Your body is water (literally)
Humans came from the ocean. Mineral-rich fluids literally made us.
Today, our cells are made from water as well:
Our bones are 22% water.
Our muscles and brain are 75% water.
Our blood is 83% water.
Our eyes are 95% water.
Since water is virtually everywhere in our bodies, it is involved in most chemical processes needed not only to survive, but to thrive:
Water dissolves substances and transports them.
Water is needed to synthesize proteins, glycogen, and vitamins.
Water starts chemical reactions in our bodies.
Water lubricates tissues and joints.
Water regulates temperatures.
Water provides electrolytes.
Since we are mostly water, not drinking enough mineral-rich water makes our bodies start to break down from the inside.
Note: Blood plasma is mostly water, since some of us don't drink enough water, our heart needs to pump more blood through our body to deliver the same cardiac output as it would if it had enough water.
Question: "How is it that our bodies can function properly if we can't perform the actions mentioned above?"
Our bodies are masters at adapting. Evolution slowly brought us here. You will find that many humans can bypass many physiological needs for a couple of years with terrible habits like
not drinking enough water, having terrible sleep quality, eating junk food, having chronic stress, etc.
Eventually, our bodies breakdown because they can't keep up, and that's when you start seeing chronic diseases, weight gain, chronic fatigue, etc.
Question: “How do I know if I'm drinking enough water?”
Well, are you experiencing any of these symptoms? Headaches, fatigue, low-blood pressure, nausea, dizziness, or rapid heart rate.
Question: “I’ve never liked water, my body is used to functioning without it”
No, is not. You are just used to being dehydrated. Unlike many other scenarios, our bodies don't adapt to dehydration, we cant train to get better at not needing water. Your body does get better at storing water once you start drinking appropriate amounts.
Question: “What’s an effective way of testing if I'm dehydrated or not?”
The quickest way of testing is looking up a urine color chart and comparing colors. Yours should be a very, very light yellow, if it is not, you are probably dehydrated. Some supplements tend to alter urine’s natural color - Do some research and see if what you are consuming plays a role in urine charts
The Institute of medicine makes these recommendations on total water daily needs:
19 y/o+ : 100oz
19 y/o+ 75oz
Keep in mind, this is the recommendation for the average Joe. Not for a Crossfitter, triathlon athlete, etc. Those numbers are a baseline. We like using the following formula to roughly estimate our water needs:
Your water intake formula: Baseline + Training volume + Stress + Temperature + Specific conditions (diarrhea, alcohol etc)
Question: What about electrolytes?
Electrolytes are a huge component when it comes to our water sources. Water is meant to have lots of minerals that help us maintain a healthy acid-base balance and also regulate nerve and muscle function. Each mineral has its own function, since there are dozens of minerals, we won’t go into each of their functions.
Depending on your sweat rate, you will tend to let go of electrolytes faster than others, especially in hot temperatures, AKA, Florida. Make sure to add some kind of healthy salts to your meals. Himalayan salts and Celtic salts are great and also have an excellent mineral profile.
Question: What about dehydration?
Dehydration happens from the inadequate fluid intake or excessive fluid losses. Dehydration has been shown multiple times to reduce athlete's times by MINUTES. It causes your blood volume to go down, which increases your heart rate.
Water is a very simple fix to many conditions and struggles people face when trying to feel better and have a healthier quality of life.
If you are not consuming enough water, you would do yourself a favor by slowly increasing your water intake. Test it. If it works for you and you do feel better, keep doing it.