These are, without doubt, the 2 most essential ingredients for human life. We need both each and all day. And yet….
Here we look at water – our relationship with it and how to do our best to lessen pollutants in our bodies
About 60 percent of your body consists of water; it has to travel a long way and complete many functions every single day.
All of the organs, tissues and cells in your body require water for proper functioning. These are the organ systems in your body that function interdependently:
Cardiovascular system – heart and blood vessels.
Digestive system – oesophagus, stomach, liver, large intestine, small intestine, anus and rectum.
Endocrine system – glands that regulate growth and metabolism.
Integumentary system – hair, skin and nails.
Lymphatic system – houses white blood cells vital to immunity to illness.
Muscular system – for movement and good posture.
Nervous system – brain, spinal cord and nerves.
Water is vital to good health because it:
Keeps You Hydrated
Your body needs water to maintain a healthy internal temperature of 98.6 degrees. You're likely to need more water to maintain this temperature.
When your body is running low on water and the brain signals that you're thirsty, have a drink. Failing to do so can lead to dehydration, which in mild forms can lead to temporary disorientation and dizziness and in severe cases – kidney failure. Some say you should drink BEFORE you feel thirsty, thus avoiding any side effects
Keeps You Regular
Water is a simple remedy for people who suffer from constipation, and another look at the body's interrelated parts helps explain why. Every day, the kidneys rely on water to filter between 120 and 150 quarts of blood and 1 to 2 quarts of urine. But if the kidneys malfunction, excess fluid and waste can accumulate in the body. Water is the key to ensuring that the kidneys function as they should and wastes are flushed from the body.
Keeps You Limber
Cartilage in the body – the cushioning agent of joints and discs of the spine – consists of about 80 percent water. So when cartilage becomes dried out, it follows that the joints are less able to absorb bumps and knocks. Instead, they can feel stiff or prickle with pain.
The solution? A magical elixir to drink, called water.
Just as your appetite for food varies, so does your thirst for water, and staying tuned to your body's signal for water is the best way to ensure you drink enough, especially since the amount of water you lose every day pivots on how much you perspire and excrete through urine and bowel movements.
A daily intake of 91 ounces (or 2.7 litres) of water for women* 125 ounces (or 3.7 litres) of water for men is recommended (The Mayo Clinic)
These recommendations may seem high, but remember that some of the water we get comes from our food. For example, certain vegetables (like zucchini) and fruit (like watermelon) teem with water, which can help you meet your recommended daily intake.
When you find yourself craving sugary drinks, remember the empty calories they contain. Water may be bland, but its attributes can't be denied. It can be more exciting and refreshing with lemon and lime slices with ice.
Water is best because it's calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available.