By Helen Colella
When looking at pictures of the Earth taken from outer space, it’s obvious why it’s often referred to as the Blue Planet. Seventy percent of the Earth's surface is water-covered, with the oceans holding about 96.5 percent of that. Water also exists in the air as vapor, in rivers and lakes, in icecaps and glaciers, in the ground as soil moisture and aquifers, and in humans. Earth is the only planet where water can exist in liquid form on its surface; however most of it is frozen or salty. Even though we have water here, water there, water, water everywhere, only one percent of it is drinkable.
People need water in order to survive. The body is made up of about 75% water so we have to drink water in order to keep our cells hydrated. The benefits of a cool glass of water are felt almost instantly because it’s the key factor in keeping us well watered. So if you’re feeling run-down and tired, have symptoms such as dry mouth, headache, muscle cramping, constipation or infrequent urination it’s likely you’re not getting enough water into your diet.
The need for water may be common knowledge by what many people are unsure of is just how much water they should drink. In reality, how much you drink per day depends on your health/physical circumstances, activity and exercise level, age and the environment where you live.
Experts often quibble about the exact quantity of water you should ideally drink every day. The Mayo Clinic says that water is the body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 % of our body weight. Although people take in about 2 quarts of water as fluids from the foods they eat it is also true we lose water through our breath, perspiration, urine and bowl movements. Therefore it’s vital we replenish our water supply by drinking beverages and eating food that contain water.
Some experts advise up to 6-8 glasses per day while others suggest you use a formula where you divide your weight in half and use the results as a guide to the amount of ounces in which to drink. Yet all agree our bodies need to be kept well hydrated. If you have health concerns such as kidney stone or repeated urinary tract infections it’s even more important.
Water offers special benefits to everyone. It:
- regulates your body's temperature
- cushions the nervous system
- eliminates body waste... and that’s just for starters.
- replenishes the skin: look younger, eyes sparkle, hair shines
- boosts energy and weight loss
- reduces health problems, headaches, bad breath, mood swings and constipation
- quenches thirst
Gulp down a glass of water. Sip from a bottle. Chug from a jug. Whatever your drinking vehicle of choice may be, just drink it. Make water a daily habit—at work, after exercising, riding in the car, riding a bike, taking a hike, and at meals. It’s advised that wherever you go, make sure you always have water at hand.
Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink. If you do, you can run the risk of complications brought on by dehydration and since it sometimes begins to manifest itself before thirst sets in, keep H2O handy, it is important. Another reminder is to not drink your daily intake at one time—spread out your intake out over the course of a day.
Water does the body good, everyday.