What’s all the fuss about drinking water?  Why is it so important to our health?   Living in the desert I know what it’s like to be dehydrated.  I even suffered a mild case of heat stroke a few summers ago which left me in a sad state for a few weeks.  Beyond that, from my nutrition training I knew that water supports our cells but I didn’t know just how deep the story goes until I researched the facts for this story.

The U.S. Geological Survey was created 125 years ago by an act of Congress and provides scientific expertise on a variety of topics concerning our natural environment.  Here’s what they say about water:

Our bodies are mostly water!

  *Our brain and heart are 73% water! 

*Our lungs are about 83% water!   

*Our skin is 64% water! 

*Our muscles and kidneys are 79% water!   

* Our bones are 31% water!   

Why does this matter?  It’s a thing called fluid balance (homeostasis for you science types).  Too little water inside our cells and they shrivel up and die.  Too much H2O and those cute little things up and burst!  Fluid balance ensures the normal functioning of our body and its optimal health.  It’s vital for physical and mental performance every day of our lives.

Here are just some of the jobs that water performs for us:

*It regulates our internal body temperature through sweating and breathing.

*Carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream.

*It helps flush waste through urination.

*Acts as a shock absorber for the brain, spinal cord and fetus

*Water forms saliva.

*Water lubricates the joints.

Replenishing this Water Daily

According to the USGS:

Men need to drink 3 liters (3.2 qts) of water each day (about 13 cups).

Women need to drink 2.2 liters (2.3 qts) each day (9 cups)

You’re probably thinking, “How is that humanly possible?”  Well, take heart people.  Here’s some good news.  20% of our water intake comes from food!  We only have to make up the other 80%!  

In my next article I will provide a list of foods that are rich in water.  Many of them are already in your diet.  I will also warn about some foods to avoid or at least eat in moderation because they encourage the body to dehydrate – not a good thing!