Keeping hydrated is crucial for health and well-being, but many people do not consume enough fluids each day.
Around 60 percent of the body is made up of water, and around 71 percent of the planet’s surface is covered by water.
Perhaps it is the ubiquitous nature of water that means drinking enough each day is not at the top of many people’s lists of priorities.
Fast facts on drinking water
Adult humans are 60 percent water, and our blood is 90 percent water.
There is no universally agreed quantity of water that must be consumed daily.
Water is essential for the kidneys and other bodily functions.
When dehydrated, the skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and wrinkling.
Drinking water instead of soda can help with weight loss.
Fifteen benefits of drinking water
To function properly, all the cells and organs of the body need water.
Here are some reasons our body needs water:
1. It lubricates the joints
Cartilage, found in joints and the disks of the spine, contains around 80 percent water. Long-term dehydration can reduce the joints’ shock-absorbing ability, leading to joint pain.
2. It forms saliva and mucus
Saliva helps us digest our food and keeps the mouth, nose, and eyes moist. This prevents friction and damage. Drinking water also keeps the mouth clean. Consumed instead of sweetened beverages, it can also reduce tooth decay.
3. It delivers oxygen throughout the body
Blood is more than 90 percent water, and blood carries oxygen to different parts of the body.
4. It boosts skin health and beauty
With dehydration, the skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and premature wrinkling.
5. It cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues
Dehydration can affect brain structure and function. It is also involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Prolonged dehydration can lead to problems with thinking and reasoning.
6. It regulates body temperature
Water that is stored in the middle layers of the skin comes to the skin’s surface as sweat when the body heats up. As it evaporates, it cools the body. In sSome scientists have suggested that when there is too little water in the body, heat storage increases and the individual is less able to tolerate heat strain.
Having a lot of water in the body may reduce physical strain if heat stress occurs during exercise. However, more research is needed into these effects.
7, The digestive system depends on it
The bowel needs water to work properly. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation, and an overly acidic stomach. This increases the risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers.
7. It flushes body waste
Water is needed in the processes of sweating and removal of urine and feces.
8. It helps maintain blood pressure
A lack of water can cause blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.
9. The airways need it
When dehydrated, airways are restricted by the body in an effort to minimize water loss. This can make asthma and allergies worse.
10. It makes minerals and nutrients accessible
These dissolve in water, which makes it possible for them to reach different parts of the body.
11. It prevents kidney damage
The kidneys regulate fluid in the body. Insufficient water can lead to kidney stones and other problems.
12. It boosts performance during exercise
Some scientists have proposed that consuming more water might enhance performance during strenuous activity.
More research is needed to confirm this, but one review found that dehydration reduces performance in activities lasting longer than 30 minutes.
13. Weight loss
Water may also help with weight loss, if it is consumed instead of sweetened juices and sodas. “Preloading” with water before meals can help prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness.
14. It reduces the chance of a hangover
When partying, unsweetened soda water with ice and lemon alternated with alcoholic drinks can help prevent overconsumption of alcohol.
Sources of water
Some of the water required by the body is obtained through foods with a high water content, such as soups, tomatoes, oranges, but most come through drinking water and other beverages.
During everyday functioning, water is lost by the body, and this needs to be replaced. We notice that we lose water through activities such as sweating and urination, but water is lost even when breathing.
Drinking water, whether from the tap or a bottle, is the best source of fluid for the body.
Milk and juices are also good sources of fluid, but beverages containing alcohol and caffeine, such as soft drinks, coffee, and beer, are not ideal because they often contain empty calories. Drinking water instead of soda can help with weight loss.
It was previously thought that caffeinated beverages had diuretic properties, meaning that they cause the body to release water. However, studies show that fluid loss because of caffeinated drinks is minimal.
Recommended water intake
The amount of water needed each day varies from person to person, depending on how active they are, how much they sweat, and so on.
There is no fixed amount of water that must be consumed daily, but there is general agreement on what a healthy fluid intake is.
According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the average recommended daily intake of water from both food and drink is:
For men: Around 3.7 liters or 125 ounces
For women: Around 2.7 liters or 91 ounces
This would be around 15.5 cups for men and just over 11 cups for women. However, around 80 percent of this should come from drinks, including water, and the rest will be from food.
Fun facts about water
Here are some facts about water you probably didn’t know:
• Babies and children have a higher percentage of water than adults. When babies are born, they are about 78 percent water, but this falls to 65 percent by the age of 1 year.
• Fatty tissue has less water than lean tissue.
• Men have more water than women, as a percentage.