This is a topic that we recently covered briefly, but it is an important enough topic that it deserves the space of this entire piece. We all know that none of us can survive without water – in fact, depending on your age and health, going without fluids for only a couple of days can have deadly results.
How Long You Can Live Without Water
According to Medical News Today:
The body needs lots of water to carry out many essential functions, such as balancing the internal temperature and keeping cells alive. As a general rule of thumb, a person can survive without water for about 3 days. However, some factors, such as how much water an individual body needs, and how it uses water, can affect this. Factors that may change how much water a person needs include:
- Activity levels
- Overall health
- Bodily factors, such as height and weight
What a person eats may also affect the amount of water they need to drink. For example, a person who eats water-rich foods, such as fruits, juices, or vegetables, may not need to drink as much water as someone who has been eating grains, bread, and other dry foods. The environmental conditions a person is in will also affect how much water their body uses. A person living in a very hot climate will sweat, causing them to lose more water. A person in a climate-controlled environment will not sweat so they will not use as much water.
With the stakes so high it is really important to make sure that everyone consumes enough water. And while it does not have to be water in itself, certainly water-rich food and beverages that are not dehydrating will help to achieve adequate hydration.
The human body is made up of 60% water – more precisely the adult human body. According to the USGS this is actually more nuanced:
The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Utz, Neuroscience, pediatrics, Allegheny University, different people have different percentages of their bodies made up of water. Babies have the most, being born at about 78%. By one year of age, that amount drops to about 65%. In adult men, about 60% of their bodies are water. However, fat tissue does not have as much water as lean tissue. In adult women, fat makes up more of the body than men, so they have about 55% of their bodies made of water. Thus:
- Babies and kids have more water (as a percentage) than adults.
- Women have less water than men (as a percentage).
- People with more fatty tissue have less water than people with less fatty tissue (as a percentage).
In order to keep the level of water in the body high enough to maintain the body’s health (which includes the skin, eyes, and other organs that impact the way we look and feel), most people need to consume at least 8 8-ounce glasses, or 2 liters, or one half gallon of water a day.
Water for Health and Beauty
There are many ways in which consuming adequate water is a key component in a beauty routine, and plenty of scientific evidence to back this up.
Healthline, for instance, points to several interesting studies on the benefits of staying hydrated. “One study in women showed that a fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise impaired mood and concentration and increased the frequency of headaches). Other studies show that mild dehydration (1–3% of body weight) caused by exercise or heat can harm many other aspects of brain function. Keep in mind that just 1% of body weight is a fairly significant amount. This happens primarily when you’re sweating a lot. Mild dehydration can also negatively affect physical performance, leading to reduced endurance.”
It isn’t only the health factors to take into account – although healthy people are in fact more beautiful; but also the factors that directly affect beauty. InStyle points out 6 of them:
- It Makes Skin Glow. Adequate H20 doesn’t just quench your thirst and keep you hydrated. It also helps your body flush out toxins more efficiently, leaving your skin looking fresh and radiant as a result.
- It Makes Nails Stronger. Brittle nails that constantly break and peel can be a sign of dehydration. By sipping on more water on a daily basis, you’ll promote nail growth and prevent dry, flaky cuticles.
- It Fights Aging. Truthfully, a gallon a day won’t magically erase fine lines and wrinkles. By staying hydrated, you can maintain your skin’s natural elasticity and suppleness.
- It Cures Sunburn. Even those who practice sun safety can fall victim to a nasty sunburn in the scorching summer months. The good news? Other than stocking up on aloe-infused formulas, drinking plenty of water can speed up the healing process.
- It Clears Acne. Another beautiful part about washing away toxins is that it can prevent acne flare ups and other common skin issues. Celebrity facialist Renee Rouleau recommends squeezing a fresh lemon into a cup of hot water and drinking it first thing in the morning.
- It Reduces Hair Loss. One more reason to make water your BFF? “Your hair is one-quarter water, so when you do not drink adequate fluids your body conserves water for other vital organs,” adds Foti. “This can lead to hair loss, thinning, and breakage.”
These factors and more should encourage everyone to drink at least the minimum amount of water recommended daily.