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Why We Should All Drink More Water

After you take a sip of water, do you know what happens next? Drinking water is one of those things that we know is vital to survival, but not many of us know how it actually works. And when it comes down to it, we probably all should be remembering to drink more water, in order to stay hydrated and healthy. 

But here’s the thing: if we don’t actually understand the science behind water in our bodies, it’s going to be tough to feel motivated to keep taking more swigs from our full Nalgene bottles. So that’s why we wanted to do a deep dive into precisely why we should all drink more water, and how exactly water interacts with our bodies. 

We here at Nalgene Outdoor are dedicated to a few things, including reducing the impact of single-use plastic water bottles, and using science and innovation to craft our incredible water bottles. But we’re also passionate about water, and why it’s so important for keeping people healthy. 

So let’s dive into it: here’s the scientific breakdown of water, what happens when it enters our bodies, and why it’s oh-so-important. After this, you’ll definitely feel motivated to sip more often.

Hydration 101: The Journey of Water

Professor Nalgene Outdoor here. It’s time to head back to science class, and understand the journey of water in the body. So put on your thinking caps, let’s get into the journey of water in our bodies.

Picture this: you’re on the trail after a long day of hiking, you’re sweaty, and you’re feeling… parched. It’s funny how we all know exactly what thirst feels like, even though it’s this inner sensation that’s almost indescribable. But yes, our bodies are generally great at telling us when it’s time to drink water.

It’s important to start here, because the journey of water in our bodies actually starts with the urge to drink water. The neuroscience behind thirst is quite complex, and also interesting, as scientists are still trying to fully understand how our brain drives us to look for water. 

We do know that staying hydrated is crucial for our bodies, and keeps our digestion functioning smoothly, keeps headaches away, and helps our bodies deliver nutrients to our cells. Hydration also keeps our bodies at the proper temperatures and helps us eliminate waste. And when we’re starting to run low on water, there are many triggers in our bodies that signal to our brains that it’s time to take a drink of water.

After our brains detect that our water levels are low and we need to reach for a full-to-the-brim Nalgene bottle, we take a sip. From our mouths, the water then travels down into our stomachs, before it makes its way into our gastro-intestinal tract. It takes our bodies about 10-20 minutes to digest just plain water, and it’s mostly absorbed early on in the small intestine.

After this is when things get really interesting. Water passes through the walls of our intestines into the plasma in our blood, and those water molecules are then transported all over the body by our vascular system. That water is distributed all over our bodies, including to different organs. 

In general, the adult human body is about 60% water, and individual organs are made up of ranging amounts of water. For example, our brains are about 75% water and our blood is 83% water, while adipose tissue (also known as body fat) is only about 10% water. 

After water is distributed, its journey in our bodies isn’t over yet. As we all know, it’s necessary to continually drink more water throughout the day, because human bodies lose water through various ways. Usually, the largest amount of water loss happens through urinary water loss, and it’s one of the major functions of the kidneys. Kidneys filter blood and remove waste and extra water, and we then eliminate that water through urination. 

Aside from that, water leaves our bodies through other ways. Sweating is another main cause of water loss, and the amount of water we lose from sweating can vary greatly depending on how much we’re sweating. You might not realize it, but we also lose water through breathing. When we breathe, air is moved into and out of the lungs, and that air has to be humidified before we breathe it out.

Why it’s Important

Understanding how water functions in our bodies isn’t just cool and interesting (were we the only ones thinking that?). It’s important to understand the journey of water, so we can connect the dots in our own minds and understand why we should all drink more water, and always keep a full Nalgene bottle by our sides. 

So let’s dig a little deeper. From regulating your body temperature to helping with digestion, staying hydrated is more important than you might think. Here’s some more of the science of how water interacts with our bodies.

  • Digestion
    Water is instrumental in helping your body digest food and extract the nutrients from it, in several different ways. Water helps break down the food you eat, and as your body absorbs water, it also absorbs nutrients into your bloodstream.
  • Brain function
    You might have experienced headaches from dehydration. Water doesn’t only help keep headaches at bay, but it’s also key in general brain function. One study showed that dehydration leads to a dip in attention, energy, and memory.
  • Cardiovascular system
    As we discussed, water is a big part of your blood. As you become dehydrated, your blood pressure can drop, and your blood becomes more concentrated, which can lead to an imbalance of the minerals (electrolytes) that are in your blood.
  • Tissues
    Your body is made of tissues and organs, and water helps keep them moist and protected. Tissues in your eyes, nose, and mouth require water for regular function, and your joints and spinal cord also require water, which acts as lubrication and a cushion.
  • Waste removal
    As our bodies process food and nutrients, they also produce waste, which needs to be removed from the body. Water is instrumental for this process.
  • Body temperature
    Humans have to remain at a certain body temperature in order for our body systems to operate normally, and water is instrumental in this. Water helps regulate our temperatures through sweating and breathing (respiration).

More Reasons to Raise A Bottle

As you can see, carrying your favorite Nalgene bottle with you is far more important than you might have realized. Staying hydrated is key to keeping us healthy, and to ensuring our bodies function properly. So go ahead, take your Nalgene bottle with you wherever you go, so you’re always reminded to drink more water.

ByAlicia Klesseck