By Dr. Brenda Kingen
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? It’s common to hear that water is essential for your health, but the amount we need and the source has been controversial for some time. Water makes up approximately 60% of your body weight and is involved in many important functions, including:
1. It lubricates the joints. Cartilage, found in joints and the disks of the spine, contains around 80 percent water. Long-term dehydration can lead to joint pain.
2. It forms saliva and mucus. Saliva helps us digest our food and keeps the mouth, nose and eyes moist.
3. It delivers oxygen throughout the body. Blood is more than 90 percent water, and blood carries oxygen to different parts of the body.
4. It boosts skin health and beauty.
5. It cushions the brain, spinal cord and other sensitive tissues. Prolonged dehydration can lead to problems with thinking and reasoning.
6. It regulates body temperature.
7. The digestive system depends on it. The bowel needs water to work properly. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation and an overly acidic stomach. This increases the risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers.
8. It flushes body waste. Water is needed in the processes of sweating and removal of urine and feces.
9. It helps maintain blood pressure. A lack of water can cause blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.
10. The airways need it. When dehydrated, airways are restricted by the body to minimize water loss. This can make asthma and allergies worse.
11. It makes minerals and nutrients accessible. These dissolve in water, which makes it possible for them to reach different parts of the body.
12. It prevents kidney damage. The kidneys regulate fluid in the body. Insufficient water can lead to kidney stones and other problems.
13. It boosts performance during exercise.
14. Weight loss. Water may also help with weight loss if it is consumed instead of sweetened juices and sodas. “Pre-loading” with water before meals can help prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness.
You get most of your water from drinking “clean” beverages. Food, especially fruits and veggies, also contribute a small amount to your daily water intake. The most common recommendation for how much water to consume per day is “half your body weight in ounces.”
Kingen Chiropractic Wellness Center
2001 S. Hanley Rd., Ste. 220
Brentwood, MO 63144