Water

Water Health Facts

Our body weight is composed of majorly water. The liquid content of human body fluctuates from one individual to the other. Throughout ones life, the water content drops from 90% as a fetus to about 74% as a human infant then to 60% as a kid down to 59% as an adult. These numbers might slightly vary for men and women. For example, water content of an adult female is 56% and where as an adult male has around 59% water content. This is due to the differing fat levels that they have in their bodies. Water in the body is distributed among the cells and the extracellular liquid. The biological half life of a water molecule in our body is about nine to ten days with about two weeks of residence time.

Water Balance!

The water balance in human body is well maintained. The variation between the intake and output is just 0.1%. The typical value of water balance for an adult is given below in the table.

Water Balance for a Human Adult

Intake, ml/day

Output, ml/day

Through Drinks

1500

Urine

1500

Food

700

From skin, and sweat

500

Metabolic water

300

Respiration

400

Feces

100

The above values may vary with diet, physical activity or climate change. Water intake is affected by ones social, physical, and as well as psychological factors. Output, on the other hand, is regulated by body’s hormonal action and also by the production of urine by the body. Depending on the hydration status of body this may vary.

Required amount of water per individual

The required amount of water for an individual depends on different factors such as gender, age, physiological condition, environmental conditions and as well as physical activity. The recommended amount of water intake for an adult male is around 3 L and for an adult female is 2.2 L. If one takes the recommended amount of water every day then it would prevent them from developing kidney stones, some cancers and gall stones.

Since men’s fat-free mass is higher than that of women, they are required to drink more water. Young kids and infants on the other hand are in more need of water. They should take water that is proportionate to their own body weight. Elderly people also should take care of the amount of water that they intake because aging reduces the sensation of thirst.

What role does water play in keeping us healthy?

Molecular interactions are enabled by water in our body. It acts as a media to facilitate various important molecular interactions that are crucial to our survival. It also functions as a solvent and transporter for various nutrients, hormones and many other elements. Water is also the tool that’s used to remove waste from our body via urine and sweat. Many metabolic reactions use water as a reactant. It is also a thermo regulator. It is water that helps to regulate human body temperature when the environment temperature goes up. It also protects bodily structures by functioning as lubricant between them. There are many more roles that water plays in our bodies! The above are just a few to show the importance of water for our existence.

Hydration and dehydration

Hydration:

It is very difficult to define the status of hydration. However, it could be accurately defined by the osmolality of our blood. Generally, it is controlled around 284mOsmol/kg. It could increase by 1-2% depending on various conditions. For women, on the other hand, it could decrease by 3 % during their pregnancy. Weight also could be used as an indicator to measure the short term status of hydration.

Dehydration:

As opposed to hydration, dehydration could be characterized using 2-3% body weight loss.

There are various physical effects that result from dehydration such as tiredness, headaches and the loss of more than 10% body weight through dehydration could cause death as well.

Symptoms

  • Loss of concentration
  • Dry mouth and skin
  • Mild headache
  • Thirst
  • Weakness
  • Increased heart rate at the stage of severe dehydration

Why drink water?

As mentioned above, water plays an important role in our body. 92% percent of blood is composed of water. 75% of brain and 22% of our bones are also made up of water.

Here are some reasons as to why we need water!

  • Toxic substances in our kidneys are regularly flushed out with the help of water.
  • Our body’s blood pressure is controlled through the balance of electrolytes that is done by water.
  • Critical body parts such as eyes, mouth and nasal passages are moistened by water.
  • Body is kept cool with the help of water when the environment temperature is high and it is insulated against loss of heat if it is cold.
  • Body’s organs are protected from shock by water and it also lubricates the joints.
  • Blood volume is maintained at a certain level with the help of water.
  • Ones concentration could be improved with the help of proper hydration.
  • Water can aid to avoid stomach distress caused by concentrated medicines

Did you also know that drinking enough good quality water may improve your physical appearance?

In conclusion, water is an essential element for human survival! There would be no human specie if there is no water! We should treat it with greater importance and take enough actions to preserve it to aid our future generations’ survival on this planet.

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