Water for the body, what’s the big deal?

Brain function – could that be the difference?

On Sept. 12, 2013, Michelle Obama asked every town in the United States to drink more water. The campaign, “Drink Up!” encourages people to drink more, even just one glass extra a day. An article in The Atlantic titled “Why Drink More Water,” the Center for Diseases Control (CDC) is cited, saying that the average American drinks about 2.5 cups of water per day and Sam Kass, the White House senior policy advisor for nutrition policy says that, “40 percent of Americans drink less than half of the recommended amount of water daily.” In the same article it references that a quarter of kids are drinking no water at all. While there is a debate and challenge about the recommended amount of water, how much is enough and the essentials of water for the human body, there may be good reason to drink up.

So why is water so important to our bodies? In a brief chemistry lesson, Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., writes in an article on the website, About.com – Chemistry, that the human body’s composition of water can be anywhere from 50-75 percent and The Water Information Program of Southwest Colorado, cites that blood is 92 percent water, the brain and muscles are 75 percent water and the bones about 22 percent water. That’s a lot of water, so it could stand to reason that the body will need lots of water to maintain correct function. Yet, most adults and children are not getting enough.

Regardless of what side of the fence you’re on, that is, does the body need more water? Or doesn’t it? Here’s a little “water,” rather than food for thought.

Phillipa Norman, M.D., M.P.H., in his article, Healthy Brain for Life, Feeding the Brain for Academic Success: How Nutrition and Hydration Boost Learning, puts you in a classroom, maybe one your kid sits in every day. Norman explains your child, one that is possibly bright eyed, positive and ready to learn or one that is sleepy, distracted and fidgety, or worse – stressed, depressed and anxious. He helps you see that that external environment is as important as the internal environment of the brain. He says that, “You may find in some cases your students are not able to learn due to poor nutrition or inadequate hydration. Hydration – really? I think most of us knew about the good nutrition part, but water? He goes on to say that the neurochemical processes in the brain is better nourished by healthy food and water, that it presents the best brain environment, helping the student “truly engage in the classroom environment and achieve their potential.” He says that the brain, composed of 100 billion brain cells, called neurons drive our thinking, learning, feeling and who we are. Michigan State University Extension says that these neurons drive learning functions and need nourishment, which is:

  1. Good fats
  2. Protein
  3. Complex carbohydrates
  4. Micronutrients
  5. WATER

So, whether you have conflicting thoughts about the body’s need for water or not, ask yourself a few questions. If my car body needs rebuilding, is it better repaired by the materials it’s already composed of or something else? If my computer needs rebuilding, is it better repaired by matching components, or something else? If my brain is constantly rebuilding, is it better rebuilt by an adequate supply of matching components, or something else?

Makes you think twice about the 75 percent water!

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