There’s no doubt that drinking water’s important, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself why water’s so essential to your health? This article will unravel 10 reasons why you should be drinking water for a fit and lean body. Learn why all the fitness experts and skincare gurus tout the benefits of water for your health and body.
We’ve all seen these people; you know, the ones that carry a gallon of water with them everywhere they go. But did you ever ask yourself why these so-called fitness gurus and skincare experts are just so obsessed with this liquid?
Well… let’s first start with the big picture.
Did you know that water was one of the first things that Allah (SWT) created? Allah says in the Quran:
Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe? (Al-Quran, 21:30)
After 1400 years, science confirms this Quranic ayah (verse), which means that water is essential to your being.
As an adult, your body is composed of, close to, 60-70 per cent water. Your brains, lungs, heart, liver and kidney contain between 65-85 per cent water.
What this composition of our bodies suggests is that water is so essential to our function that even just a just a 5 per cent drop in our body’s fluid levels can lead to a 25 to 35 per cent drop in energy levels.
But that’s just the half of the story. For example, your body has a limit to the percentage of dehydration that it can tolerate, and when your body passes this mark, you start to even damage your DNA! So, not drinking enough water is a big blow to your body.
And I’m here to tell you why. In this article, I give you 10 reasons why water is absolutely crucial for your wellbeing—physically and mentally.
#1: Your entire health depends on water
Your blood is over 90 per cent water. You might be thinking, “So what?”
Your blood system is used to transfer oxygen, nutrients and antibodies to each and every cell. If there is less water available for your blood system, you are basically stripping your system’s ability to do its job well.
It won’t matter how healthy you eat because if you don’t drink enough water, your eating won’t help your cells function effectively.
That’s because mitochondria, the energy power plants of your cells, need water to keep you energised. Whenever you are dehydrated, your energy plummets (#RamadanLethargy).
Hence, the quickest and easiest way to increase your energy is by drinking water!
#2: Removal of waste materials
Your cells produce a lot of waste. Just like you poo and pee to relieve your body’s waste, your cells also need to ‘relieve’ this waste, and that’s why there is a cellular waste management system in your body to help with this excretion. Like the garbage trucks that clear away the streets, your lymphatic fluid is responsible for the removal of the waste products from your cells.
If your lymph fluid is too thin because you’re dehydrated, you’re just going to start to build up all of these metabolic waste products, aka toxins. When these waste products aren’t channelled out of your body properly, you are basically asking for a lot of trouble, such as the DNA damage I mentioned previously.
#3. Your digestion depends on water
Have your ever-experienced constipation? Most people get constipated because they aren’t drinking enough water.
Along with fibre, water is essential for good digestion. Water helps dissolve waste particles and pass them smoothly through your digestive tract.
If you’re dehydrated, your body absorbs all the water, leaving your bowel movements dry and more difficult to pass.
So, the simple trick to “push down” the waste products is to drink more water!
#4: Water regulates your body temperature
Allah (SWT) created a built-in thermostat in your body. This does an amazing job of regulating your body temperature by warming up or cooling down your body. But in order for this “thermostat” to work, you need to drink plenty of water.
By drinking water, your body naturally regulates its own temperature.
#5: Water helps you to stay slim
Here is the thing, even being mildly dehydrated can slow down your metabolism by as much as 3%! In other words, being hydrated is critical to your ability to burn fat!
So, just by drinking more water, you’re helping to pump up your metabolism — especially if your water is cold (somewhere 20-220 Celsius). This is because your body must work to warm the water up, thereby burning a few extra calories in the process.
#6: Nourish your skin with water
Most women spend hundreds of dollars on beauty creams to look better. The key to great skin? Drink plenty of water because water is nature’s own beauty cream.
Fine lines and wrinkles are deeper when you’re dehydrated. Drinking water hydrates skin cells and plumps them up, making your face look younger.
It also flushes out impurities and improves circulation and blood flow, leaving your face clean, clear and glowing.
#7: Lower your stress with water
85 per cent of your brain tissue is water. If you’re dehydrated, both your body and your mind will be stressed. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already a little dehydrated.
To keep stress levels down, keep a glass of water at your desk or carry a sports bottle and sip regularly.
#8: Water is your natural lubricant
Just like machines need lubricants to work smoothly, your body also needs to be lubricated. The best lubricant for your body is water because it allows the smooth movement of your joints.
Not just your joints, but water is essential for the proper function of your spinal cord, spinal disks, eyes, and brain.
Did you know that about 70 – 80 per cent of your joint cartilage is made of water? So, when you’re well-hydrated, your joints work better and you can move easily.
Conversely, dehydration leads to degeneration of your cartilages and severe pain in your joints.
#9: Water improves your workout performance
Do you experience cramps in your muscles when you’re working out? If you do, then you might want to see if you’re staying hydrated. Drinking water helps prevent muscle cramping and, as I mentioned before, lubricates joints in the body.
When you’re well hydrated, you can exercise longer and stronger without “hitting the wall.” In other words, drinking water while working out is a great way of improving your performance.
#10: Water improves your focus and cognitive functions
Another benefit of drinking water is that it helps you with the ability to stay focused and with your ability to think and remember information.
In a study, researchers found that being dehydrated by just 2% impairs performance in tasks that require memory, focus and other cognitive functions. However, by staying hydrated, researchers found that their subjects were more likely to perform better on work that was mentally strenuous.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions in health forums, and you certainly have heard the reply that one should aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
The fact is, there is no consensus among scientist about the average amount of water one needs daily. Yep, this 8-glasses theory is not necessarily science based. This is because the amount of water one needs differs on many different factors, like your size, where you live, how much exercise you do, what you eat and how much you eat.
Having said that, 8-glasses a day seems to be a reasonable and safe recommendation. So, if you can stick to it, you surely can’t go wrong.
You may need less than eight glasses of water if you drink other unsweetened no-calorie beverages such as green tea or black tea. And you may need more than eight glasses of water if you sweat a lot, exercise and/or do a lot of manual labour!
In most western countries, the water from the tap is much better than the water from supermarket bottles. So, save your money and start using the water from the tap. If you are in doubt, boil the water before drinking or, even better, buy a water filter.
Here are some other great tips:
- Start your day with two glasses of water. This is one of the best things you could do for your health!
- Drink at least one glass of water 30 min. before your meal. You’ll not only be less hungry, but you’ll also fulfil the Sunnah of eating, which is having your meal consist of 1/3 water, 1/3 food, and 1/3 air (Saheeh, ibn Maajah).
Drinking a glass of water will not automatically transform your body into a lean and healthy one, but it, no doubt, bring you closer to your goal.