Water is a liquid which is odourless, tasteless and transparent. Water makes up about two-thirds of an adult’s body weight and 80 percent of an infant’s body weight.
Why is it that when we are ill or sick and goes to see the GP, he/she prescribes medicine in addition to telling us to drink plenty of water or juice? This is because most of the chemical reactions that happen in our cells need water in order to take place, second is that our blood needs water to carry nutrients around the body and third is that water helps get rid of waste.
Although some just do not enjoy drinking water, nevertheless water is the healthiest choice for quenching your thirst at any time. This is because water has no calories and contains no sugars that can damage teeth, and water has a neutral pH of 7, which is neither acidic nor basic, unlike juice - which may damage teeth, especially when drunk frequently.
It is said that by the time a person feels thirsty, his or her body has lost over 1 percent of its total water amount. Research measuring water loss has shown that we should drink about 1.2 liters of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated. This works out to be about six 200ml or eight 150ml glasses, cups or mugs.
We should note that while the daily recommended amount of water is eight cups per day, not all of this water must be consumed in the liquid form. Nearly every food or drink item provides some water to the body.
The weight that athletes lose directly after intense physical activity is weight from water, not fat. Care needs to be taken then because, drinking too much water too quickly can lead to water intoxication which occurs when water dilutes the salt level in the bloodstream and causes an imbalance of water in the brain. There are other ways water can be lost from the body.
Ways we lose water
Water can be lost from the body in many ways:
1. Urination - The human body urinate about 150ml of water to remove the urea it does not want, it doesn’t matter how little you drink at least 150ml will be removed in urine.
4. Air we breathe out - exhalation
5. Vomit/ diarrhea – when a child is ill and vomits, the doctor tells us to give little sips of water/juice after every vomit, and when a child has diarrhea, the doctor may treat by replacing lost fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration.
6. External Bleeding.
Dehydration Water loss from the body could lead to dehydration.
Signs of dehydration in adults include
2. less frequent urination than usual
3. dark-colored urine
4. dry skin
Signs of dehydration in infants and young children include
1. dry mouth and tongue
2. no tears when crying
3. no wet diapers for 3 hours or more
4. sunken eyes, cheeks, or soft spot in the skull
5. high fever
6. listlessness or irritability
Also, when people are dehydrated, their skin does not flatten back to normal right away after being gently pinched and released.
Anyone with signs of dehydration should see a health care provider immediately. Severe dehydration may require hospitalization.
Although drinking plenty of water is important in preventing dehydration, water does not contain electrolytes. Adults can prevent dehydration by also drinking liquids that contain electrolytes, such as fruit juices, sports drinks, caffeine-free soft drinks, and broths. Children with diarrhoea may be given oral rehydration solutions prescribed by a doctor.
Advantages of drinking water
1. Water is absolutely essential to the human body’s survival. A person can live for about a month without food, but only about a week without water.
2. Water helps to maintain healthy body weight by increasing metabolism and regulating appetite.
3. Water leads to increased energy levels. The most common cause of daytime fatigue is actually mild dehydration.
4. Drinking adequate amounts of water can decrease the risk of certain types of cancers, including colon cancer, bladder cancer, and breast cancer.
5. For a majority of sufferers, drinking water can significantly reduce joint and/or back pain.
6. Water leads to overall greater health by flushing out wastes and bacteria that can cause disease.
7. Water can prevent and alleviate headaches.
8. Water naturally moisturizes skin and ensures proper cellular formation underneath layers of skin to give it a healthy, glowing appearance.
9. Water aids in the digestion process and prevents constipation.
10. Water is the primary mode of transportation for all nutrients in the body and is essential for proper circulation.
Water is very useful and essential to human life because it prevents dehydration and has got a lot of all other advantages to the human body which has been highlighted above. Although juice and other drinks are good, but water is the healthiest. The Healthy Wellbeing
1.NHS Choices, ‘Drink’, http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/goodfood/pages/water-drinks.aspx
2.All About Water, ‘Read, Learn, and Know about Water’, http://www.allaboutwater.org/water-facts.html
3. U.S Department of Health and Human Services, National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC),’ Diarrhea’, http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diarrhea/