Your body is made up of between 55-65% water depending on your age and gender. Lungs are 83% water, your brain is 73% water, and even your bones are 31% water! (ref) This is why hydration matters for your health.
Your body is healthiest when you stay hydrated. Water has many important functions in the body, including to help flush out toxins from your lymphatic and intestinal systems, which are important parts of your immune system.
Lymph System: When you body is fighting infection from bacteria or viruses (essentially 100% of the time) it uses white blood cells to clean up your blood. These trash collectors, so to speak, end up collecting in your lymph nodes, waiting to be flushed out. Certain nutrients can also promote this important process.
Intestinal System. As with your lymph nodes, your intestinal tract can end up storing waste if there are not enough fluids to move it on through the system. Fiber is also helpful in this process, though too much fiber without enough hydration may cause constipation.
How do these systems get flushed out? Two things help most:
- Stay hydrated so there are good clean fluids to push out the old used up fluids and toxins
- Move enough to break a sweat to really get things moving
Signs of being less than fully hydrated include:
- Skin appears wrinkled from your sheets in the morning
- Dark rings under your eyes
- Hunger OR Thirst is an advanced sign of dehydration
- Dry lips or skin
- Constipation or dry hard stool
Hydration = Water
Coffee, soda, wine, beer, energy drinks, and milk are liquid, but do not fully count as hydrating. In fact, coffee and sodas dehydrate your body. If you have not made the move to include water as a regular habit, work your way into it for a healthier immune system. Adding a greens powder or water flavor enhancer may help as well. According to Stur Drinks, people will drink 30% more water when flavored with Stur (and we agree!)
The nitty gritty bottom line: Yes, at first you may find yourself running around a bit more (back and forth to the bathroom) but those steps can help you with your Fitbit count anyway (Smile!). Just remember that every time you increase your water intake, you are flushing out your lymph and intestines, and this is a GOOD thing. Once those are well flushed (excuse the pun) it is easier to maintain hydration.
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