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DRINK UP! Why Is Water So Important?

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

eight glasses of water

One of the simplest health habits we encourage is drinking lots of

good clean water. Water is the most abundant substance in our

bodies. It literally keeps everything flowing!

Do you want glowing skin, brighter eyes, a clear mind and a more limber body? The first thing you should attend to is drinking plenty of water, all through the day.

Good hydration even helps keep blood pressure normal, improves kidney function, and aids in digestion and detoxification. Very importantly, staying well-hydrated improves immunity, by keeping the membranes in the nose and throat moist and therefore more effective as barriers to bacteria and viruses. If your mouth and nose feel dry, these immune mechanisms are not working at their best.

Take our quiz to learn more about why water is essential for your health:

Q.1 If you're not thirsty you've had enough water to drink.

  • True or false?

False! By the time you feel thirsty, you are already somewhat dehydrated! And if you are chronically dehydrated, your body will decrease its thirst messages, meaning you are even less aware that you need more water!

Q.2 What are some of the benefits of water?

  • Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements

  • Keeps your body temperature normal

  • Lubricates and cushions joints

  • Protects against muscle aches and pains

  • All of the above

All of the above, is the correct answer. Your body is about 60% water by weight, and it is the solution that bathes every cell of your body. Every tissue of your body needs water.

Q.3 Drinking liquids is the only way to stay hydrated.

  • True or false?

False! A diet rich in high water content foods like raw fruits and vegetables will provide a significant amount of daily water.

Q.4 On average, how much water do people get from food?

  • 20%

  • 15%

  • 5%

  • 40%

That varies: a diet high in fruits and vegetables will provide about 20% of your daily water requirements. A high carbohydrate, highly refined diet can make us more chronically dehydrated.

Q.5 In moderation, drinking coffee and tea are OK for hydration.

  • True or false?

True! Moderate consumption of coffee or tea, meaning not more than 1-2 cups daily, does provide some hydration. Many people feel when they consume more than that, they end up losing more fluid through urination than they have consumed. In Europe coffee is often served with glass of water. That’s a good habit!

Alcohol consumption, on the other hand, is definitely dehydrating! This may be one reason for the typical symptoms of a hangover. A good tip, if you drink, is to have a glass of water after every serving of alcohol.

Q.6 What color should your urine be?

  • Amber

  • Orange

  • Pale Straw

  • Colourless

Pale straw is the correct answer! This is a simple way to check your hydration throughout the day: if you are keeping up with your body’s needs, the toilet water should look barely coloured.

If you take B vitamins, you will notice your urine will be fluorescent yellow for a few hours. This is perfectly normal.

Q.7 Which may be a sign of dehydration?

  • Fatigue and irritability

  • Brain fog

  • Lethargy and confusion

  • Headache

  • All of the above

All of the above is the correct answer. We should call the brain wet matter, rather than grey matter: the brain is over 70% water by weight! No wonder we can feel heavy-headed when we are dehydrated. If you develop a headache or fatigue as your day progresses, try reaching for a glass of water first.

Q.8 In general, how many cups of water should an adult have in a day?

  • 6 cups or 1.5 litres

  • 8 cups or 2 litres

  • 20 cups or 5 litres

  • It depends on your health, activity level, environment and whether a person is pregnant or breastfeeding.

It depends! Exercise, hot weather, and dry homes and offices all increase our need for water. Pregnant or lactating moms always need more water.

A good general rule for most people is to get one ounce of water (or 30ml) per pound of body weight.

Q.9 Losing just 1.5% of your body's water is enough to cause dehydration symptoms.

  • True or false?

This one is true! Water is so critical for healthy body functions that as little as 1.5% loss of body water can cause problems, affecting circulation, blood pressure, and even cognitive function.

Q.10 Staying well hydrated can boost metabolism and help with weight loss.

  • True or false?

True, for several reasons. Water is necessary for every cellular process in your body, so when you are dehydrated, all these metabolic processes run less efficiently. Even a 1% loss of body water can slow metabolism. Also, we often mistake a need for water as hunger instead of thirst, causing us to snack more. And lastly, your liver, colon and kidneys need lots of water to work smoothly in their important roles in detoxification.

Q.11 What should I do to drink more water?

  • Carry a glass or metal water bottle everywhere you go.

  • Keep a pretty carafe on your desk if you work from home.

  • Eat foods high in water content.

  • Add flavor to your water, such as lemon.

  • Drink herbal teas if you prefer warm drinks.

  • All of the above

All of the above! Use every strategy you can to remind yourself to stay hydrated.

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