The human body is designed so that around 70 per cent of it should consist of water. This is why doctors, naturopaths, and nutritionists are repeatedly telling us to drink between two and three litres of water per day. If we fail to supply our cells and organs with this amount of water, we turn things that can function properly only when hydrated into things that are as impotent as the dry leaves that die and fall off trees.
When we learn about healthy eating and nutritional requirements, we learn about vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, and minerals. These nutrients are, however, useless without providing our bodies with the water they need to absorb and distribute them. The first lesson should be about water, since absolutely no physical, cognitive or psychological operations can occur normally without it.
Feel Happier Through Proper Hydration
The evidence that hydrated people are happier and function better is strong.
Dehydrated people report feeling lethargic, tired, and low-spirited. They also feel less happy and more anxious. They complain of headaches. They report feeling tired, de-motivated and sure that they are performing poorly.
These are problems that can interfere powerfully with our ability to be happy, to do our jobs well, and to do enjoyable recreational activities like swimming, walking or just going out with friends. Dehydration is, thus, damaging in itself, because it makes those activities more difficult to perform. But it is also damaging because of the self-fulfilling prophecy it creates.
The more tired we are, the less we do, and the less we do, the more tired we become because our bodies are not being exercised and thereby properly maintained. Or, the more de-motivated and incapable we feel, the more poorly we perform, and the more poorly we perform, the more de-motivated and incapable we feel. This can become a horrible downward spiral that drives happiness and confidence down to zero.
Concentration Levels Rise
On the other hand, hydrated people concentrate better, have better short-term memories, and feel more alert. They are quicker to identify and react to objects, an ability called visuomotor function. This enables them to be good athletes, artists, and any other occupation that requires fast movement in response to visual identification of objects. Their psychomotor skills are better, which means they move quicker and better when they decide to carry out a task. Their body temperature is better regulated, so they do not feel permanently uncomfortably cold or hot. They eat smaller meals, so they avoid the bloating and lethargy that large meals leave in their wake. Best of all, since water temporarily increases metabolic rate, frequent water drinkers can have a better metabolism. Since the point of metabolism is to release energy, these lucky people have more energy and are in a better position to combat obesity.
There are many reasons why bodies sufficiently hydrated with a regular water intake are happier and more effective:
Boost Eye Health
We all know how it feels when our eyes are dry. They are itchy and scratchy and they want to blink more often than they work. When we drink too little water, that is what happens throughout our bodies. Tissue everywhere dries out, receives no nutrients, reduces functioning to the bare minimum, and after a period of struggling desperately to function, it dies. The human body cannot survive without water for more than three days.
Removal of Waste Products & Delivery of Nutrients
Water helps our bodies remove waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation. Waste consists of nutrients that the body cannot store, excess salt, fat, and other substances that do serious damage to the body when stored, medication and environmental toxins that are poisonous when they are not excreted immediately, and so forth. Bodies that cannot secrete toxic substances quickly do not function as well as those that can, because those substances damage and kill the cells on which bodily functions depend.
Water, in the form of blood, distributes oxygen and nutrients through the body to where they are needed. Calcium cannot reach the bones, vitamin A cannot reach the eyes and skin, and omega 3 fatty acids cannot reach the brain without water to move them there. A heart attack and stroke show quite definitively what happens when oxygen cannot reach the heart and brain.
Being Hydrated Helps Digestion
It helps with the breakdown of the food we eat. This starts with saliva that breaks down especially carbohydrates. It is also the fundamental component in the stomach acid that breaks food into particles that the body can absorb. Without water, nothing we eat can be converted into a form in which the body can use it.
Water prevents bloating and uncomfortable indigestion by softening food so it can be excreted effortlessly and painlessly.
Joints & Organs Need Water Too
It lubricates the joints. Without water, joints will be stiff and sore with every movement involving bone rubbing against bone.
Water surrounds essential organs to act as a shock absorber and cushion when the body is jolted. The brain, spinal cord, liver, kidneys, and all other organs are tightly packed in fluid of which water is the basic constituent.
Sinus Health, Clotting Ability & Thermoregulation Improved
It helps the body maintain the temperature at which it functions best. When it is warmed up too fast, such as when burning fat during exercise, water is excreted through perspiration to cool it. Water warms the cold air and moisture that we consume from our environments so it can match our bodies' temperatures. Without proper regulation of body temperature, we are at best uncomfortable and at worst running the risk of a potentially life threatening fever.
It helps liquid stay liquid, instead of clotting. Everyone who has had a sinus headache can testify to the debilitating effects of clotted dried mucus in the sinuses. Dry coughing is another effect of mucus that is too thick to move.
Stay Hydrated Everyday to Feel Your Happiest
Hydrated bodies are, therefore, more effective and happy than dehydrated bodies. You can easily remain hydrated by drinking at least two litres of water a day and by eating plenty of water-rich fruits, vegetables, and nuts. In addition, steer clear of diuretics like caffeine and alcohol that will make you lose a lot of unnecessary water. For further added health benefits, try drinking alkaline water. To start your journey towards better hydration, how about trying out Biocera Alkaline Water Jug or our AHA Water Bottle for when you are on the move.