Feeling tired? Bloated? Painful joints? Foggy mind? Struggling to drop those extra pounds? If you google these symptoms I bet you'd find a multitude of medical conditions that would fit your symptoms. Most likely thyroid and hormone disorder will pop up. As an Endocrinologist, I hear people tell me all the time, "But doc, there has to be something wrong. Can you look at my labs a little closer? Something must be wrong!" In the last few years, I have come to realize that there is much more to this story. Fatigue is rampant in our busy society and our patients gravitate to coffee for a fix. The coffee doesn't provide the answer so they look to us for help. Well, I have uncovered a part of that mystery. Water, yes, plain old water.
Flashback: science class in Middle School. Our bodies are made up of over 60% water. I mean think about that for a second. Over HALF of your body is water. Even more amazing, our brain and heart are just shy of 75% water!! Holy cow, no wonder why I feel like crap when not properly hydrated.
Ok, so whatever, we are made up of a huge percentage of water. Who cares? Let's review a few of water's jobs in our bodies.
Job number 1: temperature control. Drinking cool or cold fluids actually helps reduce your body's temperature. Running around on a hot day? Well, that magical sweat dripping off your skin serves as a way to reduce your core temperature and prevent you from overheating. Now expose yourself to the hot sun for a long period of time and don't hydrate. You're likely to overheat and go into shock. Thanks, water.
Job number 2: distribution of nutrients and oxygen. You take time and care to prepare a delicious and nutritious meal. You crew it down. Now what? You need water to help the digestive process AND to allow the nutrients from your food to travel from the gut to the body and be used. Your blood is made of water. When properly hydrated, your blood vessels are nice and plump full of oxygen-rich blood to carry throughout your body.
Job 3: garbage disposal. We eat, drink, take medications/vitamins, and consume things that we probably shouldn't. Our body processes these things and makes use of it. Now what? Our kidneys and liver have the job of processing the waste and eliminating it from our body. These organs need enough fluid (aka water) to keep the toxins from building up inside and something to dump the waste into. Poop and pee are the solutions.
Not impressed yet? Job 4: lubrication. Have joint pain? Water is a key player in joint lubrication. Our joints are basically specialized hinges like on our doors. When your door gets squeaky, you throw on some grease, right? Well, our joints have a water-based lubricant in them.
None of this is impressing you, right? How about your hair, skin, nail quality? That worry you? Job 5: moisture. Dry hair, nails, skin, eyes? We apply conditioner, moisturizers, creams, lotions, and even eye drops to TRY to put moisture into these areas. A more efficient (and cost-effective) way is to hydrate from within. Give it a try and see how your skin texture and buoyancy will improve. You may even experience a glow in your skin. I'm sorry beauty industry, we may not need you.
Job 6: organ protection. Vital organs are vital for a reason: without them, you die. Water envelopes your organs and provides them with a sort of cushion to protect them from injury. Walking, sitting, bending forward, or any sort of motion other than laying perfectly still causes your organs to shift. Water provides them with something to float and bounce off of. Pretty cool, huh?
Alright, I believe you and am super impressed with water and its functions, but I HATE drinking water. Now what? What can I do to get these amazing benefits? How much water should I drink? Stick around. Part 2 of this blog will be some easy tips and tricks to help you up your hydration game. Can't wait? Follow me on social and I'll be dropping some hints and maybe an awesome giveaway. Want more lifestyle and health coaching? Hit me up. I'm available for health coaching anywhere in the United States or check out my Your Total Wellness programs to get your overall health back in check.