Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink.
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
That’s a quote from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and a kickass 80’s metal tune by Iron Maiden that you can work out to as well. It also has been stuck in my head for a few days as I contemplated what I wanted to tell you about the importance of water. Now you too can have it stuck in your head! J
We hear so much about water and how we should be drinking it, yet so few of us actually drink as much as we should.
Water is what our bodies are comprised of in large part. Men’s bodies are 60-65% water and women’s bodies are 50-60% water. Women have a higher percentage of adipose tissue (that’s fat but I didn’t want to use the f-word in my blog 😉 ) that accounts for the difference. To break that down even further:
- The brain is 85% water
- Bones are 10-15% water
- Blood is 80% water
- Muscle is 70% water
Water is paramount in bodily function. There is a chemical process called hydrolysis that takes place in your body that utilizes ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and GTP (guanosine triphosphate) to let water do it’s magic. Here is a list of some of water’s amazing feats:
- Assists with digestion
- Helps eliminate toxins
- Cushions joints
- In blood, carries oxygen and nutrients to cells
- In lymph, fights disease
- Regulates/maintains body temperature
- Protects spinal cord
- Maintains muscle tone
- Reduces sodium build-up
- Relieves fluid retention
- Suppresses appetite
- Assists in brain function (electrochemical transmissions)
- Reduces fat deposits
So what happens when we don’t give our bodies enough water? We begin to dehydrate. Being 2% dehydrated can seriously degrade physical and mental functions. Being 15% dehydrated can be lethal. Water is important! Some of the effects of a water deficiency are:
- Low blood pressure
- Kidney malfunction
- Kidney stones
I don’t know about you, but water is sounding pretty amazing to me right now!
Now we come to the BIG question. How much? I know you’ve always heard 6-8 8oz. glasses per day but I’m going to change that for you and you probably aren’t going to like it. There’s a new rule in town—your weight divided by two! That’s right; you need that much water each and every day. If we do a little simple math, 6 X 8 = 48 oz. and 8 X 8 = 64 oz. So if you weight 96 lbs., 6 glasses of water per day is fine. If you weigh 128 lbs. then 8 glasses per day is also fine. If you weigh anything else, you need to divide that by two and consume that many ounces of water each and every day!
Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics…they don’t count. (No, I am not going to budge on this.)
A simple indicator of adequate water consumption is the color of your urine (Yeah, I know it’s gross, but it’s true and really who is going to know you noticed except you?) It should be clear or pale (straw colored). If it’s darker than that, drink more water. You thought this was going to be complicated with all that hydrolysis talk didn’t you?
I need to give a shout out to my amazing friend Jill. She is the first person that ever told me about the weight divided by two formula. While researching for this piece, I saw it in several places. Jill is a smart cookie!
I also want to share a comment my other amazing friend Tina (Yes, I really do have amazing friends.) shared with me just yesterday. She and I were on the phone as she walked into the grocery and she told me that she found herself reaching for items and asking, “What would Michelle think of this choice?”. That was a high compliment for me! I’m thinking of bracelets with WWMT on them! 😉 Seriously though, it was great to hear that my friends and my readers really are making better choices.
I will leave you with this….
“In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.”