On our tour of the Jameson Distillery in Dublin, they let us know that “whiskey” means “water of life” in Gaelic. That may be blarney, but it sure got laughs on the tour. Now, I’m pretty sure if you drank only whiskey….you may not be in optimum shape. And I also know that if I drank ONLY water, I’d probably be a little cranky. But I’m pretty notorious for not drinking enough water. No matter what I’m doing-sitting at my desk, running a race, or out on the town, I never seem to remember to grab a bottle and fill it up. I’m trying to be more conscious of what my body needs these days, so I thought I’d look up some health benefits to drinking more water. Here’s what I found:
1) Balance of Body Fluids. If you don’t drink enough water, your body has to work harder to digest food, circulate blood, transport nutrients, and even regulate body temperature.
2) Alleviates Muscle Fatigue. As someone who works out twice a day, most days, muscle fatigue is a big player in my daily life. Cells that don’t maintain their fluid/electrolyte balance can shrivel, and that leads to muscle fatigue. As I’ve just gotten back to the gym for a few days after our European Vacation, I’m experiencing that little pinch in my quads with every step that I take to remind me I worked out. I probably could have staved off some of that if I had remembered to drink more water before, during, and after my workouts. Good thing for me, I like the little reminder that I’ve done something good, even if that reminder is a little pinch!
3) Healthy Skin. A face that’s dehydrated can look dry and wrinkled, and the rest of the body will follow. Hydration keeps everything glowing and looking its best.
4) Kidneys. Your body fluids transport waste in and out of cells, and they need those fluids at optimum levels to get rid of waste. Blood Urea Nitrogen is the main toxin in the body, and your kidneys can flush those out as long as you’re well hydrated. When your body is not getting enough fluids, urine concentration, color, and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions. Not a pleasant thought, but all the more reason to grab a drink!
5) Bowel Function. Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation. When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration — and the result is constipation.
OK, folks, if that’s not enough incentive, I don’t know what is. As I’ve written this, I’ve managed to drink down a 20 ounce bottle of water. Cheers!