January 19, 2018 by Arshi Ahmed
Pure and crystal clear water is the lifeline of the universe. All of us know the importance of hydration but have you ever stopped and thought about the benefits of water? Let us take a dive into the benefits of water. You will be amazed to know the plethora of benefits it has to offer. So, what are you waiting for? Ready, steady and jump!
Importance of Drinking Water – Essential Facts:
Water is an essential component for the effective functioning of our body. Approximately 50 to 70% of our body mass is made up of water, including skin, tissues, cells and the organs.
Water staves off dehydration. Dehydration is a condition in which the body doesn’t have enough water to support the vital functions.
Water removes toxins and waste products from the body thereby cleansing it.
Water is required to process all the nutrients from the food we eat and carry the assimilated nutrients to the cells by circulating through the lymphatic system.
Lack of water in the body can cause constipation, asthma, allergy, hypertension, migraine and many other health problems.
Every day we lose water through perspiration, urine, breath and bowel movements. Thus, it is important to replenish the body by drinking water and consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
The Institute of Medicine has determined that the daily adequate intake of water for men is 3 liters and for women, it is 2.2 liters.
Water for Skin:
Just like the other organs of our body, skin is also made of several cells. Skin cells like any other organ cells require water to function properly. Some of the benefits of water to the skin include:
1. Water is essential to maintain the optimum skin moisture and deliver essential nutrients to the skin cells. It replenishes the skin tissue and increases its elasticity. This helps delay the appearance of signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines.
2. Water is a perfect replacement for your expensive anti-ageing treatments. It keeps the skin well hydrated and glistening, thereby, enhancing the complexion.For soft and supple skin, drinking an adequate amount of water is more important than applying topical creams.
3. Drinking enough water combats skin disorders like psoriasis, wrinkles and eczema. It also increases the metabolic rate and improves digestive system to flush out toxins from the body. This in turn gives you a healthy and glowing skin.
4. A nice cold shower and a relaxing bath calm the nerves and reduce the stress related damage to the skin. Soak your entire body in cold water for 2 to 3 minutes to rejuvenate the skin. Long exposure of the skin to water can strip off the natural oils, so don’t stretch your bathing or shower duration.
5. Cold water bath eliminates redness of the skin and sets the skin for better makeup application. After opening the pores by washing them with warm water, you can seal them by splashing with cold water. Cold water tightens the pores and prevents them from getting clogged. It reduces the appearance of acne.
6. A cold water compress can also help to reduce under-eye inflammation. As the water evaporates from the skin, the surface becomes cooler. Splashing cold water on the eyes can also reduce eye puffiness. There are plenty of water-rich eye gels which you can use for a long-term solution.
7. In earlier times, people in Eastern Europe would visit bathhouses to detoxify and tighten the skin. The process involves a steam-room session, followed by a cool water plunge to tighten the skin.
To do water therapy at home, soak a washcloth in steaming hot water, and then lay it on your face.
For the “plunge”, splash your face with cold water for around 15 times. This therapy invigorates and tightens the skin.
Water for Hair:
Some of the benefits of water for hair include:
8. Cold water rinse leaves the hair glossy and shiny. The cold temperature constricts the hair cuticles to make the strands smoother and more reflective. It also prevents dirt from accumulating on the scalp and makes hair stronger.
9. The nutrient-rich ocean water supports marine botanicals which repair, cleanse and detangle strands. Ocean water contains red algae and sea lettuce which cleanse the hair without drying. It also strengthens and adds shine to the hair.
10. Soft water shower leaves the hair more manageable because of the presence of low mineral salt and molecules in it. If you get hard water supply at home, then install a water-softening shower filter. This will also prevent the hair color from fading.
11. Chlorinated and salty water can make the hair frizzy. To prevent the damage, rinse your hair just before taking a plunge into the swimming pool. The strands will absorb the clean water so that it does not soak too much of chlorinated water. After the dip, coat your hair with conditioner for the extra protection.
12. Believe it or not, but water is the most natural setting lotion for hair. Each of the strands is made up of hydrogen bonds which separate when the hair is wet. If you style your hair while it’s wet, the hydrogen bond will reform to give a new shape.
To achieve soft waves, mist your hair with water and separate into four sections.
Twist each section into a small bun and secure with a pin.
Blow dry and then unfurl to get soft waves.
Water does not contain any harsh chemicals found in hair styling products which can make your hair dry and damaged.
13. Water is a natural miracle ingredient that supports vitamin consumption and assists in efficient and healthy hair growth. Water makes almost ¼ of the weight of a hair strand, thus, drink two liters of water every day to get gleaming and healthy tresses.
14. Our hair thrives on moisture-rich environment and water is one of the best ways to quench its thirst. Just like our skin, hair also needs lubrication from inside out. Dehydration has a direct impact on the growth of hair. Lack of moisture results in dry and brittle hair. It may even stop growing at the maximum genetic rate if you don’t drink enough water to meet your daily needs. The roots of the hair are the means by which water is transported from the body. They soak up water and provide hydration to the rest of the hair strand.
15. Our scalp and roots have photosensitive and energy saving nerve endings which receive and transmit signals. Water energizes the nerve endings to enhance the natural vitality of the skin and hair roots. Drinking water also helps to eliminate hair problems like dandruff and Dermatitis Seborrhea.
16. You can also mix jojoba oil or any other essential oil to distilled water to make a leave-on hair serum. This will give you shiny and sleek hair in no time.
Health Benefits of Drinking Water:
There are full on benefits to drinking water. Try and include the right amount of water in your daily intake.
17. Keep the Body Fluids Stable:
Our body is made up of 60% water. So, water plays a vital role in keeping our body fit. These bodily fluids consisting of water help in digestion, circulation, absorption, production of saliva, transportation of nutrients throughout the body. Also water helps to maintain the body temperature at normal. Intake of water helps your body to keep functioning well. Our brain is up to 90% water while our tissues and muscles are up to 75% water. So when our body lacks fluid, our brain stops working and we get migraines and headaches due to dehydration. So it’s better to keep a bottle of water around so that you may replenish the lost fluids. When we sweat we lose a lot of water content in the process but this is not without any cause. Sweat helps to lower the body temperature so that the body does not overheat. So when you are outside and sweating excessively, drink plenty of water to help keep dehydration away. Any type of drink would serve the purpose, tea, coffee, fruit juice anything but avoid alcohol as it further causes dehydration.
18. Keeping Muscles Healthy:
Muscles are made up of up to 75% water, so it is necessary to provide them enough water. Having enough water will help keep their contraction normal and prevent muscular cramps; It will help you to exercise more making you stronger and healthy.
19. Keep Wrinkles at Bay:
Water keeps skin cells hydrated and working fine so drink water to keep wrinkles away. Water plumps the skin cells up making them look less wrinkled. Also it flushes impurities and toxins out of the system keeping your face fresh and clean and thus aid in reducing the breakouts and acne.
20. Water Retention:
When you drink less water, the brain takes it as a survival threat and starts to store more water in the body creating swollen feet, hands and legs. Drink more water so that your body gets back to normal.
21. Keep the Digestive System Normal:
Water helps in the digestive process as it helps to keep the kidney working normally. If there is a lack of water in the body, it will result in constipation. So those with constipation problems should drink lots of water to keep their digestive system fine.
22. Helps in Weight Loss:
When there is a loss of water, the kidney cannot function at its best making it shed excess burden on the liver. Liver helps to burn off the fat into energy but when it has to do the excess work of the kidney, it cannot burn as much fat into energy as it should, resulting in fat deposit. Take water in good quantity to prevent fat deposit and to keep yourself healthy. So you can say that losing weight is one of the advantages of drinking water.
Storage: Water is the most important element for our survival. A person can lose all the reserve fats and carbohydrates and about half the body’s proteins without being in real danger, but a loss of 22% of body weight as water is fatal. The amount of water lost through urine, perspiration and water vapor averages 2.5 liters per day, which should be compensated by consuming fluids daily.
You can store at least three days of water for each family member including pets.
Store at least one gallon of water per person, per day in a cool and dry place.
People living in warmer climates, children, lactating mothers and elderly people need more water. This does not include water used for personal hygiene and food preparation.
The shelf life of water depends entirely on the original quality of the water, the light it is exposed to and the temperature at which it is stored.
To increase the shelf life of water, store them in translucent containers and wrap the containers in a dark plastic bag to keep away the light.
Other ideal containers for storing water include fiber-glass or enamel lined metal containers.
Do not use a container which had previously held toxic substances.
Avoid storing water in fruit juice and milk containers, as milk protein and fruit sugar settle down in the containers, causing bacterial growth.
The containers for storing water should be rinsed with diluted chlorine bleach to prevent build-up of bacteria and other harmful pathogens.
If the water is already treated by a water utility, then it is not required to treat water before storing it.
There are many water purifiers available in the market that you can install in your kitchen to ensure pure drinking water.
The most popular ones are those with UV and RO Technology.
Fix your water supply away from gasoline, pesticides and other hazardous substance as vapor from them can easily permeate the plastic made purifiers.
Inspect your water supply and tanks every three months to ensure that there is no leakage.
Stored water develops a weird and disagreeable taste and odor. The unpleasant taste can be treated by pouring water from one container to another, three to four times.
How to Purify Water?
Water gets contaminated in two ways.
The first is, when you leave the water in an open container at room temperature for an extended period of time. This provides a breeding ground for bacteria, algae and mosquitoes.
The second way water gets contaminated is when the container in which you store water starts to leach chemicals.
Drinking contaminated water can transmit the virus easily into the system, causing diseases like cholera and typhoid. The risk is high during the monsoon when the water gets contaminated due to water logging, open sewage and other unsanitary conditions. Therefore, it is very important to drink clean water so as to enjoy the health benefits of drinking water. Following are some steps for purifying your drinking water before consumption:
If the water is polluted, filter the water through paper towels, paper coffee filter or several layers of cloth to remove the sediments. Straining water through the muslin cloth does not make it safe for drinking as bacteria and other toxic substances could still be present in it. To make water safe for drinking, boil water for 15 minutes after filtering it through the cloth.
You can also chemically purify the water by adding liquid bleach or tincture of iodine. Do not use the bleach that you use for cleaning your house as they are poisonous.
Use three drops of iodine or liquid bleach per liter.
Mix the water thoroughly by stirring or shaking water in the container.
Let the water stand for 30 minutes to an hour.
Water purification tablets can also help you in purifying water.
The tablets have a shelf life of two years and lose their effectiveness if they get damp.
Purify enough water to last for 48 hours as leaving the water to sit for longer periods may re-contaminate them.
Consumption of bottled water produces unwanted used plastic bottles. They are dumped into the environment allowing chemicals like phthalates to leach into the groundwater and eventually our bodies. This can cause diseases like cancer and intestinal problems. Don’t allow your plastic bottles to sit in the sun as this might increase the chances of chemical leaching. Use stainless steel bottles for travelling purpose. Uses:
Water is available in many forms including bottled water, flavored water, vitamin water and tap water.
It plays a very important role in the preparation of food.
It serves as a medium for cooking food, like in the process of steaming and boiling.
It also acts as a carrier of flavors in fruit drinks, tea and coffee.
Most of the foods like beans, rice, cooked lentils and curry require water for cooking.
Hot water when taken slowly will revive people as effectively as tea or coffee. The merit of soup is that it contains about 95% of hot water while the solids are largely in solution.
Drinking too much water can lead to a rare condition called Hyponatremia. Athletes, elderly people, and patients of heart disease and cirrhosis are at risk. Coffee, cola, alcohol and tea should not be considered as water substitutes. Moreover, coffee is diuretic, so excess of it can worsen the water balance in the body. Hope this article was useful and informative. Keeping in mind the importance of hydration we will be able to adopt a better lifestyle for living healthy.