If you suffer from any of the following ailments, you may not be drinking enough water: fatigue, confusion, memory loss, dizziness, dry and wrinkled skin, brittle hair and nails, cold fingers and toes, constipation, eczema, headaches, urinary tract infections, and muscle pains. These are all signs of dehydration.
Your body is made up of around 70% water, which is involved in every bodily function. If you lack water, then your body will try to get moisture from any liquid source in your system. It will automatically tap your blood, cell fluid, intra-cellular fluid, and even your stools and urine. When you're literally draining yourself, you're impacting your physical and mental health and speeding up the aging process.
Below are seven very good reasons to boost your water intake:
1. You'll digest your food better.
If you're spending a bit too much time and effort on the toilet, you could probably use a glass (or two!) of pure water. The body is very wise: it knows that the vital organs need essential nutrients more than the rest of your body.
If you're dehydrated, however, your body will take what’s available. Hence constipation. Water-depleted stools are hard to pass —and they can be there for days! As a result, your stomach feels bloated with the overgrowth of fermenting bacteria and yeast. Not fun!
2. You'll stay sharp.
If you prefer being upbeat and focused, you need to drink water. If you’re feeling confused and forgetful, try drinking more water before going to see the doctor. Dehydration can trigger brain fog.
3. You'll love what you see in the mirror.
If you love what you see in the mirror every morning, good for you! Keep doing what you're doing! But if you struggle with a puffy face and sunken eyes with dark circles, you're being warned that your kidneys are in distress. You are not drinking enough water.
The kidneys filter toxins, salts, and water from the bloodstream. If the body is dehydrated, then the kidneys can’t function properly. If the kidneys are overloaded, this will show in your face. Maybe you just had a fun night out with a bit too much booze. Maybe you ate too many salty snacks — or maybe you’ve been getting a bit too much sodium from take-out. Whatever the reason, the result is written all over your face.
4. You'll have youthful skin.
Dry and wrinkled skin occurs for two big reasons: (1) water retention and (2) a lack of subcutaneous fat. If you want to boost your natural fillers and look more youthful, with glowing skin, do three things:
Splash cold water on your face several times every morning
Gently pat your skin dry
Drink a big glass of chilled water on an empty stomach.
Make sure that you drink more than two liters of water during the day, and eat fat everyday! By fat, I mean pure and unprocessed plant oils from foods like organic flax seeds, butter from grass-fed sources, and organic coconut oil! Fat binds the water to the dermis skin layer and functions as a natural filler. You don’t ever need botox! The fat (mainly from the butter) will store in the fat layer that prevents that hollow look that often appears with age.
5. You'll lower your body fat.
This will probably surprise you, but being dehydrated can make you gain weight! As I mentioned earlier, the body will use all other fluids available when it’s dehydrated. By pulling water out of the bloodstream, excess glucose will remain until it reaches the liver, where it's supposed to be stored as glycogen for later use.
6. You'll curb your appetite.
Do you constantly feel hungry? Do you have cravings for sugar and wheat? Drink a glass of water. Pure water acts as an appetite suppressant. When feeling hungry, I suggest you drink a big glass of water before you act upon that sensation. If you need some taste, you can add a bit of lemon juice, or a splash of açai or pomegranate juice (without any added sugar).
7. You'll help your body do its job.
There’s a reason why they call water the source of life — our blood is 90% water. The bloodstream provides your cells and organs with oxygen and nutrients, and takes away any waste products. As you can see, blood is essential and important.
As I said before, the body will tap the water from cells and blood if needed to help counter dehydration. The blood will become thicker, increasing the risk for clotting, and making it harder to pump it through the system. This can have a serious impact on blood pressure and heart disease. Lack of water is also linked to headaches, pain and tension in muscles and joints. It even causes stomachaches and heartburn. Everything is connected throughout the body, and it’s important not to neglect one of its fundamental tools.
How much water do you need?
In general, you need about 2 Liters (65oz) of pure water a day. You might need more if you live in a warm or dry climate, as well as if you exercise often or practice “Bikram” or hot yoga. You will also need more water if you are pregnant, or breastfeeding. Plus, take into account the diuretic effects of coffee, tea, alcohol, and sodas, as well as salty foods.
Since I live in Iceland, I have been blessed with access to the purest water in the whole world, straight from my tap. When living in New York City, I continued to drink tap water, but I filled my bottles with charcoal filters to help filter out any bad chemicals. If you live in an area where there may be chemicals in the water, I suggest you do the same.
For more information on filters, I found Wellness Mama quite helpful. She has done some great research on how to use filters if you'd prefer something beyond traditional charcoal filters.
And if you'd like more information about how you're aging, consider taking my Biological Age Test. After analyzing results of the survey, I was surprised that one of the main factors in speeding up the aging process was in fact dehydration. Water is the best (and cheapest) anti-ageing skin tonic available.
I hope you'll ask yourself, “Am I drinking enough water?”
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
July 18, 2014 7:36 AM EDT