Joint pain can make simple tasks like opening a jar or standing up extremely painful. Luckily, staying hydrated helps support healthy joints. Cartilage is the connective tissue that pads our joints, protecting our bones from friction and shock. Joint pain is caused by weakened or damaged cartilage. Cartilage is over 70% water. This is why drinking plenty of water is essential for strong cartilage and reduced joint deterioration. The more hydrated you stay, the more cushion and lubrication for your joints!
The amount of blood present in our body at any given time is directly related to our body’s water and sodium levels. Our blood is over 80% water! More water means more blood volume. This is why hydration is so important to maintain healthy blood pressure. When we are low on water, we are low on blood. This means our heart has to work harder and pump faster to get a lower volume of blood to travel through our body. The more dehydrated we get, the more our body holds onto sodium as a way of keeping water in our bodies. Extra sodium in our bloodstream raises our blood pressure.
Our skin is around 64% water and just like our other major organs, when our skin gets dehydrated we can feel and see the difference. When we’re dehydrated our bodies produce less natural collagen. Collagen is a connective protein that helps to strengthen our skin and give it more elasticity. When we’re dehydrated our skin starts to lose that elasticity, appear dull and feel dry. That’s when we start noticing more fine lines and wrinkles.
Water plays a key role in kidney function. Kidneys depend on water to help filter out toxins from our bodies. Did you know our kidneys filter almost 200 quarts of blood every day! Kidneys send useful minerals or nutrients back into our blood stream, and all harmful or toxic substances are flushed away through our urinary track. Without enough water, our kidneys can’t efficiently get rid of the waste.
Hydration is very important for our brains. Brains are 75% water and are our most complex organ. Brain cells depend on a healthy balance of water for neuron electrical transmissions, aka we need water to think. Water also helps regulate our body temperature, lubricates our joints and helps us perform better when we exercise. Our muscles are 75% water. Making sure we’re drinking enough water will improve workouts. Staying hydrated keeps our muscles from cramping up after a vigorous workout. Muscle cramps and feeling extra sore the next day are often a sign that you aren’t drinking enough water before, during and after your workout.
Drinking water can also help us stay on track when it comes to weight loss! Getting into the habit of drinking a glass of water before a meal will make us feel full faster and is a great way to prevent over-eating. Sipping water throughout the day also curbs snacking. Many times when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. So, before reaching for more chips, try taking a few sips of water.