How good is water for us?

Water is not an accidental source of life, as it is the second essential ingredient in our life after oxygen. But what do you know about the good that it does to our body?

March 22 has been established by the UN as World Water Day. Water is vital for survival, since humans can only survive a few days without it! The benefits of good hydration are numerous, since water contributes to the structure and transport of nutrients, regulating body temperature, blood composition, and protecting various body tissues.

The human body contains waterat rates of 45% -75% (about 60% in men and 51% in women, equivalent to about 42 L in a 70 Kg man and 26 L in a 50 Kg woman, depending on body composition). Lean body mass (muscle, bone connective tissue, internal organs) is made up of more water (about 70%) than adipose tissue (just 20%). Therefore, a male or an athlete has more water in his body than a woman or an obese person. The water there is a gradual decline with age. Specifically, it makes up 75% of a newborn’s weight but only 57% of an adult’s weight. Total body water, in general, is held constant as any loss is offset by a corresponding gain and vice versa. In particular, humans absorb on average water from liquids (1,300 mL), food (1,000 mL), and a small portion is metabolically produced (200 mL). Losses at a temperature of 20ºC are achieved through urine (1,400 mL), faeces (200 mL), sweat (100 mL) and respiration (800 mL). The amount of water lost varies in particularly hot environments or after prolonged exercise.

How water helps my health

– It is a structural component of the cell and more specifically the cytoplasm, which is the fundamental cellular component of all living organisms. At the same time, various nutrients are transferred to the cell through the water and the junk is eliminated. In addition, it is one of the main ingredients needed for metabolism reactions. It is the basic building block of blood and serves as a solvent for organic and inorganic nutrients. In this way, the nutrients, oxygen and hormones are transported through the blood to the cells. At the same time, the various toxic and junk products are eliminated from the cells and eventually excreted by the body. – Maintains the electrolyte balance. Water plays an important role in controlling the body’s osmotic pressure and maintaining the optimum balance between water and electrolytes. 

The electrolyte concentration and osmotic pressure values ​​must be maintained at a stable level, as otherwise cellular functions will be adversely affected.goodto the brain as it helps in its proper functioning: Water is of the utmost importance for the brain as it protects it. Good hydration also seems to be associated with high levels of concentration, mood, and memory.- Boosts our metabolism: Consuming water between meals or during meals is saturated, promoting fullness. It also contributes to the better functioning of metabolism, as it leads to better utilization of nutrients and more efficient combustion.- Regulates body temperature: Water helps to regulate body temperature. 

The sweating that leads to the evaporation of water from the surface of the skin cools the body very effectively. So body temperature is kept constant,good and steady rate of sweating but also of muscle groups. Thus, on the one hand, the body is thermally regulated by sweat evaporation, and on the other hand, oxygen and nutrients are efficiently transported to the working muscles. Dehydration can lead to a decline in athletic performance and thermal disorders such as muscle cramps, fatigue and life-threatening heat stroke.

What else good does it do

Water is the essential ingredient of saliva that helps swallow but also contributes to the perception of the smell and taste of foods. It also acts as a lubricant for the joints and muscles, since it absorbs vibration, reduces friction and protects against fractures in the event of a collapse.

How much should I drink

Depending on gender, age, physical activity and ambient temperature, the body’s water needs vary. The overall recommendation for adequate daily intake of fluids, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), is 2 L for adult women and 2.5 L for adult men.

Does it matter where I get it?

Water can be effectively absorbed by almost all foods and beverages, although the rate of absorption may increase or decrease on a case-by-case basis (depending on salt and / or sugar content). The water content of foods varies. For example, it is greater than 80% in most soups, fruits and vegetables, less than 40% in cereal products such as bread and biscuits, and less than 10% in salty snacks and pastries. We also consume water from all the liquids we consume, including water, milk, juices and fruit juices, tea and coffee.

Alcoholic beverages also contain water, but their diuretic effects reduce the amount ultimately retained. According to the official report of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), most people cover about 20% -30% of their need for solid foods (eg fruits and vegetables, soups and yogurt), with the remaining 70% -80% consuming as much drinking water as and from milk, juice, tea and coffee.

In conclusion, water should be our primary choice, but we can also consume other beverages (excluding alcohol and coffee when exceeding 3 cups per day) to achieve the desired levels of hydration. The beverages we choose depend on our personal tastes, as long as their calorie content is taken into account. while the remaining 70% -80% is consumed by both drinking water and milk, juices, tea and coffee. In conclusion, water should be our primary choice, but we can also consume other beverages (excluding alcohol and coffee when exceeding 3 cups per day) to achieve the desired levels of hydration.

The beverages we choose depend on our personal tastes, as long as their calorie content is taken into account. while the remaining 70% -80% is consumed by both drinking water and milk, juices, tea and coffee. In conclusion, water should be our primary choice, but we can also consume other beverages (excluding alcohol and coffee when exceeding 3 cups per day) to achieve the desired levels of hydration. The beverages we choose depend on our personal tastes, as long as their calorie content is taken into account.

And if I don’t want to drink water?

Failure to meet our needs for liquids can lead to dehydration and consequently various side effects. Specifically, dehydration causes faster fatigue, decreased athletic performance, reduced perception, thinking and memory abilities, and more generally a state of confusion. If dehydration persists over time, they can cause malfunctions as well as serious problems in the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and urinary tract. Remember that the “bell” to get fluids is not thirst. Thirst reflects an already existing dehydration. One easy way to control our body’s levels of hydration is the color of urine. If it is dark and not clear pale yellow, we should drink more liquid!

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