Water is of the vital nutrients required for our body. Just like air and food without which we cannot survive, we also need water for our survival. This is the twenty-first century and it is the age of scientific research and discovery. Scientists and Space research teams around the world are looking for life outside the earth and there is one thing that they are looking for on either Mars or the Moon. That thing is water because scientists believe if they can find water then they can look for chances of life on that planet. If water is found, then there could be possible chances of human settlement outside of the planet earth in the future. Around 50-65 percent of the human body is water and is not possible to survive without water for more than a few days. The first thing a lost man on a deserted island would look for is water. All the ancient civilizations in the world were located and developed near a river which is a water source. So, water means life.
Nowadays, people are seen carrying water bottles wherever they go. It is because of the way people have been made aware of the necessity of consuming water for the human body. We have been taught over the years that the human body needs at least 8 glasses of water in a day but there is a high probability that 8 glasses per day is nothing but a number. Recent researchers have proven that through the human body needs water in enough quantity that doesn’t mean that 8 glasses is the standard unit requirement. It was supposed to more of a guideline than a mandatory measure. The requirement of water may also depend on the kind of weather we are living in or the type of activity we are indulged in. People who are living in hot and humid places will need more water compared to people living in colder places. Similarly, athletes or people indulged in physical activities will need more water compared to normal people. As mentioned earlier, eight glasses a day may not be the standard requirement but there are many scientifically proven reasons because of which we have to supply our body with enough water to remain healthy.
The water necessary to our body is supplied not only from the water that we drink but water is also present in the food, diet and fluids that we take on a daily basis. All that water with the plain water we drink is necessary to replace the fluid lost by different means from our body. Our body loses water by means of Urine, stool, evaporation in skin and breath. As our body loses water quantity it is necessary to retain water to remain healthy. Our body will be dehydrated if the water we lose will not be replaced with more water. That can result in various health problems. People tend to lose more water from the body in case of high altitude places, old age, illness, warm climate, tough physical exercise etc.
Health benefits of Drinking water
There are many reasons because of which enough drinking water is necessary for our body. Those reasons are as follows:
- Water can be a medium for calorie control
Most dieticians would recommend more intake of water for anybody who would want to lose weight. It is important to note that just drinking water will not give magical effects for loss of weight. But it is certain that water can be a very reliable option to other fluids which may be high in calories. Plain water is definitely a non-calorie drink and it is better to drink water than a calorie-containing drink if you plan to reduce your calories. It is also advised to eat food which has plenty of water for example soups. This will help us to feel full in the belly and because of that, we tend to consume less amount of food. This will help to cut down the intake of calories and subsequently results in loss of weight. Food which is rich in water looks heavy and it takes time for the body to absorb such food which is why it makes us full. Some of the examples of food rich in water are oatmeal, beans, soups, fruits and vegetables.
- Drinking water is necessary to balance the body fluids
It is evident that the human body is mostly constituted of water. Around 50-65 percent of the human body is water and water is present in form of body fluids. They are required for smooth functioning of different life systems in the body including digestion, body temperature maintenance, blood circulation, the creation of saliva, absorption and nutrients transportation. According to an adjunct professor of medicine at the Stanford University, the brain passes communication to the Kidney through the medium of the posterior pituitary gland as a result of which the kidney excretes some water as urine and it holds some water as a reserve. The thirst mechanism of the body is activated when there is lack of fluid in the body. It can also happen when we are taking any medications which may cause thirst. In that case, we should take necessary fluid and water to supply the body with necessary amount of water. We can drink Milk, water, juice but it is best to avoid alcohol in that situation because alcohol will cause more dehydration.
- Water helps to maintain the skin health
Water is extremely essential for healthy skin too. The skin helps to stop unnecessary loss of fluid from the body and there is a lot of water in the skin. Less quantity of water in the body can cause dehydration and dehydration results in wrinkles and dryness of the skin. Enough supply of water in the body will keep the kidneys healthy and functioning. The excess and unnecessary fluid in the body is excreted by the kidneys which will help to keep the skin healthy too. To keep our skin healthy and shining, moisturizers can also be used to prevent the skin from losing moisture. So, drinking plenty of water may not be effective to remove the wrinkles but it can definitely be helpful to make the skin look healthier and younger.
- Water keeps our kidneys healthy
Our body produces many types of waste products which have to be excreted from the body. The body fluids are responsible to transport the wastages from the cells. Blood urea nitrogen is one of the wastage which is soluble in water and it is one toxin produced in the body. Blood urea nitrogen is excreted from the body through the kidney by means of urine. So for the proper functioning of kidneys, it is necessary that we drink plenty of water. The kidneys need to be supplied with regular amount of fluid so that it will be able to excrete the toxins present in the blood. We can know that the kidney is getting enough water by looking at the nature of the urine. If the urine is light in color and it flows well without any kind of bad smell then the fluid supply in the body is good but if the urine is dark yellow in color and it does not flow well or it smells bad then we can know that the kidney is not getting enough supply of water. The Kidney will try to keep extra fluid in reserve to maintain body functions if it doesn’t get enough water. As a result of that the urine color turns dark yellow. If you drink less water then you are at high risk of kidney stones or kidney related problems.
- Water regulates the bowel system
Constipation is common problem these days and less amount of water in the body can be a main reason for that. Plenty of water is necessary in the body to keeps the gastrointestinal tract in a proper functioning condition which can prevent constipation. When there is less water in the tract then the colon will try to absorb it from the stool because of which constipation occurs. To prevent constipation, adequate amount of water and fiber containing food can be helpful. The water or fluid in the body acts as a broom to sweep down the fiber in the gastrointestinal tract. So water is necessary for smooth functioning of the bowel system.
- Water provides energy to the muscles in the body
If the balance between fluids and electrolytes is not maintained in the cells then it causes fatigue in the muscles. If the body muscles don’t get enough water then the muscles can’t work properly. The American College of Sports Medicine has provided guidelines regarding the intake of fluid during or before physical activity and training. It is important to drink enough liquid before workout and fluids should also be taken during workout to replace the water lost through sweat during workouts.
Apart from these aforementioned advantages of drinking water, there are various other benefits too. Water is more of a necessity and a preventive measure to keep our body system in good condition. Drinking enough water is also necessary to maintain the body temperature. When it gets too warm, the body excretes sweat to keep the body cool. Similarly drinking enough water can be necessary for good metabolism and prevention from many problems like migraines, heartburn, gastritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular problems, backaches, osteoporosis and ulcer. It is necessary for normal functioning of all organs in the body. So there is no doubt in the fact that water is one basic necessity for life.
In the end
Most of us are used to the normal intake of water and at times we are drinking less water in comparison to what our body needs daily. So here are some measures with which we can increase the intake of water to sufficient quantity.
- Drink Milk, juice or some healthy drink with every meal or dinner.
- Make a choice of drinks which you like which can result in more consumption of fluid.
- We get 20 percent of our water from the food that we eat, so it is important to eat more fruits and vegetables. They contain more amount of water.
- Keep a bottle of water wherever you go or around the place you work. Keep it in your car or around your table and bed so that you can reach for it whenever you feel dehydrated.
- Maintain your water supply according to your necessity. If you are aware of high calorie drinks then it is better to prevent it and go for low calorie normal drinks or just plain water.