Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Drinking Water is the First Step to Good Health

While we cannot survive a full day without water, so few of us actively drink water each day. Well shying away from what you may classify as a 'bland' beverage could be costing you in a number of other areas. Here are some common ailments that usually result from dehydration and a reminder on just how important drinking water is to our health.

1. Fatigue

If you wake up tired after a full night's sleep or find yourself wanting a nap at mid-day, you may not be drinking enough water to keep you going. Water is a vital source of energy in the body, which keeps our enzymatic activity and bodily processes up to speed. If you are not drinking enough water, your body is taking the remaining water in your system to conduct its various actions, such as digestion. Before bed and after waking, try drinking at least 2 cups of water so that you are squared away with hydration at the end and the beginning of the day.

2. Asthma and Allergies

If you or someone you know has suddenly begun to suffer from allergies, it is possible that it's not the pollen's fault, but rather their own for not drinking enough water. When you are dehydrated, your body restricts airways in order to conserve water and keep it from exiting the body. In addition, as the body loses water, its histamine production increases, and allergy symptoms worsen.

3. High Blood Pressure

Although blood pressure fluctuates in response to a number of factors, and it is possible that one of them is dehydration. The blood is made up of 92 percent water when the body is fully hydrated. But when we are dehydrated, the blood becomes thicker, causing a certain resistance to the blood flow and thus resulting in elevated blood pressure and even a higher risk of clotting.

4. High Cholesterol

Like blood pressure, high cholesterol could be the result of a number of factors, but it is certain that being dehydrated doesn't help. When the body is dehydrated, it produces more cholesterol to prevent water loss in the cells. As your body is in defense mode as a result of not drinking enough water, your cholesterol spikes to make up for the change.

5. Skin Disorders

If you suffer from dry skin, eczema or are prone to rashes and dandruff, it is possible that your skin is not receiving the moisture it needs. When you are dehydrated, the body's ability to eliminate toxins through the skin is impaired, making it more vulnerable to all kinds of skin disorders and dryness. Not drinking enough water could even cause pre-mature wrinkling and discoloration in the skin, that we end up spending big bucks on to find a miracle cream that works. Instead, make sure to drink your 8-10 cups of water daily and you may be able to save your skin and your wallet a lot of the effort.

6. Bladder and Kidney Problems

Dehydration triggers the accumulation of toxins and acid waste that creates an environment for bacteria to thrive. These bacteria-ridden areas can result in bladder and kidney problems, and increase the chances for infection, inflammation and pain in these areas.

7. Digestive Disorders

It's no secret that the key to a good digestive system is drinking enough water, especially lukewarm (room temperature) water. The shortage of water in your body also means a shortage of alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium. These minerals are essential for your digestive system to work effectively, and when you have a short, you become more prone to painful and uncomfortable conditions like ulcers, gastritis and acid reflux.

8. Constipation

Possibly the most stressful of all digestive disorders, constipation is one of the earliest and clearest signs that your body is not getting the water it needs. Your colon (where the final stages of digestion take place) is one of the primary sources for water in the body. When you are dehydrated, the water continues to draw water from the colon, but this means that waste moves through the large intestine much slower or not at all. This results in painful cramps in your lower abdomen as well as frustrating constipation and discomfort.

9. Joint Pain and Stiffness

One of the most important parts of the joint, its cartilage padding, is composed mostly of water, so when you are dehydrated, this cartilage is weakened. This makes it difficult to move and use your joins freely, and repair to the joints is much slower and more painful.
10. Weight Gain

Probably one of the least obvious results of dehydration, weight gain can occur easily when an individual is not properly dehydrated. Cells are depleted of energy and seem to cry out for more nutrients. The problem is that most individuals confuse the cells' cry for help as a reason to eat a sandwich, when what they really need is a glass or two of water.

11. Premature Aging

Don't put off drinking water until you're too old for it to count! When you are chronically dehydrated, the body's organs, including the skin, begin to wrinkle and 'wither', just like your hands do after being in the bath for too long. Once this process begins, it is difficult to stop, and it may leave you looking a lot older than you actually are!

In order to control some of these conditions and to remain properly hydrated, it is recommended to drink between 8-10 8 ounce glasses of water every day. You should especially drink more water when you are exercising, experience a change in environment, or when you are sick. Keep in mind that each day we lose about 10 cups of water by just breathing and sweating, so try and keep the balance in your favor.

If you aren't drinking water each day, and instead prefer soda, just remember that water has 0 calories and loads of health benefits while a can of soda has 35 grams of sugar and 140 calories. It's quite silly to be getting your sugar from drinks when all you need to stay hydrated is a sugar-free glass of water!