You'd have to be living under to remain unaware that water is one of your body's fundamental needs. (Hello Maslow!) Shockingly, even today more than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes, and over 780 million people lack access to a safe, clean water source. Here in the US, any single person taking a 5-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country uses in an entire day.
Here at Delivering Happiness, we understand that happiness comes from having our fundamental needs met, so we're supporting Water Day 2014 by donating 20% of the proceeds of our Half Full tees to the awesome folks at Water.org, so they can continue their life saving mission to provide clean, healthy water to everyone!
In the spirit of Water Day, we also want to share with you some of the latest findings on why water is just so good for you, how much you should be drinking, and how it can make you healthier, and happier!
1. Productivity booster and fatigue-be-goner
Science has shown that tiredness is one of the primary symptoms of dehydration, so before you grab that morning coffee, try a tall glass of water! When you feel your productivity waning in the early afternoon, make sure you have water on hand to refresh your metabolism and get you back on track. Doctors also recommend that you have a full glass of water 30 minutes before any meal. This will serve the dual purposes of priming your digestive system, and helping you feel full faster, so you're less likely to overeat and end up falling into the dreaded food coma!
2. Reduces pain from stiff joints
Maintaining proper hydration keeps your muscles and joints working like a well-oiled machine. Do you wake up in the morning feeling stiff, or find yourself super-sore in the evenings? Double check your water intake and see if those problems will resolve themselves. We've all been told the "8 glasses per day" rule, but as it turns out, that isn't right for everyone.
There's a (relatively) simple equation to allow you determine the daily fluid intake that is correct for you: Multiply your weight (in pounds) by 2/3 (or 67%). For example, if you weighed 135 pounds you would multiple that by 2/3 and learn you should be drinking about 90 ounces of water every day. Do make sure you adjust this number to allow for exercise... for every 30 minutes of exercise you get each day, add 12 ounces of water to your tally.
3. Helps keep things moving along
The digestive system is as reliant on your water intake as any other organ system, and it can demonstrate the effects of dehydration in some dramatic and uncomfortable ways. When your colon isn't getting enough fluid from your diet, it will begin to pull the fluid it needs from your stool, and congratulations, you're constipated!
4. Baby, you're glowing
Your skin is the largest organ system in the body, and it also shows evidence of proper and improper hydration. Maintaining fluid levels keeps your skin looking fresh and clear, can reduce breakouts, and will certainly affect the visible signs of aging.
5. Very literally, being hydrated will make you happier!
A study conducted at Tufts University and supported by the USDA and US Army has shown both physical and cognitive effects of even minimal dehydration. Study participants were grouped by hydration level, and tested after a period of athletic activity to determine body water loss. They then underwent testing to determine the state of their short-term memory and mood. Researchers found that those participants who were part of the "dehydrated" group experienced negative mood effects including fatigue and confusion. The level of body water loss in this group would correlate to the mild dehydration many non-athletes experience daily from not getting enough water.