There would be no life without water. Humans can survive for some weeks without food, living on stored body fat, but without water we can perish in days.
The average person’s body is composed of approximately 60% water. The body’s water supply is involved in nearly every bodily process, including digestion, absorption, circulation and excretion. Water is the primary transporter of nutrients throughout the body and helps maintain core body temperature.
A drop in the body’s water content causes a decline in blood volume. The lowering of blood volume in turn triggers the hypothalamus, which is the brain’s thirst centre, to send out the demand for a drink.
Drink water, not just to quench thirst, but also to replace bodily fluids as this prevents dehydration and constipation. As a person ages, the sense of thirst becomes dulled so drinking water needs to be a learned habit.
The body has no water storage system on which to draw, so water needs to be constantly taken in as this water continually flushes out the body. The body requires 100mls (around ½ cup) of water for 100 calories/420kJ metabolised in the breakdown and removal of body wastes. Inadequate intake may contribute to excess body fat, poor muscle tone, digestive problems, poor functioning of many organs, including the brain, mental confusion, fatigue and water retention. When water intake is not sufficient the parts of the body that suffer most from water withdrawal are the joint cartilages in the fingers, knees and vertebrae. Sometimes pain in these joints are thought to be arthritic when it may well be lacking water. By drinking 6-8 cups of water a day these joint pains could disappear as the joint structures re-hydrate.
Consuming plenty of water can slow the ageing process and can prevent or improve obesity, kidney stones, constipation, arteriosclerosis, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes, hypoglycemia, headaches/migraines and many other diseases.
Children and adolescents can also suffer from lack of water. Water is not expensive and you should feel a difference within your body when you drink 6-8 glasses of water daily.
This fluid intake does not include tea, coffee or other beverages. Pure water is our recommendation and never drink more than 1½ cups at a time otherwise the electrolyte balance can be upset.
Drink or sip water, never ‘gulp’ water as this takes in too much air which is then trapped in the intestines, resulting in pain.