The human body is composed of more than 50% water. Some tissues, such as blood, are composed of over 80% water, whereas others such as our bones are composed of only 20-25%. Overall, more than half of our bodyweight is water – signifying the importance of hydration in maintaining our life functions.
Water is needed to absorb nutrients, produce energy in cells, control body temperature and eliminate toxins and waste products – amongst many other vital processes within the body. Without sufficient water, any or all of these processes may suffer and become less efficient. It’s now being recognised than many chronic health problems including headaches, high blood pressure, cancer and Alzheimers may have been preceded by many years of insufficient hydration – causing a build up of toxicity within the body which then creates symptoms and disease.
With the diverse and extensive range of beverages available to us today, many people reach for tasty tea, coffee, fizzy drinks or alcohol when they’re looking for a drink, rather than pure water. It’s often believed that ‘a drink is a drink’, and fluid-intake equates to hydration. However, if you’re taking in a drink containing sugars, alcohol, caffeine or other chemicals, the body then has to metabolise and eliminate these ‘toxins’, which can sometimes use up more water than you’ve actually drunk! This is why it’s really important to ensure a good intake of pure, fresh water every day, in addition to any drinks which may have more taste or offer a more satisfying ‘drink-experience’. It’s suggested that in addition to your (average) 8 glasses of water during the day, for every drink containing caffeine, alcohol or sugar, you imbibe another glass!
The effects of even mild dehydration can be significant – lack of adequate water in the body has been blamed for numerous symptoms which you may have experienced, including headaches, foggy brain, eye strain and mood disturbance. Yet water intake is regularly overlooked in mainstream medicine or dismissed as a minor issue.