Home > Diet & Nutrition > How Water Can Help You Live Longer

How Water Can Help You Live Longer

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 17 Mar 2010 | comments*Discuss
Water Anti-ageing Dehydration Health

You might think that the reason human beings are living longer now is because of our amazing medical advances or superior technology but in fact, a large part of the reason for our greater life expectancy could be down to a very simple reason: having clean water to drink.

The Water of Life

Everybody knows that the human body is primarily made up of water – our lungs are almost 90% water, our blood is more than 80% water and even our bones are 2% water. The human brain – that most vital organ – is 95% water. Furthermore, our bodies cannot store up their own supplies of water – we need a constant fresh supply and intake in order to keep our cells hydrated and transport the toxins out of our systems. So it’s easy to see why water is such a vital component of health.

If our bodies are not able to constantly replenish our store of water, we still suffer dehydration, all processes will slow down and our blood literally becomes thick and sluggish. Even a 2% drop in body water levels can lead to serious symptoms, such as fuzzy vision and difficulty focusing, problems with short-term memory, headaches and migraines and dry skin – constant dehydration in the longer term can lead to problems of digestion, loss of muscle tone, high blood pressure, slow metabolism and excessive weight gain, chronic constipation and even toxicity and organ failure.

Many people don’t realise that the fatigue and lethargy they are feeling could be due to mild dehydration. One study in the United States shows that over 75% of Americans suffer from mild, chronic dehydration. And the older you are, the greater your risk of dehydration as your kidney functions will gradually diminish as you age.

Water’s Anti-Ageing Abilities

According to Dr Jeffery Griffiths of Tufts University School of Medicine, we owe our longer life spans in the developed world to having an adequate supply of clean drinking water. Just by drinking plenty of water, you can reap the following benefits:
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced daytime fatigue
  • Better lubrication of joints
  • More nourished skin
  • Better digestion, nutrient absorption and chemical reactions
  • Increased removal of toxins from your body
  • Better regulation your body's cooling system
  • Improved memory
  • Possible prevention of kidney stones and urinary tract infections
  • Improved muscle tone

There are many studies which support the theory that having sufficient quantities of water daily is vital to maintaining health and body functions. For example, it is a well-documented fact that constipation is often due to dehydration and just by drinking enough water can reduce constipation problems. Even more importantly, research shows that drinking adequate amounts of water can reduce your risk of colon cancer by 45% and bladder cancer by 50% - all diseases that come with ageing.

Dr F. Batmanghelidj, author of the book ‘Your Body’s Many Cries for Water’, explains that water provides anti-ageing benefits to the body because it ensures that the important elements required by our bodies for healthy function (such as nutrients, hormones and other chemical messengers) are properly distributed around the body and reach the necessary organs. The manifestation of disease is often directly due to chronic water shortage in those areas. Therefore, by maintaining an adequate supply of water throughout the body, you are ultimately staving off many of the diseases which cause deterioration in your body in the process of ageing. Many of the diseases and phenomena associated with ageing can be significantly helped by adequate water intake and these include: neck pain, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol, low back pain, headaches and more.

A Daily Dose of Nature’s Anti-Ageing Tonic

So how much water should you be drinking every day to ensure that you get maximum benefit from its anti-ageing abilities? There is much debate over this. The traditional advice has always been 8 glasses a day but this has since been disputed as it can vary depending on the size of the individual and other components in their diet, like the amount of high water content fruit and vegetables and other drinks they are consuming.

As a general rule, however, it is believed that one cup of water for every 20 pounds of body weight is a good guide and this translates to 6-8 glasses per average person. In fact, research has come up with some preliminary findings which suggest that drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day can make a significant difference to easing back and joint pain for 80% of sufferers. So most people drink too little rather than too much, don’t worry – go ahead and have another glass!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word: