How much water does your body actually need?

How much water does your body actually need?

June 15, 2012

“How Much Water Does Your Body Actually Need?”

Written By: Sandra

Dear Readers:

Water is one of the most talked about nutrient. We bring water to the gym with us, we bring water to the park or beach, and we stock up on water when threatening weather is predicted. Some people buy water purifiers for their home, and some will only drink water from a bottled company. Whatever the case, we know that water is important, but do we know how important water really is?

Water is a nutrient that is essential for life. Our body contains almost three quarters of water. Doctors recommend that we consume 6-8 cups per day, but very active individuals should drink more than that. Very active individuals may sweat more or perform more muscular contractions, which can deplete the cells of water. The more water you expel, the more you must consume.

Body water is higher in men than in women, and drops in both men and women with age. Most adults lose about 2.5 to 3.0 liters of water per day. And in hot weather, it could be more. Elderly people lose about two liters of water per day (Betterhealth.vic.gov).

So what are the major functions of water? Water plays a role in digestion and the transportation of nutrients (such as protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals) through every cell in the body. Water carries oxygen to every cell as well. The digestion of protein and carbohydrates require water. A low consumption of water can actually slow down digestion activity and cause bloating.

Water provides structure that protects vital organs such as the brain and spinal cord. There is a protective fluid layer made mostly of water that surrounds the spinal cord. Your eyes sit on protective fluid as well. And without these protective fluid layers, the brain and spinal cord could move and cause structural damage.

Water keeps the body cool so that when we sweat, it helps regulate body temperature. If we do not replenish our cells with water, dehydration could occur. Dehydration can cause sluggishness, fatigue, light-headedness, confusion, nausea, muscle cramps, and headaches. So drink up!

Water also keeps the skin looking radiant, helps keep our kidneys healthy, it helps our joints move smoothly, and it expels toxins in our intestines.

Let’s get into the habit of drinking more water. We want to make healthy changes and we want to see results, so let’s start with water! Stay well.

Sandra

References:

(no author). Water, A Vital Nutrient. Retrieved February 6, 2012 from
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Water_a_vital_nutrient

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