Hope Smith, an esthetician, founder and CEO of luxury skin-care brand MUTHA™, often talks about the importance of keeping your body and skin hydrated when discussing the positive impact of MUTHA™ products.
We’re going to delve into what staying hydrated means, and why it really is one of the key foundations of both health and beauty.
Physical Health and Hydration
If you’re feeling thirsty, then you’re likely already dehydrated. Some signals your body listens to include cues from your organs. To feel thirsty, your brain has already received word from your heart and kidneys. In addition, the volume of blood in your body may have decreased, causing a change in blood pressure, according to Harvard University Neurobiologists.
Our physical wellness depends on hydration. You may have learned in school that our bodies are approximately 60% water. Here are a few more facts from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS):
- The brain and heart are composed of 73% water
- Lungs are about 83% water
- Skin contains 64% water
- Muscles and kidneys are 79% water
- Bones are 31% water (We were shook too!)
Keeping hydrated means ensuring every organ, from your brain to your skin, is able to keep doing its job at peak performance. Here are a few things your body needs fluid for, according to the USGS:
- Allows your cells to grow, reproduce, and stay healthy
- Helps the brain make necessary hormones and neurotransmitters
- Delivers oxygen (and nutrients) to tissues and organs, such as your skin
Drink Water Daily: Here’s How Much
The amount of water you will need every day depends on what activities you are doing, where you live, and what’s happening with your individual body. For example, spending time in hot weather could require more hydration, or if you’re exercising heavily or pregnant (or both!), you may need to drink more water for optimal health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, data supports that the average person will need between 11.5 cups ( 2.7 liters/92 ounces) and 15.5 cups (3.7 liters/124 ounces) of water per day depending on body mass. If you think that’s a lot of glasses of water to drink — don’t sweat it — 20% of this total comes from the food you consume.
The National Institute of Health lists the following as examples of the water content of typical foods that may already make up a portion of your daily intake:
- Food sources that are 90 to 99% water: Milk, cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, cabbage, spinach and leafy greens, pickles, (cooked) squash, and celery
- Food sources that are 80-89% water: Yogurt, apples, grapes, oranges, carrots, broccoli (cooked), pears, and pineapple
Many of us grew up hearing that we need to drink eight glasses of water every day, and according to the Mayo Clinic, that’s still “a reasonable goal.” A “glass” can vary depending on the size of a vessel, of course, but if we look at a “glass” as 16 ounces (the size of a common pint glass), 64 ounces as a daily total of water is still a very reasonable goal.
Exercise: If you are exercising a lot, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends increasing your hydration by 1.5 cups (.3 liters/12 ounces) of water for every 30 minutes of your work out. Remember to hydrate at least 30 minutes before you work out. You’ll feel better.
Pregnancy: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, the American Pregnancy Association says that you need to increase your fluid intake by 3 or more cups (1 liter/24 to 32 ounces) depending on your weight.
Hydration Plan: Can you add another cup of water here and there throughout your day? Or perhaps it would be easier to remember to add 16 ounces around mealtimes? Think about keeping a daily water reminder on your work calendar to help get in the habit of hydrating. Or consider changing your desk-side water glass to a larger, graduated version, that you can easily use to track your daily intake.
Hydrating for a Lifetime of Good Health and Beauty
As we age, our skin is less firm and moist as sweat and oil glands are lost, according to the National Institute on Aging. Additionally where we live (desert, mountains, coast) can take a toll. The skin is impacted by sunlight, freezing temperatures, and arid weather conditions. Our skin needs a steady supply of water with nutrients and oxygen to protect itself. And we can help our outer layer of derma from the inside out by making sure we are hydrated.
The creams, oils, and lotions we are using can have the best possible impact if we help them with the water and nutritious foods we consume. But water alone is not going to help with dry skin. Protect your skin with SPF after sealing in moisture with your favorite skincare products.