Personally, I’ve always believed that prevention is better than cure. But then again, I haven’t always practiced what I believe. And neither have you.
The fact of the matter is that while we often have the best of intentions, we don’t always do the right thing in life even though often times, the right thing is the simplest and most logical thing. I certainly ain’t no pastor or life coach so I’m not here to tell you to lay off the strip joints or why women should be allowed out the kitchen (I make joke). No today, I want to bring up something far more logical and practical than that. I want to talk about adequate hydration.
AAAHHH! THE WONDERS OF H2O!
Sadly, I’m not talking about that massive party Dave Forbes hosts in the east (although I speak for many when I say I’ve had adequate “hydration” there once or twice). I’m referring to water; the stuff we drink, the stuff we wash ourselves with, the stuff we cook with, heck even the stuff fish procreate in (cue Dr. Evil laugh).
You may think I’m a little silly for writing a whole blog post on such an obvious topic BUT upon quizzing many friends about their hydration habits, I don’t think I’m so daft after all.
Ever since you were a little kid, you were probably told that you should drink around eight glasses or two litres of water each day. You know it’s good for you and you know you can’t live without it. You’d probably laugh at anyone who tried to dispute otherwise but if we’re really honest with ourselves, how much water do we really drink?
It seems people don’t drink much water. They drink everything else like soft drinks, coffee, tea, fruit juice, booze, etc. but hardly enough water! If you’re feeling a little twinge in your gut right now, I suggest you carry on reading.
Before you think I’m getting all Jehovah’s Witness-like on you, let me interject by saying it isn’t my intention to guilt you into better health. I am certainly not pointing the finger considering all the abuse I’ve put my body through over the years. And furthermore, I’m not advocating that you stop enjoying all the fun things and only ever drink toasted lettuce water for the rest of your life. No, if anything, I want to point out some of the simple things we could do to enjoy both sides of life; the fun and the health.
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR WATER! None, nothing, nil!
Yes it’s that simple. And for the record, I have nothing against Jehovah’s Witnesses.
I’m not asking you to quit drinking everything but water, rather I’m simply asking you to drink more water. This is not your typical health article advice but I’ve made provision for human desire and error which is a Bill Nye the Science Guy way of saying that I’m trying to be practical.
Life is too short and there’s an achievable balance in there somewhere. Assuming you enjoy the enormous pleasure of alcohol, this is especially vital. But even if you’re not a big drinker, don’t assume you’re out of the woods. I wasn’t kidding when I said there is no substitute for water.
I don’t wish to get super technical on you but your body is in need of a fluid that has no agenda because the body depends on the freedom of that fluid a.k.a water.
There are two kinds of water in the body. There is water that is already occupied and engaged which is no good for new function. The body needs new water, or free water, to perform new functions. When you drink sugar-containing beverages or caffeine-containing beverages, both sugar and caffeine have their own chemical agenda in the body. This defeats the purpose of the need for water.
Hopefully I have you a little intrigued by now.
The human body consists of anywhere between 55% to 80% water depending on body size. A rule of thumb is that two-thirds of the body consists of water. As you can see, it is the main component of the human body.
The brain consists of 90% water. Blood consists of 83% water. Muscles consist of 75% water. Bones consist of 22% water. Even if you give or take a few percentage points, we’re still talking some serious numbers here.
Just from these few stats, you can just see what an epic fail it is to be dehydrated yet most people live in a state of chronic dehydration and they may not even realize it.
A lot of people simply don’t realize that they are not functioning at an optimal level. They think because they drink a lot of ‘fluid’, they are hydrated. As we’ve come to learn, this is not the case. And if you wait until you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated and this is affecting your cells.
Hydration is a double-edged sword. It’s incredibly bad for you not to be hydrated and yet incredibly good for you when you are. If so much of my body is made up of water then I can’t really ignore this. There is good reason my body can survive several days without food but much less time without water.
This has really sunk in and I’ve done almost anything to change my habits. If you were to adopt ONE habit that is more beneficial to your health than any other, it would be to stay hydrated. We don’t often realize how resilient our bodies are yet we also don’t realize what we put it through. We could really help our bodies out simply by drinking enough water.
I challenge you. Even if it’s just during the week when you’re at work or school, try squeeze in a glass of water in every 90 minutes. Ideally, you want to be adding water to match your body’s use throughout the day. You won’t believe the difference it will make to your general health and well-being.
I leave you with a simple summary of today’s note:
- There is no substitute for water.
- Do not wait until you feel thirsty.
- Drink throughout the day! This may take a little effort at first to form a new habit. It is not the same to guzzle down four glasses at once.
I’m no health freak and any of you who know me, know I love to enjoy life but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve just realized there’s a balance. I love fruit juice, I love booze, I love to eat rubbish at times and I love to party but the water thing has really hit home. I hope after reading this note, it’s made some kind of dent in your thinking too.
How about training yourself to have a glass of water every time you see a status update from Mark’s Microphone (assuming you haven’t just had one)? Just a thought. And this is just me trying to help.