To understand just how important water is to your health, you should understand that your body is approximately 60 percent water, by weight. Water touches every part of your body and plays a role in all proper functioning. It should come as no surprise that water is second only to oxygen in its importance to your health.
Role in Digestion
Water helps break down the solid foods you eat, allowing them to move through your digestive tract and into your bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, healthful nutrients move throughout your body to nourish muscles, tissues and organs. Staying properly hydrated helps with bowel movements, as well, helping remove waste and toxins.
Body Temperature Regulation
Water, whether straight from the tap or combined with other ingredients in juices, teas, coffees and other drinks, helps regulate body temperature. While standing near a fire or heater helps warm your skin on the outside, liquids warm your body from the inside out. During hot days, cool water keeps your internal body temperature low enough to prevent heat stroke by promoting perspiration and evaporation off the skin. During cold weather, your body holds onto water to prevent hypothermia.
Role in Organ Function
Water helps the liver and kidneys perform their important blood and organ cleansing functions. When the liver and kidneys are functioning properly, the liver is able to better metabolize fat. Like many other parts of the body, the heart and lungs are primarily water, by weight. Proper hydration improves cardiovascular function and helps prevent disease by allowing organs, such as the kidneys, to process and remove excess sugars, reducing the risk of diabetes. Improved digestive and bowel function helps reduce the risk of colon cancer and high cholesterol. Water also keeps body tissues moist, helping areas such as the eyes, ears, nose and throat stay moist so they can perform their functions.
Water helps lubricate bones, cartilage and joints, decreasing friction among them. Water also hydrates muscles, tissue, the brain and other organs, keeping them functioning. Water keeps skin moist, helping the lipids that keep your skin smooth stay in your skin. Dry skin is often a result of lack of skin moisture, caused by factors such as sunburn, windburn, dry air and cold temperatures. Proper hydration keeps your skin smoother and looking younger.
Blood carries oxygen and helpful nutrients throughout our body to organs, muscles, tissues and cells. Harmful toxins are removed from these body parts via the bloodstream, as well. Because blood is primarily water, proper hydration leads to better blood circulation and better health.
- Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.