We have all heard that it is important to drink eight glasses of water a day. But do you realize that a lack of water can cause a lot of your stress problems?
You may feel tired, depressed, and have trouble concentrating. Everyone’s brain, for example, is 73% water! Dehydration can affect mental alertness at work, lack of concentration when testing, and blurring when carrying on a conversation.
Nutritionists often refer to water as liquid energy because it allows the body to function properly. It affects muscle tone, blood pressure, kidney function, digestion, and all physiological components of the human body.
âInternal organs, including the heart, all need optimal water levels in order to function well,â said Austin, a coronary artery disease specialist who works with patients recovering from heart attacks. âI hear all kinds of people say they felt dizzy, weak and thirsty before a heart attack. I try to help them make the connection: water keeps the body in good working order.
A school administrator we’ll call Carla says she did a review of her water consumption habits. She was fatally ill last weekend with no immediate explanation.
âThinking about it,â said Carla, âI realized that I hadn’t had a single glass of water all week. I had been drinking about four cups of coffee a day, a diet soda with the lunch every day and a beer with the evening dinners No wonder I was sick all weekend.
The body loses at least eight glasses of water every day. We lose two glasses through the lungs through breathing, two through the skin, two through the kidneys and two through the intestines.
To convince yourself that water makes you feel better, try drinking at least 64 ounces each day for the next week or so. Better yet, try to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces of water each day.
âWhen I had cancer 10 years ago, no one told me to drink water,â said a business owner we’ll call Leonard. âWhen my wife recently had chemotherapy for breast cancer, they advised her to drink 90 ounces of water a day to get rid of toxins in the body. She certainly did a lot better in her treatment program than I did.
The extra water also plumps the skin. Anyone older can look a bit younger by religiously drinking water. The cheeks of the face, neck and back of our hands will show dehydration fairly quickly.
âA friend of mine recently passed away,â said a cosmetologist we’ll call Norah. âThe last days of her life, she literally looked gray in color. I have noticed that my own skin has an unhealthy color when I skip drinking water. Your skin doesn’t lie. It will tell you when your hydration is low.
The liver, which is the body’s filtering system for many toxins, needs a lot of water to flush itself out. Your internal organs, such as the stomach, intestines, pancreas, lungs and kidneys, also need water to do internal âcleaningâ.
âIf you have to enjoy a diet soda or two, follow that soda with a few glasses of water,â said a hospital nutritionist we’ll call John. âDon’t assume that soda will work the same as water. Don’t tell yourself that three large cups of coffee will rinse you like water. It won’t work. Nothing replaces plain, plain water to keep the body healthy.
The only way to convince yourself is to drink water faithfully over the next two weeks. When you wake up and start to feel the energy, you will be a convert by drinking the water. No diet soda tastes as good as a healthy body.
Judi Light Hopson is the author of the book on stress management, âCooling Stress Tipsâ. She is also the Executive Director of USA Wellness Cafe at www.usawellnesscafe.org.