How Important is Water? It's Your Body's Lifeline!

brain health healthy living immunity resilience sleep sugarfree Jan 28, 2024

Water is more than just a thirst quencher. 

It's a fundamental building block of life. 

Your body relies on it for numerous vital functions. Imagine this: the average man is about 60% water, women are around 50%, and your brain is a whopping 75% water. 

It's no exaggeration to say that we can't survive without it for long!

Daily, your body loses water through urination, sweating, and breathing. You need to replenish this lost water regularly to stay in top form. Otherwise, you risk becoming dehydrated. 

Here's a quick rundown of what happens at different dehydration levels:

  • 1% dehydration: You start feeling thirsty and less focused.
  • 5% dehydration: You get hot and tired, and your performance drops.
  • 10% dehydration: Delirium and blurred vision creep in.
  • 20% dehydration: This level can be life-threatening.

That's how critical water is to your survival.

It's not just a nice-to-have; it's a must-have.

The Roles of Water in Your Body

Water wears many hats when it comes to your health. Let's take a closer look at some of its key roles:

  1. Transporting Nutrients: Once a substance dissolves in water, it becomes a vital transporter. Your blood, which is 83% water, carries oxygen, nutrients, and waste products from cell to cell. Even urine, mostly water, plays a role in removing waste from your body.
  2. Moistening and Protecting: Water keeps your mouth moist, washes away dirt from your eyes, and lubricates your joints, ensuring they remain flexible.
  3. Maintaining pH and Electrolyte Balance: Your body's pH level must stay around 7.4. Water helps maintain this balance. It's also essential for regulating electrolytes, like sodium and chloride, which play a crucial role in nerve transmission and muscle contraction.
  4. Participating in Chemical Reactions: Water is crucial in various bodily processes, from digesting food to providing energy for your muscles and organs.
  5. Regulating Temperature: It acts as a natural thermostat, helping your body maintain its temperature.
  6. Reducing the Risk of Health Issues: Staying hydrated can lower the risk of kidney stones, some types of cancer, and even constipation.
  7. Ensuring Adequate Blood Volume: Water is a significant component of your body fluids, essential for proper circulation.

Properties of Water

Water has some unique properties that make it indispensable:

  • Boiling point: 100 degrees Celsius
  • Freezing point: 0 degrees Celsius
  • pH level: 7 (neutral)
  • Polarity: It's polar, which means it can dissolve many substances.
  • Conductivity: While pure H2O doesn't conduct electricity, it does when mixed with other substances.
  • Density: At 25 degrees Celsius, it has a 1g/cm3 density.

 Water as a Solvent

Water is the ultimate team player in your body's biochemical processes. It's a solvent that dissolves other substances, turning them into solutes. When solutes dissolve in water, they form ions called electrolytes. These electrically charged particles play critical roles, from nerve communication to muscle contraction.

Types of Water

Water isn't just water. It comes in various types, depending on its source and processing. Here's a quick rundown:

  • Hard Water: Contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium.
  • Soft Water: Higher sodium levels; may be sourced from deep underground sources.
  • Potable (Drinking) Water: Safe for human consumption, often treated before use.
  • Artesian Water: Drawn from a well that taps into a confined rock formation.
  • Groundwater: Comes from underground sources without contact with surface water.
  • Mineral Water: Contains at least 250 parts per million of dissolved solids.
  • Purified Water: Has had all minerals removed, often referred to as distilled water.
  • Sparkling Bottled Water: Naturally contains carbon dioxide.
  • Spring Water: Flows naturally to the earth's surface from underground formations.
  • Flavoured Water: Added fruit or veggies such as sliced lemons or cucumbers, or herbs or spices such as grated ginger, to add flavour - but please, no sweetener!

Water Intake Guidelines

How much water do you need daily? The general rule is to drink when you're thirsty and stop when you're not anymore. However, some guidelines can help:

  • Aim for 1-1.5 milliliters of water per calorie expended daily in normal conditions.
  • Or based on your weight, you should try to drink between half an ounce to an ounce of water for each pound you weigh
  • During exercise, replace about 500 milliliters of water for every pound lost.
  • If you also consume alcohol, you need to increase water to compensate for its dehydrating effects.
  • Remember, your body loses water through sweat, breath, urine, and feces. Staying hydrated is crucial, especially during intense physical activity or hot weather.

In a nutshell, water is your body's lifeline. It's not just about quenching your thirst; it's about ensuring your body functions optimally. So, drink up and stay hydrated—one of the simplest ways to boost your overall well-being.

Home Practice

  • For the next 3 days, simply record how much water you drink
  • Then assess how you feel (energy, etc) and decide if you need to increase your water, setting a new target.
  • For the following 3 days, see if you can increase the amount by 1 or 2 cups per day to reach your target

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