Why is it that people recognize how much plants need water, but don’t understand how much they need water themselves? People with nice gardens, and nice lawns and landscaping have no problem understanding the fact that if you don’t water them enough, they will die. I remember this past summer, I had my little Topsy Turvy patio garden (which was AWESOME, by the way…don’t laugh!), and I was so obsessive about watering it, I didn’t even want to go to the shore for a weekend because I was afraid that whoever I put in charge of watering it would not do it right and all my hard work would have been for nothing.
But can I honestly say I drink enough water everyday? No, I can’t. It’s not that I don’t know I need to, it’s that I forget to. I think that is the case with many people. We all have busy lives, between work, kids, school, activities, the house, friends, etc. But that is even more reason to drink enough water, because the busier you are, the faster your body uses up its water supply. But despite our busy schedules, we still take time to water our plants, right? We need to take that time to water ourselves as well.
Why is Water So Important?
On the average, the human body is 50% to 80% water. Every cell in the body, every organ, every fluid, every system in the body is made of water, and needs to be replenished by it constantly to be able to function properly. If you don’t drink enough water, your cells cannot regenerate, toxins cannot be eliminated, food cannot be properly digested, your body temperature cannot be regulated, and your metabolism slows down.
Water and Your Skin
The skin is the largest organ of the body. Part of its job is to eliminate toxins and waste from the body through the sweat glands. If you don’t replenish the water, you will become dehydrated inside and outside. If there are extreme weather conditions, or if you sweat more due to regular exercise, the body loses even more water, so you need to consume even more to make up for it.
The skin is a telltale sign of what’s going on inside the body. If the body is dehydrated, the skin will show it. It will appear lackluster, may be appear flaky and tight, fine lines and wrinkles will be more evident, and it will become irritated more easily. On the body, the skin will be flaky and may even crack. This is not the same as having a chronic dry skin condition. This dehydration is a result of not drinking enough water, and not moisturizing the skin enough on the outside to prevent excessive water loss.
How Much Should You Drink?
There is not one simple answer to this question, because everyone’s body is different and has different needs. How much you need all depends on your weight, your nutrition, what climate you live in, how much physical activity you have in your lifestyle, what medications you take, etc.
A good rule of thumb is to take your body weight and divide it in half. Drink this number in ounces each day. So for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you’d need to drink 75 oz of water each day. If the temperature and humidity are extreme due to seasonal changes or the climate where you live, or if you exercise regularly, you need approximately two more 8 oz glasses of water a day. Certain medications you may take also dehydrate the body, so keep that in mind as you figure out how much you need.
Please note that these guidelines are intended for people who are generally in good health. If you have a chronic illness, kidney, or blood pressure issues, or are over age 65 and take multiple medications, you MUST talk to your healthcare practitioner about how much water you should be drinking.
When Should I Drink My Water?
The obvious answer is “when you are thirsty”, and with meals. But in our busy lives, we might not always realize when we are thirsty. Here are some clues to let you know you need some water:
- Your tummy is growling. Often, when we think we are hungry for a snack between meals, we are not really hungry, we are thirsty. Instead of hitting up that vending machine, try drinking a glass of water. See if your tummy quiets down.
- You can’t stop yawning. Again, during the day we may get spells of fatigue where we wish we could have naptime. Instead of reaching for that cup of coffee or other caffeinated drink, try a glass of ice cold water, and see if that doesn’t help wake you up.
- You get a headache or dizziness. Another sign of mild dehydration. Have a glass of water.
- Things just aren’t making sense. You are in a meeting, and all of a sudden what the boss is saying sounds like jibberish and you cannot concentrate or remember anything that is being said. Difficulty concentrating, or having a fuzzy short-term memory are other signs that you need some water. Ever wonder why there are pitchers of water on conference room tables? No they are not just being polite, they want you to stay awake and pay attention to the meeting!
|So next time you reach for that watering can to water your ficus, stop and think…”Have I watered myself lately?”|