Function of water in the body

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Water is essential for good health. Crystal water enables the effects we desire

If we were to give water a shape,

what water would you drink?

How much water should you drink per day? This is a simple question to which there is no simple answer.

Studies have produced different recommendations over the years. However, your individual water needs depend on many factors, such as your health, activity level, and where you live.

There is no one-size-fits-all recipe. But if you know more about your body's fluid needs, you can better estimate how much water you should drink each day.

What are the health benefits of water?

Water is the most important substance in your body and makes up about 50-70 % of your body weight. Your body depends on water to survive.

Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function properly. For example, water:

  • Excretion of waste through urination, sweating and defecation.
  • Keeps your temperature normal
  • Lubricates and cushions the joints
  • Protects delicate fabrics

Lack of water can lead to dehydration - a condition that occurs when the body does not hold enough water to perform normal functions. Even mild dehydration can sap your energy and make you tired.

How much water do you need?

Every day you lose water through breathing, sweating, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you need to replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does an average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need?

About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluid per day for men

About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluid per day for women.

These recommendations refer to fluid intake through water, other beverages, and food. About 20 % of daily fluid intake usually comes from food, the rest from beverages.

What about the advice to drink 8 glasses of water a day?

You've probably heard the advice to drink eight glasses of water a day. That's easy to remember, and it's a reasonable goal.

Most healthy people can maintain their fluid balance by drinking water and other fluids as soon as they feel thirsty. For some people, less than eight glasses a day is enough. Other people may need more.

Total fluid intake depends on several factors:

Physical activity. If you are doing an activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for fluid loss. It is important to drink water before, during and after exercise.

Surroundings. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat, so you need extra fluids. Dehydration can also occur at high altitudes.

General health. Your body loses fluid when you have a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. Drink more water or follow your doctor's recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Other conditions that may require increased fluid intake include bladder infections and urinary tract stones.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may need extra fluids to maintain your fluid balance.

Is water the only way to stay hydrated?

No. You don't have to rely on water alone to meet your hydration needs. Your diet also plays an important role. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are nearly 100 % water (by weight).

Beverages such as milk, juices and herbal teas also consist mainly of water. Even caffeinated beverages such as coffee and lemonade can contribute to your daily water intake. However, be careful with sugar-sweetened beverages. Regular sodas, energy or sports drinks, and other sweet drinks usually contain a lot of added sugar, which can provide more calories than necessary.

How do I know if I am drinking enough?

Your fluid intake is probably adequate if:

  • you rarely feel thirst
  • Your urine is colorless or pale yellow

Your doctor or dietitian can help you determine the right daily amount of water for you.

To prevent dehydration and ensure that your body gets the fluid it needs, choose water as your beverage. It is advisable to drink a glass of water

  • At every meal and between meals
  • before, during and after sports
  • When you feel thirsty

Should I be worried about drinking too much water?

Drinking too much water is rarely a problem for healthy, well-nourished adults. Athletes may drink too much water to avoid dehydration during long or intense exercise. When you drink too much water, your kidneys can't eliminate the excess water. The sodium level in your blood becomes diluted. This is called hyponatremia and can be life-threatening.

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