Water proves to be very important to all the living things. In some organisms, up to 90% of the body weight comes from water while the adult human body contains 60%. Also according to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry, the brain and heart are composed of 73% of , and the lungs are about 83% of this aqueous solution. The skin contains 64%, muscles and kidneys constitute 79% of it while the bones are 31% watery.
ADEQUATE CONSUMPTION OF WATER
Human beings must consume a certain amount of water each day. This depends on various factors like age, gender and lifestyle. In general, a male adult needs about 3 litres per day, while an adult female requires 2.2 litres per day. All of the water content in a person does not come only by drinking liquids, but some of this also comes from the food that we consume.
Also, researchers suggests that a healthy individual should consume 4-6 cups daily. In some health conditions like thyroid disease, or kidney, liver, or in heart problems, water intake should be more than normal while during medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opiate pain medications, and some antidepressants, water intake should be lesser.
FACTORS AFFECTING WATER PROPORTION IN BODY
There are several factors that alter the total fluid intake.
Drinking extra water to cover the fluid loss after performing activities which induces sweat is necessary. It becomes important to drink it before, during and after a workout.
Hot or humid weather conditions make one sweat and require an additional intake of fluid. Therefore, t higher altitudes, chances of dehydration are more.
During fever, vomiting and diarrhea, the body loses fluids at higher rates. Drinking more water or intake of oral rehydration solutions overcomes such conditions. Other conditions that might require increased fluid intake include bladder infections and urinary tract stones.
Pregnancy or Breast-feeding:
Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluid to stay hydrated. The Office on Women’s Health recommends that a pregnant woman should drink about 2.4 litres of fluids daily and breast-feeding women should consume about 3.1 litres of fluid a day.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF DRINKING WATER
Helps to maximize physical performance:
Physical performance deteriorates the body if it lacks proper hydrated. This particularly becomes important during intense exercise or high heat. Dehydration can lead to altered body temperature, reduced motivation, increased fatigue and make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally.
Hydration has a major effect on Energy Levels and Brain Functions:
Studies show that even mild dehydration can impair many aspects of brain functions. It can impair mood, memory, and brain performance.
Helps in preventing and treating headaches:
Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraines in some individuals. Studies show that water can relieve headaches in people who are dehydrated.
More water intake helps to Relieve Constipation:
Constipation can be characterized by irregular bowel movement and difficulty in passing stool. Increasing fluid intake can be helpful in relieving from constipation. Carbonated water shows promising results for constipation relief.
Helps to treat kidney stones:
Painful clumps of mineral crystals formed in the urinary system are referred to as a kidney stone. Water intake helps in preventing recurrence in people who have previously gotten kidney stones. Higher fluid intake increases the volume of urine passing through the kidneys, which dilutes the concentration of minerals. This reduces the chances of crystallisation and thus the formation of clumps.
Helps to prevent hangovers:
A hangover can be explained as the unpleasant symptoms experienced after the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol being diuretic causes more loss of water compared to the intake. This can lead to dehydration. Hangovers can cause symptoms like thirst, fatigue, headache and dry mouth. So, doctors usually suggest drinking a glass of water between the consumption of alcohol to reduce hangovers.
More water consumption helps with weight loss:
Drinking plenty of water can help in reducing weight. This is due to the fact that it can increase satiety and boost the metabolic rate. It is most effective when one drinks it half an hour before the meal so that the calorie intake lessens by getting the feeling of “being full”.
The unique qualities and properties of this aqueous solution makes it important and basic to life. The cells in our bodies are full of water. The excellent ability of water to dissolve many substances allows our cells to use valuable nutrients, minerals, and chemicals in biological processes. It metabolizes and transports the carbohydrates and proteins that our body uses to prepare food in the bloodstream. It also has the ability to transport waste material out of the body. Hence, water serves a number of essential functions that help us in our survival.