Updated: Jan 30
The importance of water
Given that as adults around 60% of our total body overall is made up of water it can be no surprise that it’s pretty important.
As adults depending on our sex/size, where we live and our activity level ladies need to consume at least 2.2 litres for survival, adult men 3 litres. On the plus side hydration also positively affects our strength, power, and endurance.
Of course, a lot of our water consumption comes from food as well as drinking.
Water is a vital competent within cells as a building material. Water is so useful because of its ability to dissolve other substances, as a result it serves as a way to move stuff we need around the body.
Let’s start at the head and work down the body and find a little more about the role water plays!
Firstly, in the brain water is vital. Hydration is known to help brain function and act as a shock absorber around the brain and spinal cord.. Water protects your tissues and joints in the spinal cord. Having ways to protect the brain stem isn’t uncommon in the animal kingdom. Did you know Woodpeckers tongues go up internally around their brain to protect it from the vibrations when they make their pecking. Sure, as far as shock absorbing goes human anatomy doesn’t need to be as clever as a woodpecker. The human brain is actually more than 70% water.
In the mouth the better hydrated we are the more effective out saliva production.
Saliva is responsible both for breaking down solid food and keeping your mouth healthy.
If regularly you take certain antihistamines or other medications it can result in a common side-effect of dry mouth which reduces saliva function and can cause bad breath.
Moving down to our nose and airways the body uses moisture to function here too. As we breath this is expelled and gradually needs replacing. In our lungs these are almost 80% water. In order to take in oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide, our lungs must be continually moistened with water. Good hydration supports to thin the lining your airways and lungs. This lining is made from a clear mucus type of substance and dehydration can increase its thickness and stickiness of this layer. This in turn can result in slower respiration and an increased susceptibility to illness, allergies and other breathing related issues
The heart is 77% water. Hydration regulates our blood pressure. Medical studies have shown that optimum hydration may improve heart function and reduces the risk of developing heart disease.
LIVER AND WEIGHT LOSS
In the liver which is a slightly lower proportion a mere 73% water the risk of dehydration is actually gaining body fat. The reason for this is that as the liver works to turn the body’s fat into energy. In a dehydrated body the liver has to work to help the kidneys filtering work. This distracts the liver from the fat conversion and the body then build up the fat the liver would have burnt. Ergo being hydrated can support weight loss goals. Studies have clearly linked body fat and weight loss with drinking water.
The kidneys also need sufficient water to effectively remove waste products from the body. Poorly functioning kidneys might lead to a build up of toxins and the formation of kidney stones. Kidney stones are mostly made of certain calcium compounds. These are made by the liver and also absorbed from your diet. Sometimes they are hereditary but to reduce the risk good hydration helps. Also, Certain foods have a high calcium oxalate content. If you are susceptible to kidney stones you may just to reduce your consumption of Chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, tea, and nuts.
The kidneys are responsible for forming an active type of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones.
Even our bones are over 20% water. Not only to ensure the smooth movement of joints but also the cartilage joining bones retains water to lubricate the movement. When cartilage is regularly dehydrated, friction damage increases, joints which can lead to conditions like arthritis.
As a transporter of nutrients and oxygen and useful factors around the body water is a very effective part of the body system.
Water also dissolves vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the stomach from your food. It then delivers these vitamin components to the rest of your body for use.
So, in this part of the body, we have water preventing constipation and aiding digestion.
When we sweat, we regulate body temperature. Negative effects of exercise in extreme heat without enough water can lead to serious medical conditions, like decreased blood pressure and hyperthermia. Serious levels of dehydration can cause seizures and even death.
The body is continually getting rid of water accompanying waste through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements. It is the vehicle for flushing waste in urine and to a lesser degree in faeces.
In normal circumstances we need to replenish electrolytes and plasma through good hydration. Sweating, peeing and passing faeces all needs replacing at the top end when we drink.
Dehydration can also lead to urinary tract infections due to bacterial growth. Regular flow of urine is necessary for diluting and removing bacteria from the urinary tract.
DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
Multiple studies point to a link between dehydration and a higher risk of anxiety.
Researchers in a 2015 study (Muñoz CX, Johnson EC) tracked mood and total water intake among 120 healthy women. They found that lower water intake was associated with greater tension, depression, and confusion.
Physical Signs of dehydration include:
· Extreme thirst
· Dizziness and confusion
· Light-headedness and/or syncope (passing out)
· Less frequent urination (fewer than four times a day)
· Dark-coloured, concentrated urine
· Dry mouth, lips, and eyes
· Muscle cramps
· Heart palpitations
· Feeling dizzy or lightheaded when you stand up.
SO NEXT TIME YOU WALK PAST THE TAP OR WATER COOLER….
Grab an extra glass. You might be glad you did!!