A Thirst-Quenching Guide to Water: An Essential Element for a Healthy Life

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Water pic As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Water is the driver of nature”. Put simply, water sustains life. So you're already aware that drinking plenty of water is not only good for you but also a vital aspect to achieving the ultimate in health and wellness. But it might be even more important than you realized. By not drinking enough water, you can impair every aspect of your physiology. According to Dr. Howard Flaks on www.naturodoc.com by not drinking enough water, people may incur excess body fat, poor muscle tone and size, decreased digestive efficiency and organ function, increased toxicity in the body, joint and muscle soreness and water retention.

Besides air, water is the element most essential for survival. In fact, a typical human is comprised of between 60 and 70 percent water and brain tissue is said to be comprised of 85% water. It's reported that people can go without food for almost two months, but for only a few days without water. In addition, without water humans would be poisoned to death by their own waste products. As indicated by www.naturodoc.com, when the kidneys remove uric acid and urea, they must be dissolved in water first. If there isn't enough water available, wastes are not removed as effectively and may build up as kidney stones.

Water is also essential for chemical reactions during such body processes as digestion and metabolism due to the fact that it carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells through the blood and helps to cool the body through perspiration. In addition, it helps to lubricate our joints. We even need water to breathe. Our lungs must be moistened by water in order to take in oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide. Studies show that humans lose close to a pint of liquid each day merely by exhaling.

"Proper water intake is a key to weight loss," says Dr. Donald Robertson, medical director of the Southwest Bariatric Nutrition Center in Scottsdale, Arizona on www.naturodoc.com. "If people who are trying to lose weight don't drink enough water, the body can't metabolize the fat adequately. Retaining fluid also keeps weight up."

If you're wondering if you're drinking enough water then just listen to your body. Here are some common symptoms of dehydration:

• Heartburn, stomach ache • Non-infectious recurring or chronic pain • Low back pain • Headache • Mental irritation and depression • Water retention (ironic but true ) • Dry mouth- this is the last outward sign of extreme dehydration.

Moral of the story if you haven't figured it out yet- we need water to survive and thrive. But exactly how much water should we drink to ensure optimum health and wellness?

According to Dr. Flaks the minimum amount of water one should intake is eight to ten eight-ounce glasses a day. Eight to ten 8 oz glasses is equivalent to three to four standard 16 oz bottles of water per day. But you'll need even more if you exercise a lot of live in a hot climate. And overweight people should drink an extra glass for every 25 pounds that they exceed their ideal weight.

The formula that the International Sports Medicine Institute uses is this: 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight if you're not active (that's ten eight-ounce glasses if you weigh 160 pounds), and 2/3 ounce per pound if you're athletic (13 to 14 glasses a day, at the same weight). Simply calculated, drink 50-75% of your body weight in ounces. And intake should be spread throughout the day and evening.

If you're wondering about how this might affect you bladder, then don't worry. You may be constantly running to the bathroom at the onset of appropriate water consumption but after a few weeks, your bladder tends to adjust and urination is less frequent but in larger amounts.

By simply paying attention and drinking more water on a daily basis you will not only be contributing to a healthier life but you could also be on your way to a healthier and leaner body.