Remember in elementary science class when you learned that the human body is up to 70% water? Have you ever stopped to think about what this really means? It means every cell, tissue, organ and system in your body rely on water to function. Don’t give it enough, and your body will need to compensate. The sacrifices it makes in order to do so are harmful to your wellness as the body is thrown out of homeostasis. Here, we’ll cover 10 reasons why it’s important to stay hydrated. 

6 reasons hydration is important

1. Regulate body temperature

Water is necessary for your body to avoid overheating or excessive cooling. This is especially important in hot and humid weather, so you should be drinking even more water during the summer. 

2. Joints and muscles

Muscles hold a very high percentage of water compared to other cells and tissues: 75% or more. That water helps protein synthesis, which creates strong muscles and stabilizes our joints. Water is a component of the synovial fluid in our joints. When dehydrated, our joints move with more friction. This creates significant joint pain and inflammation. So, if your knee has been bothering you, try drinking more water. Also, if you work out while dehydrated, you’re at higher risk for injury. 

3. Cognition

Hydration is critical for brain health. Dehydration of just 2% body mass loss can lead to fatigue, impaired memory, attention span and mood. On the other hand, drinking enough water is a simple way to optimize brain function and uplift your mood. 

4. Sleep quality

Dehydration is one factor that blocks production of melatonin, our body’s natural sleep hormone. It can also disrupt sleep by drying out the mouth and nasal passages, making snoring more common.  Although there are many factors that go into a good night’s sleep, hydration is a sneaky one. If your sleep schedule has seen better days, dehydration could be to blame.

5. Deliver nutrients to cells

Water is essential to effectively transport oxygen and nutrients to cells through the bloodstream. The nutrients you get from food need to be transported, and water is how the body does that. Without enough water, the body also can’t eliminate toxins from the body. Water is the best thing you can do to detox your body from the inside out. 

6. Heart health

Your heart is the most important muscle you have, and it needs a lot of water just like the rest of your muscles. “If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard,” said Sports Medicine Physician John Batson, M.D. This protects cardiovascular health in the long term, which is crucial as we age. 

5 of the common signs you are dehydrated

  1. Headache
  2. Fatigue
  3. Sugar cravings
  4. Brain fog or confusion
  5. Extreme thirst (if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated)