Water is virtually everywhere, from sea to icecaps to the cells that reside in our bodies. Keeping the factors like location, BMI, age, and gender, the average human being is 55-60% of water. Perhaps it is because water is so readily available that getting enough to drink each day does not rank high on many people’s to-do lists. For a more extended period, it has been a debate about a human’s daily water intake to stay healthy, active, and fit.
This article will read the importance of water intake and research to distinguish between fact and fiction. It also discusses how to stay well hydrated for your specific requirements effortlessly. Also, how to increase the intake if we lag.
BENEFITS OF DRINKING WATER
According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart contain approximately 75% and 78% of water, while the lungs contain around 83% water. The epidermis has 64% water, the muscles and kidneys comprise 79%, and even the bones have 20-30% water!
1. Helps To Lose Weight!
Numerous studies indicate that Increasing water intake may help you lose weight by enhancing your metabolism and suppressing your hunger. A study found that those who drank more water than normal saw reductions in their body weight and composition. A 2002 study estimated that drinking 68 ounces (2 liters) of water in a single day increased daily energy expenditure by around 23 calories due to metabolic response.
Water not only has no calories, but it can also boost your metabolism (the number of calories you burn when resting) and satisfy your thirst. A proper water intake, particularly before meals, may assist you in controlling appetite and keeping a healthy body weight, particularly when accompanied by a healthy eating plan. Consuming water around 30 minutes before meals can also help you consume fewer calories as per research. Another study conducted proved that individuals who drank 17 ounces (500 mL) of water prior to each meal lost 44 percent more weight over a 12-week period than those who did not.
2. Regulates the Body Temperature.
The body’s water plays an important role as a thermoregulator, controlling the body’s general temperature by assisting in the dissipation of heat. When the body temperature rises above a certain point, water is lost via perspiration, and the evaporation of this sweat from the skin surface removes heat from the body.
3. Lubricates Vital Organs.
As we have already read, our body comprises about 60% water. This water is used for digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, lubrication of organs protective layer, and transportation of nutrients and O2 to the other parts of the body. Long-term dehydration can make the joints less able to absorb shock, which can cause pain in the joints.
For more information about joint health, read this researched article here.
4. Improving Brain Function.
Your level of hydration has a significant impact on the functioning of your brain. Drinking insufficient water can negatively impact your mood, focus, and memory. According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, dehydration of even 2% has a detrimental effect on our mental function. Maintaining sufficient hydration is essential for keeping your brain in peak operating condition. Researchers discovered that 1.4% fluid loss following exercise impairs mood and focus in young women. Additionally, it increased the occurrence of headaches.
A study in China monitored 12 university-aged males for 36 hours and discovered that not drinking water had a noticeable influence on fatigue, concentration and focus, response time, and short-term memory. Another research done to check the need for hydration for better mental health and discovered that those who drank water before conducting a cognitive test had a 14% increase in reaction time compared to those who did not.
5. Reduces the Hangover.
When you drink alcohol, your body loses more water than it takes in, since alcohol is a diuretic. Dehydration can occur as a result which includes severe headaches, dry lips, lethargy, and thirst. Maintaining adequate hydration helps prevent hangovers. Drinking a glass of water between drinks and a large glass before bedtime will help reduce the severity of morning symptoms.
Learn more about alcohol and its adverse effects on the body here.
6. Reduces the Headaches.
A headache is a frequent indicator of dehydration, according to research. For instance, a research of 393 participants discovered that 40% of participants had a headache as a result of dehydration. Another research of 102 men showed that drinking 50.7 ounces (1.5 liters) water per day led to significant improvements on the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life Scale, a migraine symptom assessment system.
7. Increases Physical Performance.
Muscle is around 80% water, thus hydration is important when exercising or doing physical activity.
8. Keeps Skin Hydrated and Glowing.
Proper hydration helps to hydrate bodily tissues and preserves the skin’s suppleness, softness, and color.
9. Better Bowel Movement.
Sufficient water keeps your gastrointestinal tract moving and prevents constipation. Mineral water plays a vital role in relieving constipation according to research. Mineral water high in magnesium and salt has been demonstrated in studies to enhance the frequency and consistency of bowel movements in persons who suffer from constipation.
10. Good For Kidney Health.
A sufficient water intake is necessary to maintain the kidneys functioning properly, assisting them in removing waste products and extra nutrients. Increased water consumption has been demonstrated in recent research to help prevent recurrent urinary tract and bladder infections. Another study concluded that increasing fluid intake reduced the likelihood of developing kidney stones.
HOW MUCH WATER TO DRINK?
The amount of water required each day varies by person, depending on how active they are, how much they sweat, and other factors like age, pregnancy, and health condition.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine of the United States decided that an acceptable daily fluid consumption
- For men is around 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids.
- Women should drink approximately 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids every day.
Because of the different makeup of their bodies, men require more water than women do due to their higher energy expenditure and lower body fat. The proportion of body weight made up of water varies across the sexes. Water makes up approximately 60% of the male body weight and 55% of the female body weight.
WATER’S JOURNEY IN THE BODY – HOW DOES THE BODY USE WATER?
One of the most significant differences between consuming food and drinking water is that food is digested, whereas water is absorbed into the body’s system when swallowed.
When the body has consumed enough water, the brain will induce the body that it has had enough to drink. And When water is taken inside the body, it travels all the way into the digestive tract via the esophagus. As it’s the simplest molecule, there is no need to digest it into smaller particles and then it directly travels to small and large intestines. Rather than the stomach or small intestine, the large intestine is the primary site of water absorption. From here the water is absorbed into the bloodstream and is transported throughout the body by bodily fluids such as blood. Then they carry out a variety of vital duties that keep us alive.
Once the human body has consumed all of the water it requires to function properly, it eliminates excess water. Water exits the body through four primary routes: the kidneys, the skin, the large intestine, and the mouth.
- At rest, 25% of water is propelled to kidneys where millions and trillions of neurons filter it to produce urine. If a person is adequately hydrated the kidneys produce 800ml to 2 liters of urine every day.
- 200ml of water is also lost during the bowel movement.
- Sweat also tends to release some amount of water, its amount varies depending upon activity, temperature, and environment. It is estimated that 200-300ml is lost.
- The insensible loss (labeled as such since we are unaware of it of water from the body accounts for breathing and evaporation via skin in general which accounts for almost 40-800mls in a day.
WHEN SHOULD A PERSON DRINK WATER?
In most cases, the body’s natural processes are able to keep fluid levels in check. Thirst is one way the body does this, while urine production is another. The kidneys control how much water we take in, either by emptying it into the bladder or storing it in the plasma of our blood. But sometimes fluctuation in the water intake either less or more can happen. Less water intake can happen due to environmental conditions or any ailment. Following signs can be seen:
SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION
Dehydration occurs when there is less water intake as compared to the body’s requirement. It can have a drastic effect on a person’s health. Some of the signs of dehydration can be;
- Injury or blood loss.
- Lightheadedness or headaches.
- Dark or more yellowish urine.
- Tiredness or lack of energy.
- Hypovolemic shock
- Organ failure (mostly kidneys)
If you’re already dehydrated, you need to be extra cautious about how much fluid you take in. The best way to rehydrate depends on the individual.
SIGNS OF OVERHYDRATION
It is the opposite condition of dehydration. This means the body has more than enough water that cannot be even stored inside. It occurs when the body retains more water than it sheds. If a person drinks too much water, hyponatremia, or water intoxication happens. Hyponatremia occurs when the sodium levels in the blood plasma fall too low.
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Seizures or coma
- Lung congestion & difficulty in breathing
- Brain swelling
If anyone consumes 3–4 liters of water in a short period of time (within 3-4 hrs) of time, you may acquire hyponatremia symptoms. Hyponatremia is a rare condition. People who are involved in endurance sports, those who have diabetes, and those who are on particular drugs are the most commonly affected.
TYPES AND SOURCES OF WATER
Now that we have a better understanding of how water travels through the body and why water is necessary for physical and mental health, we must devise methods for obtaining the optimal water. Water filters are probably the simplest way to ensure that you are drinking clean, healthy water that is free of hazardous pollutants and impurities.
Water intake does not only contribute to fluid balance. Other foods and drinks can also have a role:
Caffeine-containing beverages, including coffee or tea, are said to hydrate you. These drinks are mild diuretics but can cause excessive urination in some people.
Food, according to research, approximately 20% of water intake comes through food, while the remainder comes from fluids. This is dependent on one’s nutrition. Increased consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables results in an increased water intake from the diet.
Here are some examples of the water content of different foods and fluids:
|Water content as a percentage (%)||Food or drink|
|90–99%||Fat-free milk, tea, coffee, juicy fruits (e.g., strawberries and cantaloupes), vegetables such as lettuce, celery, and spinach|
|80–89%||Fruit juice, yogurt, fruits such as apples, pears, and oranges, vegetables such as carrots, and cooked broccoli|
|70–79%||Bananas, avocados, baked potatoes, cottage cheese|
|60–69%||Pasta, beans, peas, fish, chicken breasts, ice cream|
|30–39%||Bread, bagels, cheddar cheese|
|1–9%||Nuts, chocolate, cookies, crackers, cereals|
The best source of fluid for the body is drinking water, either from the tap or from a bottle. The 2015–2020 United States Dietary Guidelines preferred plain water and juices over flavored. Following are the types of water available naturally.
- Tap Water. is the water that you get directly from your faucet. It must adhere to the regulations established by local municipal governments.
- Mineral Water. Mineral water is water that is naturally mineralized. It is derived from underground sources, making it mineral-rich in calcium, magnesium, and manganese. The water cannot be supplemented with additional minerals as it is already supplemented with adequate nutrients and has some additional health benefits.
- Springwater. They are types of bottled water that are said to be from the spring or glacier. The waters of a spring or glacier should be relatively clean and toxin-free. Additionally, they include a number of the same beneficial minerals found in mineral water.
- Distilled Water. This form of water is boiled, after which the steam is collected and condensed back into a liquid state again. Although it is a completely pure type of water, it is generally not advised for drinking. It can result in mineral deficiencies because it is salt-free and the majority of the natural minerals in the water are removed during this procedure.
- Sparkling Water, often known as carbonated water or soda water, is water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure. It could be mineral water, spring water, or cleaned water.
- Purified Water. is typically cleaned tap or groundwater to remove hazardous organisms such as bacteria, fungus, and parasites. This means that drinking it is almost always safe.
- The Well Water. Although the well water is drawn directly from the ground, it is untreated and so carries a variety of dangers. Deep wells extract groundwater directly and bring it to the surface, where it can be used.
- Alkaline Water. Alkaline water has a higher pH than tap or regular water. It is formed when water passes over rocks — like springs — and picks up minerals, which increase its alkaline level. The pH value of ordinary drinking water is 7. Alkaline water has a pH value of between 8 and 9.5.
Public Health Hazards Due to Unsafe Drinking Water.
Even while mineral and alkaline water may give your body essential minerals, the most important thing you can do for your health is to consume water that is clean and uncontaminated. As there are certain compounds that are present in drinking water that can cause some health issues in people.
Water contamination can occur from a variety of sources, including naturally occurring chemicals and minerals (such as arsenic, lead, radon, and uranium), local land use practices (such as fertilizers, pesticides, and concentrated animal feeding operations), manufacturing processes, and sewer overflows or wastewater releases. Additionally, contaminated water may induce a variety of other bacterial, viral, and parasite illnesses. The majority of diarrheal infections occur as a result of hazardous water use, insufficient sanitation, and poor hygiene.
TIPS FOR BETTER WATER INTAKE
It’s been proved that drinking water slowly throughout the day keeps you hydrated. This makes sense because your intestines can only process so much water intake at a time.
If you believe you should drink more water, the following ideas can help you boost your fluid consumption and reap the advantages of water:
- Drinking at least one 8-ounce (240ml) glass of water with each meal
- Increase your fluid or water intake if doing any exercise or heavy physical work.
- Keep a bottle of water in your car, desk, or bag.
- Have a glass of water before bedtime, also keep it on your side table.
- Consume a greater variety of fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will assist you in staying hydrated. as food account for around 20% of our water intake.
- Each snack and supper should include a beverage, more preferably water. Add more soups and smoothies in your diet.
- Choose beverages that you appreciate; you’re more likely to consume more liquids if you enjoy the flavor.
- Choose beverages that are tailored to your specific requirements. If you’re watching your calories, opt for zero-calorie beverages or plain water.
In the end, being and staying hydrated is very important for the normal and proper functioning of the body and the brain, which is very important for the maintenance of cognitive function. Even mild dehydration, like drinking less than 4 cups (950 ml) of water a day, can make you more tired, sleepy, moody, and forgetful.