “play-doh”. Raisin vs grape. The hydrated versions are much more pliable, supple, flexible, easier to twist and mold and squish. All of these actions are necessary for your muscles joints and ligaments to perform optimally for a comfortable, functional body to inhabit. The less hydrated the body, the more mechanical resistance is present throughout the body. Our muscles cramp, our fascia hardens, our joints creak, our ligaments become rigid, our tendons sticky. Reflexive functions are slowed, the body fatigues remarkably quickly, the tissues stretch very reluctantly, and the body always feels rather “stuck” in a particular position no matter how many yoga classes you take.
- Transportation of Nutrients - Two words: blood volume. This is huge. Our blood volume is what makes nutrient transport possible in our bodies. Imagine this: in a well-hydrated state our blood has immense volume. It is pressurized to circulate through every capillary of our extremities, deliver oxygen efficiently to every muscle, and make our skin radiant and vibrant with a youthful glow. In a state of lack, our blood volume suffers, the blood cells compact together as the solution becomes more viscous, and our bodies are forced to ration blood flow to strategic areas for proper function. Say you climb a few flights of stairs to help meet your 10,000 step goal for the day. If your blood volume is lacking due to dehydration, you're likely to faint, cramp, fatigue, or feel nauseated or have a sense of vertigo as your body tries to oxygenate your demanding leg muscles while trying to also keep your brain from losing too much nutrient supply. In a dehydrated state, there's really not enough to go around, and it's dangerous.
- Removal of Waste - Two other words: lymphatic drainage. Removal of toxic cellular waste is a natural process of the body. As cells regenerate they replace their previous version. This process is facilitated most effectively through proper hydration and plenty of bodily movement. Turns out, range of motion is best achieved in a hydrated state, so it goes back to the basics here. Water first and foremost.
- Cooling - we all need it at some point in time, usually more often than we realize. Achieved through perspiration mainly, our bodies have a fantastic way of regulating temperatures so our brains don't fry and our fertility remains intact. There are other reasons as to why our bodies require cooling sure but this point is pretty self-explanatory.
Now that we've skimmed over the reasons WHY, let's skim over the HOW part.
To make it easy to remember I have taken a fairly complex formula and distilled it down to a very easy to understand version. It's effective, it serves the body well, and it's a safe amount to begin with as you acclimate yourself with this new habit.
The formula (and I'm sure you've probably seen this before) is this: ½(Lbs) = fl. oz
In words, it's a rhyme.
Half as many pounds as you weigh
Is the number of ounces to drink per day.
The takeaway message is this: proper hydration truly is the primary building block of preventive maintenance and holistic health and wellness. Mic drop.