Wellness Encyclopedia: Water, Water Everywhere

What if I told you there was a super substance out there that was virtually free for most, widely available, and hella versatile, too? What if I told you 60% of our bodies are made up of this substance? Yup, I’m talking about water.

Hyaluronic acid. Chia seed oil. Collagen peptides. Every week it seems there’s a new superfood that promises to make you look and feel amazing, glowing from the inside out. But what if I told you there was a super substance out there that was virtually free for most, widely available, and hella versatile, too? It even makes plants grow faster and rinses away impurities, can help ease anxiety and make your workouts feel like a walk in the park, too… Would you believe me? What if I told you 60% of our bodies are made up of this substance? Yup, I’m talking about water. Sorry to anyone hopeful that I’d discovered a brand new miracle product – this one’s been in existence for nearly 5 billion years. Good ol’ H2O. The stuff that comes out of your tap, that you swim in, that you water your plants with. Water is, quite literally, life. As Earth Day approaches – and with the Waves for Water X Free People campaign having just launched – this week we’re talking about that most vital element to every living thing: water.

What is it?

Water is vital to every living thing on Earth – in fact, it covers nearly 71% of the Earth’s surface and humans are roughly 60% water – this is why it’s so important to maintain hydration, which plays a key role in every function of the body. When we’re properly hydrated, it’s reflected on a cellular level, smoothing skin, supporting anti-inflammatory responses and immune function, providing mental clarity, and even helping you feel more energized (to name just a few of the myriad of functions it supports).

Why is it important?

Humans typically begin to feel thirst when they’re just 2-3% dehydrated, and athletes can lose up to 10% hydration during workouts – those numbers may sound small, but if not properly replenished, mental clarity and performance can be diminished (in fact, these effects can take place at just 1% dehydrated). Unfortunately, sipping plain old water doesn’t always cut it when it comes to maintaining hydration. Why? The convenience of modern life has, unfortunately, had some negative effects on our water supply. Things like fluoride, chlorine, and over filtration can negatively impact the naturally-occurring electrolytes (mineral compounds) that would typically be found in spring or well water, meaning that water you’re drinking could be passing right through you. It’s those electrolytes that do most of the work – which is why you often see athletes sipping energy drinks on the sidelines instead of water. 150 years ago, most of us would have access to a well or spring – not so anymore, unfortunately.

How to stay hydrated…

The good news is, it’s fairly easy to support hydration, even if your water is filtered within an inch of its life. If you know your water is fluoridated or treated with chlorine, you may want to consider investing in a top-quality filter, like a Berkey filter or SOMA, to remove anything unpleasant that may be lurking. Then, if you find you’re still thirsty after drinking plenty of water (yes, about eight 8 oz glasses per day, ideally more), try adding a squeeze of lemon or tiny pinch of fine Himalayan pink salt to your glass or water bottle. Lemon and good-quality salt are both sources of electrolytes, and can help to naturally support water’s hydrating powers. A little goes a long way, or go crazy and add herbs, berries or cucumber for a full-on spa experience.

Do you live near a community who may not have access to proper drinking water? Why not extend the gift of hydration and consider donating bottled water, or even reusable bottles to your local shelter or community organization?

Another way to help this Earth Day: Clean up your local waterways. Many towns and cities already have cleanups planned, but if you’re doesn’t, organize your own! All you need are a few friends, protective gloves and trash bags. Removing just a small amount of the millions of tons of garbage that threatens our oceans, rivers, lakes and streams is a small step towards ensuring clean drinking water for all and a safe and healthy ecosystem.

 

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