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We are told day in and day out how important it is to drink water.  But why is water so important?  Here are some things to think about.  The brain is 90% water by volume.  The lungs are 95% water by volume.  The muscles are 75-85% water by volume.  You start to get the idea.  Basically, along the course of evolution, we crawled out of the ocean and took it with us.

Imagine a 10 gallon fish tank with charcoal filters up in the two upper, back corners.  Imagine the tank filled to the brim with water.  The water is steadily churning through the filters, and the fish are happily eating, swimming, and doing the things that fish do.  Now imagine the same fish tank only half filled with water.  The fish continue to eat, and swim, and do fish things, however the charcoal filters are running dry, and the water is becoming stagnant.  Check in a little later and you will no longer find the fish doing fish things.  However, you will find some really dirty, stagnant water and algae growing on the sides of the tank.  In your body, the charcoal filters represent the kidneys, the water represents the blood running through your body.  Blood is primarily water.  When you are well hydrated, the blood is able to filter waste from your body through your kidneys.  If there is insufficient water in your system, or fluid in your tank, the kidneys are not able to do their job, and waste accumulates in your body.  This waste in the short term can decrease the efficiency and efficacy of the chemical reactions that go on in your body all day long resulting in fatigue, headache, poor mood, constipation, and a myriad of other issues.  Over longer periods of time, this accumulation of waste can contribute to disease processes.  Remember, anything that creates energy also creates waste.  Every living cell in your body creates energy and therefore produces waste.  Waste is toxic and poisonous in excessive amounts.  It is essential to good health and well-being to keep the body clean.

So how much water is enough?  There are many estimations to answer this question, however the amount of water a person requires is variable depending upon environmental conditions and individual differences, so no one volume is accurate for all.  A useful rule of thumb is to make sure that your urine is clear.  Estimations have been made that the majority of Americans go through the day dehydrated.  You do not have to be one of them.  Pay attention to your water intake and make a determined effort to be drinking throughout the day regardless of whether or not you actually feel thirsty.  Thirst is an indicator that you are already dehydrated, and people over 50 years old often do not have this as an accurate indicator.  The idea is to avoid getting dehydrated at all.  Keeping a water bottle on you, or easily available to you, throughout the day can be a helpful reminder.  Good luck!