Why is Water Important for the Body?
Any healthy inactive adult residing in a temperate climate should maintain an intake of 1.5 liter of water per day. The consumption of water enables the body to remain hydrated and balance water losses. Water is a major constituent of a human body and vital organs. Water provides many vital functions in our body, namely in cell life, chemical and metabolic reactions, transport of nutrients, body temperature regulation and elimination of waste.
Water is our body’s most essential and important nutrient. It is involved in every bodily function and constitute for 70-75% of human total body weight. The lack of water in the body in sufficient amount can make it stop working properly. It helps maintain body temperature, metabolize body fat, lubricates organs, aids in digestion, transports nutrients and flushes toxins away from your body. Water is a carrier and distributor of essential nutrients to cells, such as minerals, glucose and vitamins. It removes waste products such as toxins that the organs’ cell castoff and help body eliminate it through urines and fasces. It plays a vital part in the biochemical breakdown of our food. Water has a large heat capacity which enables it to restrict changes in body temperature in a warm or cold environment. Water allows the body to emit excess heat when the surrounding temperature is higher than body temperature as the body sweats and the evaporated water leaves the body cooler. Water is also an effective lubricant around the joints and act as shock absorber for eyes, brain, spinal cord and the fetus through amniotic fluid.
It is highly recommended that to drink 64 ounces of water per day at minimum. In case of exercising or being overweight, the water consumption should be more. The blood is approximately 90% water and, as aforementioned, is responsible for transporting nutrients and energy to muscles as well as removing waste from tissues.
If human body does not receive sufficient water, the body reacts by retrieving it from other places in our body including blood. The lack of water causes the capillaries to close which makes the blood thicker, hence harder to pump through the system and more prone to clotting. It can pose grave repercussions in form of hypertension, high cholesterol and heart disease. Research has also linked the lack of water to headaches, arthritis and heartburn.
Furthermore, water contributes increase of body fat as it helps with energy storage along with glycogen. In case of lack of sufficient water content, excess amounts of glucose remains in the bloodstream until it reaches the liver. The extra glucose is then converted and stored as fat. Human body retrieves water from inside cells into compensates for dehydration, including fat cells. Less water content in the fat cells means less mobilization of fat for energy.
Among the liver’s primary function is the metabolizing of stored fat into energy. The kidneys are responsible for filtering toxins, ingested water, wastes and salts from the bloodstream. In case of dehydration, the kidneys cannot perform properly and efficiently and the liver has to work overtime to compensate. As a consequence, it metabolizes less fat. Drinking plenty of water, along with many health implication, is really helpful in decreasing the amount of fat. In addition, water is also an effective natural appetite suppressant. Dieters have been prescribed the drinking of water abundantly as a weight loss strategy. Intake of water over caloric beverages and eating water rich foods are healthier, more filling and aids in weight loss.
Water is part of our immune system, which aids in fighting off diseases, bacteria and viruses. It helps maintain the balance of body fluids which in turn help in digestion, circulation, absorption, creation of saliva, etc.
Water help muscles keep energized as cell that don’t maintain a balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel suffer from muscle fatigue. In addition, muscle cells with inadequate fluids don’t perform well and performance is compromised. It is important that enough water is consumed, especially when exercising. Water helps keep the skin looking good and fresh. Skin contains water and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss.
There are three methods for the human body to receive water. We receive it from the foods we consume, the fluids we drink and as a byproduct of metabolism. It is recommended to drink pure water instead of soda, tea or coffee, as these products increases the need for fluids due to their caffeine content, which is a diuretic. Diuretics forces out stored water, as well as certain essential nutrients.
Water is a vital nutrient for human body and a necessity for human life. Without water, a human being cannot survive for more than a few days at most. Body requires water to complete many important jobs. Water intake can be increased by having a beverage with every snack and meal, choosing beverages that are enjoyable, eating more fruits and vegetables, keeping a bottle of water handy and choosing a beverage that meet one’s individual needs. In short, water is the most important source of life on the green planet.
Nestle Waters, 2014, 5 Water Functions in Human Body, Retrieved from: http://www.nestle-waters.com/healthy-hydration/water-fonctions-in-human-body
Marjie Gilliam, 2014, Water: The Body’s Most Important Nutrient, Retrieved from: https://www.theragear.com/article/water.php
Kathleen M. Zelman, 2014, 6 Reasons to Drink Water, Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water
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