Every day, your body needs water to rejuvenate and stay hydrated.
The water you drink is the core essence of life so it’s always important to drink pure.
You probably remember from your school days that water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. And that almost 70% of the earth is covered in water and about 60% of the human body is made up of water. But despite so much of our body made up of water, we are still asked to drink just 8-10 glasses of water a day.
But, have you ever wondered why? What is it about this colourless, tasteless, odourless liquid that makes it impossible for us to live without?
Let’s take a closer look at how water benefits the human body:
Body fluids need water
The fluids in the body perform a myriad of functions. For example, they help regulate body temperature, aid absorption and transportation of nutrients in the body, play a vital role in the circulatory system and aid digestion. Even saliva production requires water. It’s no wonder that the brain signals the kidneys to regulate the amount of water to hold back and the amount to excrete, while also giving you a signal that you’re thirsty and you need to replenish those water reserves.
The muscles and joints need water
The muscles require water to function well. This is one of the reasons why most trainers will tell you to remain hydrated when exercising. In addition, water also helps to cushion and lubricate the joints.
The skin needs water
Water is one of the best ways to keep your skin looking healthy and clear. Despite all the fancy creams and moisturizers, if you don’t get enough water, skin looks old and wrinkled. On a lighter note though, drinking extra water will not remove wrinkles and fine lines!
The kidneys need water
Your kidneys are like the filtration plant of the body. But the filtration of waste products out of the body requires urine water to act as the medium. An adequate intake of water helps the kidneys flush away these waste products. Not drinking sufficient water increases the risk of recurrence of kidney stones. When the water intake is adequate, the urine is lightly coloured and without much odour; but if not enough, both the colour and odour are intense.
The bowels need water
Water ‘keeps things going’, in the intestine. But if your water intake is less than adequate, the large intestine absorbs the water from the stools. This makes the stools hard, which makes it difficult to pass, leading to constipation. Along with fibre and physical activity, adequate water intake is an important way to prevent constipation.
How much water is needed in a day?
There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula for water intake in a day.
According to the European guidelines, women should drink about 8 glasses and men should drink about 10 glasses a day (1 glass = 200 ml).
However, water intake requirements increase when the weather gets hot, due to strenuous exercise or sports, overall height/weight and medical conditions such as diarrhoea or vomiting. Pregnant and breastfeeding women also need to increase their water intake.
How can you increase your water intake?