Water is a critical ingredient for humans, animals and plants. Though humans can live without food for several days or weeks, they can live only a few days without water. Water, therefore, must be replenished often in order to fulfill its numerous bodily functions. Water has a high heat capacity, which means it requires more energy than many other substances to increase its temperature. An example of the high heat capacity of water is that heating watery foods often take longer to heat than foods with low water content. Because the body is constituted mainly of water, it takes a large amount of energy to raise or lower one\’s body temperature, therefore allowing the body to maintain a relatively stable body temperature. Body temperature often rises, triggering the body to sweat due to exercise, illness, environment or other factors. Water keeps bodies cool by releasing sweat when the body gets too warm. When this happens, the sweat evaporates off the skin and cools the body, allowing the body to maintain homeostasis. On a humid day, water does not evaporate as well, and sweat is significantly less effective in cooling. The human body contains electrolytes, which are ions that can conduct electrical currents.
Examples of these include sodium, chloride and potassium. Every cell requires a certain balance of electrolytes, and extracellular fluids also require a very particular balance of electrolytes. The proportion of these electrolytes must stay within a precise range. The body is able to stay within this range by excreting water when necessary and triggering thirst mechanisms in the body when necessary. All body fluids are comprised of mostly water. About two thirds of the body\’s fluid is in intracellular fluid, while one-third is in extracellular fluid, like the fluid between cells and the fluid in the blood. Water provides shock absorption, cleansing and protection for the body. A fetus, for example, is protected by amniotic fluid, which is mostly water. Water also allows the body to produce tears and saliva, and lubricates joints, allowing them to move easily. The body\’s pH balance is important to carry out metabolic reactions in optimum conditions. Water is a major component of the maintenance of pH in the body. One of the major reactions in the body occurs when carbon dioxide reacts with water, forming carbonic acid.
Carbonic acid then detaches to form hydrogen and bicarbonate, thereby increasing the body\’s acidity and lowering the body\’s pH.
Did you know that your body weight is approximately 60 percent water? Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and, it\’s important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain. The amount of water you need depends on a variety of factors, including the climate you live in, how physically active you are, and whether you\’re experiencing an illness or have any other health problems. Water Protects Your Tissues, Spinal Cord, and Joints Water does more than just quench your thirst and regulate your body\’s temperature; it also keeps the tissues in your body moist. You know how it feels when your eyes, nose, or mouth gets dry? Keeping your body hydrated helps it retain optimum levels of moisture in these sensitive areas, as well as in the blood, bones, and the brain. In addition, water helps protect the spinal cord, and it acts as a lubricant and cushion for your joints.
Water Helps Your Body Remove Waste Adequate water intake enables your body to excrete waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation. The kidneys and liver use it to help flush out waste, as do your intestines. Water can also keep you from getting constipated by softening your stools and helping move the food you\’ve eaten through your intestinal tract. However, it should be noted that there is no evidence to prove that increasing your fluid intake will cure. Water Aids in Digestion Digestion starts with saliva, the basis of which is water. Digestion relies on enzymes that are found in saliva to help break down food and liquid and to dissolve minerals and other nutrients. Proper digestion makes minerals and nutrients more accessible to the body. Water is also necessary to help you digest soluble fiber. With the help of water, this fiber dissolves easily and benefits your bowel health by making well-formed, soft stools that are easy to pass. Water Prevents You From Becoming Dehydrated Your body loses fluids when you engage in vigorous exercise, sweat in high heat, or come down with a fever or contract an illness that causes vomiting or diarrhea.
If you\’re losing fluids for any of these reasons, it\’s important to increase your fluid intake so that you can restore your body\’s natural hydration levels. Your doctor may also recommend that you drink more fluids to help treat other health conditions, like bladder infections and urinary tract stones. If you\’re pregnant or nursing, you may want to consult with your physician about your fluid intake because your body will be using more fluids than usual, especially if you\’re. How Much Water Do You Need? There\’s no hard and fast rule, and many individuals meet their daily hydration needs by simply drinking water when they\’re thirsty, according to a report on nutrient recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. In fact, most people who are in good physical health get enough fluids by drinking water and other beverages when they\’re thirsty, and also by drinking a beverage with each of their meals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you\’re not sure about your hydration level, look at your urine. If it\’s clear, you\’re in good shape. If it\’s dark, you\’re probably dehydrated.