You’ve no doubt heard throughout your life that your body contains a lot of water
. But do you know how much?
Newborn babies are around 78% water, but that amount drops to 65% by the time they reach one years old. By adulthood, 55-60% of their bodies are water.
Water is vital for every one of your body’s functions, and adequate water intake is more important than ever during the warm summer months. Here are five good reasons to drink up.
1) Insufficient fluids + high temperatures = heat stroke
Water regulates your internal body temperature, keeping you cool through sweating and respiration. But the more you sweat and the heavier you breathe during hot months, the faster you use up your water reserves. If you don’t replace fluids as fast as you excrete them, you dehydrate and risk overheating. Heat stroke is a serious and sometimes life-threatening condition.
How much water you need every day varies according to age, gender, size, weight, activity level and geographic location. You’ll receive some of your water from food, but an easy-to-remember guideline is to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, that would be 90 to 180 ounces of water a day. If you’re very active and live in a warm climate, be safe and round up to one ounce per pound.
2) Fluids help muscles contract
Experts caution that if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Your muscles are 79 percent water, and they need adequate fluid to contract smoothly. If you skip on fluid intake during summer workouts
and family activities, you may suffer muscle spasms and aches.
Sports drinks are usually only recommended for high-intensity athletes that need to replace lost electrolytes and potassium, although a mildly dehydrated adult can benefit from adding a bit of salt to a glass of water.
3) Dehydration harms all cellular activities
Water acts as a vital nutrient to the life of every cell in your body. Your brain and heart are composed of 73 percent water, and your lungs are about 83 percent water. Normally, the water ratio inside cells is higher than the one found in the cell environment, but when you’re dehydrated, the cells can lose up to 28 percent or more of their water volume.