What if there was a super simple, inexpensive–perhaps delightful–trick to feel better with lasting results? There is such a trick, of course, and you’ve probably heard about it before. It’s water. Plenty of water.
Maybe you’re thinking this is old news. It may not be new, but it’s important! Stick around to be convinced and inspired to drink up, cause here’s why drinking plenty of water is such a powerful healing tool.
It all goes back to the microscopic level of the cells. See, any given cell has only one way to get rid of waste, and that is to shove it outside of its cell membrane, into the fluid that hangs out between the cells. The liquidy substance between the cells serves a lot of purposes. Waste removal, nutrient delivery, and communication with other cells to name a few.
When we drink plenty of water, this fluid continually flushes and renews. This constant motion brings new nutrients, clears waste, and allows for effective communication.
If there isn’t enough water to replenish this fluid, it can get clogged up with waste, the cells can’t get nutrients, and they can’t communicate. Cells can even get poisoned by their own waste products if the fluid isn’t able to get cleared and cleaned efficiently.
Chronic dehydration can contribute to so many symptoms and diseases that it can be hard to pinpoint each one. So we simply think of proper hydration as promoting health in most people. There aren’t a lot of things that are good for most people, but water is one of them.
So how can we be sure to drink enough water? Most adults do well with somewhere between 1.5 – 5 quarts per day (that’s roughly 1.5 – 5 liters per day). If you are a smaller person, the low end of that range may work for you. If you are a larger person, consider aiming for the higher end of that range.
Of course, being aware of your body’s thirst cues can help establish and maintain good hydration habits. Thirst cues may include:
- Headache or body pain (chronic dehydration can worsen body pain)
- Dry mouth, eyes, nasal cavity or vaginal secretions
- Yellow or dark urine (rather than pale or clear urine)
- Thoughts of water or liquids
- Cravings for liquidy foods like fruit, cereal, juice, etc.
- Cravings for sugars or carbohydrates
There are a few health conditions for which drinking this amount of water can be dangerous, like certain heart conditions or electrolyte imbalances. Be sure to schedule an appointment or check in with your medical provider if you have or suspect any health issues.