Love yourself and stay hydrated, you beautiful and capable human! Why we’re obsessed with hydration.

March 17, 2021

One million thank you’s to the followers of @femalecollective on Instagram. Your continued support and love keep this community vibrant. My daily goal is to hydrate your souls each day through relatable inspiration and, most importantly, real content. But just as important as watering your human spirt for growth is hydrating your human body for physical health  and mental health.

Consuming enough water is something that I am forever struggling with. I need to be reminded, so you’ll see hydration come up a lot in my content because Female Collective takes a radical self-care approach to staying hydrated—we’re in it together! We’re hydrating so we can think clearly, have glowing skin and keep our bodies in check to support all the systems we’re dismantling! To really understand the importance of hydration, I asked Dr. Howard Murad, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Murad Skincare, to fill us in on the benefits.

I think most of us have heard the advice, drink 8 glasses of water a day—is that really all there is to it?

Dr. Murad: While of course it’s important to drink water, it’s not only about ingesting water. It’s also about keeping it where we want it—inside the cells. That’s why we’ve been talking about “eating your water” for decades now. When we eat water-rich foods—like cucumbers, watermelon and so many other fruits and vegetables—we absorb water more slowly because it’s trapped in the structure of these foods. That slow absorption means water stays in our bodies longer with more benefits.

How does your skin benefit from being hydrated?

Dr. Murad: Internal water plumps your skin, keeping it fresh, soft and smooth—even glowing! I like to say staying properly hydrated is like the best radiance serum. Remember, skin is 65% water.

What about the reverse—when skin is dehydrated?

Dr. Murad: Skin is our largest, most interconnected and most exposed organ, so age-related dehydration starts to become visible as early as our 20s. Because dehydrated skin is more fragile and has less volume, it looks rougher, more wrinkled and ultimately older than well-hydrated skin.

How does hydration affect your physical and mental health?

Dr. Murad: Water actually relieves fatigue and can help you think more clearly. After all, brains and muscle are mostly water. Water can also reduce headaches, a key sign of dehydration, and helps to prevent cramps and sprains. And without water, your blood couldn’t carry oxygen and nutrients to cells. Even before you feel thirsty, you can begin to lose mental performance and physical coordination—typically at around 1% dehydration. Your body will signal you to drink or eat your water when you’ve lost around 2%-3% of your water content.

Does dehydration affect you more as the years go on?

Dr. Murad: When we’re born, we have body water content as high as 78%, and by our first birthday, most of us are already down to only 65% water. Then as we age, we tend to dry up, so the average water content of an adult is only 55%-60%. So you could say that remembering to stay hydrated becomes even more important as you get older. But of course everyone needs to not be dehydrated.

Lastly, what’s one surprising fact about water and your body?

Dr. Murad: Your heart and brain are each about 73% water!

About the Author

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The past year-plus has likely made all of us consider what actually matters in life—aka our "purpose." That’s why we’re thrilled to welcome Candace Reels, founder of Female Collective (a 1 million-strong community that empowers the feminine spirit), as our guest editor for March 2021, in honor of Women’s History Month. An expert in self-love and an intersectional feminist, Candace spills on finding purpose, physical health and more.