Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Importance of Water

The human body is approximately 70% water! The average 70kg male body holds around 45 litres of water. Males tend to hold more water than females due to their muscle mass. If you really have to, you could live several weeks without food as your body can obtain enough nutrients from its own muscle and fats. However the human body would not survive more than a matter of days, even hours in a hot climate, without water as it is not stored in the body like the other nutrients.

So why do we need water?

Water is a solvent, meaning it will dissolve other substances in the body, it's also used to carry nutrients and other material (e.g. blood) around the body. You need water to:

  1. Digest foods, dissolving the nutrients allowing them to be passed through your intestinal tract and into your bloodstream. 
  2. Carry waste and toxins out of your body via urine
  3. Provide a medium in which chemical reactions such as metabolism can occur 
  4. Send electrical messages between cells so your muscles can move, you eyes can see and you brain can think
  5. Lubricate your joints
  6. Prevent your body from overheating (by sweating)
As many as 1 in 4 people do not drink enough water. A humans thirst mechanism isn't very sensitive, so by the time you realise that you are thirsty you could have already lost 1% - 2% of your body weight in water! Make sure you keep a bottle/glass of water with you. 

I must admit its only recently that I have started drinking water, I used to add squash to it all the time, then I saw the ingredients, and while what I was drinking was sugar free I thought it just best to drink plain boring water! Now also I didn't know this until recently and its quite gross, but the bacteria in your mouth breaks down the carbohydrate residue on your teeth (left from drinking squash and carbonated drinks), leaving plaque acid that eats away at the mineral surface on the tooth. Yuck! 

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