Importance of Water in Human body – How Much Water Should I Drink a Day?
Water is an easily available but invaluable source of nutrients that is considered to be very common. This is an essential element for almost all living organisms on earth, and it is impossible to maintain biological existence without water. Similarly, it is equally essential for the human body also. Everyone knows the physical need for water, but many are unaware of its exact amount, its various functions in the body and other related information. Therefore, the importance of water and its physical role will be discussed in the following article.
Importance of Water in Human Body
A large portion of the human body is covered by water. In the case of newborns, this amount is close to 75% and in the developed body it is about 55%. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, water occupies about 70% of a person’s total body weight.
In addition, to cleanse the throat and tongue, water plays many other important roles in the human body. Water contributes to smooth body functions in the case of cells, organs and skin. Without water, there is a risk of cessation of bodily processes, which can lead to some serious consequences. Water helps in balancing the fluids of the human body and maintains the process of Electrolyte Homeostasis.
Digestive processes and sweating as well as breathing also cause our body to excrete water. Therefore, an adequate amount of water should be consumed to maintain the required internal bodily functions.
Roles of Water in Human Body
1) Protects skin cells, bones and joints:
As mentioned earlier, water not only quenches the thirst, but also protects the skin from the external environment by keeping the tiny skin cells moist. Adequate water intake helps in maintaining the balance of skin as well as sensitive parts of the body, energy and bone moisture. It also acts as a lubricant for joints and bones, protecting them from damage by creating a soft covering. The importance of water is seen in such areas of the skin.
2) Stabilizes digestion process:
Water helps in digestion of food. According to the Mayo Clinic, water breaks down the complex components of the food we eat and makes it easier for the body to absorb. As a result, the body can easily absorb nutrients from food. Our small and large intestines absorb the water when it reaches the intestines. This absorbed water flows to the body and helps to absorb complex nutrients. Water also helps in digestion of soluble fiber.
3) Helps in body waste discharge process/defecation:
It is said that water solves the problem of defecation. Meeting the water requirement of the body helps in maintaining the quantity and stability of the body waste discharge. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, adequate water intake can cure leprosy. According to the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, drinking water treats the problem of loose defecation.
4) Removes waste from the body (helps in removing waste from the body):
Enough amount of water intake helps in expelling harmful substances from the body in the form of sweat and urine. According to the National Kidney Foundation, water improves the functioning of the kidneys. Water makes the kidneys more active. Excessive water intake can be harmful in some physical conditions, so if you suffer from any kidney disease, consult your doctor about the amount of water to be consumed.
5) Keeps body hydrated:
Sweat comes out of our body in various daily activities. Normal urination, sweating, nausea, various ailments (such as diarrhea, dysentery, fever etc.) causes our body to excrete a sufficient amount of water from the body. In such cases, adequate water intake maintains the balance of body moisture. Failure to do so can lead to digestive issues, kidney stones, scaly skin, hair loss and other physical problems.
6) Boosts Brain Functioning:
The importance of water is significant in case of brain functioning. Like any other part of the body, our brain sometimes feels exhausted. If you feel this way, try drinking 1 or 2 glasses of water. Water can reduce tiredness. According to New York’s one of the most influential pharmacologists, Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, maintaining the balance of the electrolyte is essential for the smooth functioning of the body. Decreased amounts can lead to muscle weakness, fractures and blurred vision. Water helps in maintaining the balance of these electrolytes in the body.
7) Necessary for the cardiovascular system:
According to Britannica, water makes up 90% of the thin yellow fluid found in our blood. Lack of water can cause this substance to dry out and increase the concentration of blood. This can lead to a decrease in the amount of electrolytes in the blood. These electrolytes are essential for the functioning of the muscles and the heart. Lack of water can also lower blood pressure.
8) Keeps the body healthy:
More than 18,300 middle-aged Americans were tested, and according to the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, published in 2016, adequate water intake eliminates unhealthy nutrients from our body. In addition, 1 glass of water before meals can show beneficial effects on digestion and other related functions.
Source from point 1 to 8- https://www.everydayhealth.com/water-health/water-body-health.aspx
9) Maintains the body temperature:
Water regulates body temperature by expelling sweat.
10) Acts as a carrier:
Water carries oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells through digestion.
What if the Body Doesn’t Get Sufficient Water?
Water intake has significant importance and plays a vital role in the smooth functioning of physical activities. If the body fails to meet the required water amount, the following problems may occur –
- You will feeling thirsty
- May cause headache
- Physical infelicity may occur
- May experience mood swings and the mental reaction speed may reduce
- The two nostrils may become dry
- May occur dry and rough lips
- The color of the urine may get darker and sometimes there may be burning sensation while urinating.
- Physical weakness may occur
- You may experience excessive tiredness
- Excessive dehydration can lead to confusion and hallucination.
In addition to these problems, excessive dehydration can stop the flow of urine, leaving the kidneys unable to absorb harmful substances and can lead to kidney stones. When this water shortage reaches its peak, it can lead to death.
How Much Water Does a Human Body Need?
The Australian Dietary guideline recommends the following amount of water intake on a daily basis –
- Newborn (0-6 months) – 0.8 liters
- Newborn (6-12 months) – 0.6 liters
- 1-3 years – 1 liter
- 4-6 years – 1.2 liters
- 9-13 year old larvae – 1.8 liters
- 9-13 year old girl – 1.4 liters
- 14-16 year old larvae – 1.9 liters
- 14-16 year old girl – 1.8 liters
- Men over 19 – 2.8 liters
- Women over 19 – 2.1 liters
- 14-16 year old pregnant women – 1.8 liters
- Pregnant women over 19 – 2.3 liters
- 14-16 year old lactating women – 2.3 liters
- Breastfeeding women over 19 – 2.8 liters
Although the amount is mentioned in the list, it is better to consult a nutritionist in this regard. This is because the amount of water required by the body can vary depending on the size, weight, activity, age, etc. of the human body. Therefore, seek the help of an expert to know exactly how much water your body needs.
Factors that Affect the Needed Amount of Water in Human Body
Factors affecting the quantity of water in the human body are-
- Body size
- Physical activity
- Special physical conditions
- Climate of habitat.
This article provides information on the importance of water in the human body and its functions. Hopefully this information will help you in various ways in your lifestyle. Thank You!