Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Writing/Health Tip: Drink Water!

Do you think drinking plenty of water would help you be a better writer? If so, you're right! :-)

Okay, so I'm obsessed with human anatomy. For my major I had to take two or three anatomy classes, and I really enjoyed all of them, especially the trivia. Learning the benefits of drinking (and eating) plenty of fluids was fascinating.

A quick lesson on what happens when you eat:

Food enters the mouth and goes through a series of twists and turns on its way down. When it enters the intestines, needed nutrients, including liquids, are absorbed through capillaries into the bloodstream. These nutrients are sent through the body with each heartbeat, and as part of this circulatory action, blood is cleansed and filtered through the kidneys where unused/unneeded liquids and waste are flushed out of the system.

Every organ in the body is affected by water. Partly because blood is affected by water, and partly because organs are composed of water. The brain is 95% water, lungs are 85% water, and muscles are 75% water.

There are many benefits of drinking plenty of water, including (but not limited to):
Less: infections, heart problems, headaches, day-time fatigue, sick days, dental problems, and stress on the circulatory system.
More: energy, health, time (if you're not getting sick, you're not missing work), and ability to concentrate and think clearly.

Saliva is 99% water.
The uses of saliva include:
Dissolves food for better digestion (helping us digest those important nutrients).
Keeps the oral cavity moist.
Keeps the oral cavity (including teeth!) clean, thereby helping to prevent cavities and infections.

Where blood is concerned:
Blood is 92% water, and is greatly affected by the quantity of liquid you drink. If you aren't hydrated well enough, you are ineligible to donate plasma/blood. Thick blood (from not enough water or other health problems) puts the heart under a great deal of stress. Thin blood helps keep the heart healthy.
The uses of blood include:
Transportation of nutrients, oxygen, waste products, and hormones.
Keeps the body in the same temperature range (unless a fever is needed to fight off bacteria).
Protects from infection by transporting antibodies and forming blood clots.

Skin is 70% water and very easily becomes dehydrated, resulting in chapped skin and lips.

So, basically, water is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle, and everyone (including writers) needs a clear head and the ability to concentrate. Drinking plenty of water gives us the energy we need to keep going.

And now it's time for some random trivia!
The amount of saliva produced daily ranges from 1.0 to 1.5 liters. (Most of which is created while eating). Yummy!
The amount of blood that flows through the kidneys per day is 180 liters. (Most of which is cycled back through the system).
Caffeine is a diuretic and causes our bodies to lose water. Alcohol is even worse than caffeine in this aspect. In other words: drinking alcohol, tea, coffee, and caffeinated sodas actually makes us lose more liquid than we retain.

What other benefits to drinking plenty of fluids are there?

Have a great and well-hydrated day, and remember that water comes from many sources, including fruits and veggies. :-)

Listening to: David Arkenstone, Valley in the Clouds

References: Human Anatomy, Michael McKinley, Valerie Dean O'Loughlin
Human Anatomy Lecture Guide Robert E. Seegmiller, Ph.D, Michael R. Stark, Ph.D, David D. Busath, M.D., Duane R. Winden, M.S., Rachel Tomco, M.S.
Water: a Necessary Part of Life, http://www.seasilverholistic.com/ (their references here)


  1. Thanks for the great info! I'll have to pass it along. =]

  2. I find that fascinating too. Thanks for posting about it!

  3. Oooh! Interesting! You are so awesome for sharing this with me! Thanks!

  4. sorry, that sounds very presumptious when I said me. I meant to say us! ;)

  5. Like I said I'm obsessed with anatomy stuff. :-) And, Elizabeth, your comments made me laugh. :-)

  6. That is really good to know. I drink lots of water and never drink soda. mostly it's just water or juice for me. Thank you so much for the medical info.