Water is the most basic component of all living things, including humans. Water is the predominant compound of the human body. Its omnipresence within the body gives it powerful influence over sustaining life. The body of a normal young adult is 72 % water and 50 % among the elderly. That 72 % represents the water’s presence in the blood, the brain, muscle tissue, bone matter and other fluid compartments of the body. Water is necessary for regulating body temperature and aids in the transportation of nutrients to the organs. Water also transports oxygen to the cells, removes waste buildup and protects the joints.
Everyone should be in the habit of drinking water regularly. This should start during childhood. Throughout the day, water escapes the body through perspiration, urine, nasal discharge, tears and exhaled moisture. Water loss is further increased by consumption of natural diuretics, such as caffeinated coffee, tea & soft drinks. It is estimated that one can lose about 9 cups of water on a cool day without exercising. That water must be replenished by ingesting water through liquids and foods. Water is generated during food metabolism.
How much water should one consume daily? The ideal amount would be ½ the body weight of an individual. For example, a 150 pound person should drink 75 fluid ounces of pure water a day. This is in addition to any other beverages. Under normal conditions, it is ok for an individual to consume at least 8-10 cups of water daily. The temperature of the water is also important. Based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Physiology, water should be at room temperature or warmer to minimize inhibition of efficient digestive function.
If one does not drink enough water, then he becomes dehydrated. This is bad for one’s health, because dehydration inhibits the functioning of every one of the body’s organs. Symptoms of dehydration include: fatigue, weakness, headaches, nosebleeds, dark & strong smelling urine, irritability, constipation and nausea. If one is thirsty, then he is already dehydrated. Women are at greater risk, because they have less muscle mass and lower body water content than men. It is estimated that half the American population unknowingly suffers from a degree of dehydration. One third of Americans drink three or fewer cups of water daily. A 3% loss in body water volume causes fatigue and organ dysfunction; whereas a 10% loss can be life threatening. A person can survive some weeks without food, but only a few days without water. Clearly water is the most important nutrient for the body.
The body uses water to flush out toxins and waste products. Water literally cleanses the system. Drinking a healthy amount of water can reduce the risk of Bladder Cancer by 50%, reduce the risk of Colon Cancer by 45% and reduce the risk of a Heart attack by 41%.
From a health perspective, the lack of normal water intake can speed up the aging process. Drinking water can clear the skin and help one maintain a youthful appearance. Many people report a healthy glow after drinking a lot of fresh water. One last attribute to drinking water is that it’s a great tool for weight loss. This non-calorie drink replaces high-calorie soft drinks & alcohol and is a great appetite suppressant. So take a bottle of water along and drink it throughout the day. “WATER” it does the body good!