So, just how important is water you ask... Very!
Water is a major component of your blood, which circulates the body, distributing nutrients to the tissues that need them. It carries the oxygen from our lungs to the muscles and tissues in our body so that they can perform properly. If you are short on water, your blood will become more viscous and less capable of distributing those vital nutrients. This may lead to a more rapid heartbeat and low blood pressure.
It is also a major component of your brain. If you dehydrate yourself you may become confused, dizzy or lightheaded, and have headaches. If you've gone this far, your body is already beginning to shut down in some areas to save water for important function of the brain, heart, lungs and other vital organs.
Water helps in cushioning the joints of the body. The interstitial fluid from our blood plasma is filtered into joint spaces and acts as a small barrier between the two sides of the joint. As water is depleted, this space becomes more narrow, making you more susceptible to injury.
This vital liquid also helps transport nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, was well as transporting excess materials out of the body. Taking the micro-nutrients we need and passing them the the areas they're needed helps our body properly function. Which parts use water you ask? All of them, even a large portion of our bones is made of water. Due to their high salt content, kidneys use lots of water to filter and excrete wastes. All of our muscles require a significant amount of water to maintain proper health.
So, where do we get our water? Well, water is in coffee, sports drinks, teas, soda, and many alcoholic drinks; however, that doesn't make these a good source of water. Plain old water is the best source. Your body has to do the least about of work to convert it into something usable. No stripping away sugars, alcohols, flavors or caffeine to get to what we need. Although you may drink some of these other liquids, make sure you are getting roughly half your body weight in ounces of water (ex. 150 lbs person needs approximately 75 ounces of water) daily. Activity levels and outside temperatures change requirements too, but many of us need more water than we are drinking already.
Get smart! Drink more water and stay health.