Building Healthy Habits in 2012 – Why Water is Important

Following on from my post about increasing water intake last week, I thought I’d delve a bit deeper into why water is important to us.  We all know that we should be drinking water (between 1.5l and 2l per day) and most of us should be drinking more of it but do we all know why?

Most of us know that the body is between 50% and 70% water but did you know that the brain is 80% water?  Even more reason to make sure we are drinking enough to replenish it, don’t you think?  We need to drink enough water to maintain our body’s pH balance, keep our cells hydrated and reduce the acidity.

Dr Christopher Vasey, Naturopathic Doctor in his book the Water Prescription says:

Drinking sufficient quantities of water is a necessity for optimal physical functioning, but it can also play a major role in the prevention and treatment of many diseases. Chronic fatigue, depression, eczema, rheumatism, gastric disorders, high or low blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and urinary infections are but a few of the many disorders that can result from not drinking enough water – and which can be treated by raising our intake of this vital liquid. (

Most of us drink tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks thinking that they are acceptable to count towards our daily water intake.  Whilst this is true, the added sugar, caffeine and other additives in these drinks can counterbalance the good that the water in the drinks is doing.  Yes, research has shown that drinking tea and coffee can have some health benefits but those benefits are reduced if you drink too much due to the levels of caffeine consumption.  Research has shown that moderate consumption of coffee can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, liver disease and gallbladder disease whilst moderate consumption of tea may reduce the risk of cardio-vascular disease.  However, too much caffeine intake can reduce the absorption of iron, increase blood pressure, irritate the stomach and cause insomnia.