Drink Water

Why Should You Drink Water?

You need to drink water as it is required for survival and without water in some form the body cannot survive for more than 4 days.

The average body weight is 50%-60% water while men have more than women and obese people have less than lean people.

In normal circumstances, the body loses 2.8 litres of water a day through urine, skin, breath and faeces. That is the amount that needs to be replenished but the body makes water through food metabolism, and water comes from food we eat which totals about 1.3 litres a day. That leaves a shortfall of 1.5 litres  which we need to replace and equates to about six glasses of water a day.

It is essential to drink water, a  minimum of six glasses a day to ensure your body has enough water to function properly and doesn't become dehydrated. 

Why your body needs water

Your body requires water for the following:

  • needed by the brain to make hormones and neurotransmitters
  • cushioning and lubrication for joints, brain and spinal cord
  • water regulates body temperature
  • water moves nutrients to cells
  • used in the process of metabolising foods into energy and tissue
  • digestive secretions contain water that help to soften and liquefy food for digestion and helps move through the digestion tract
  • keeping body tissue moist in the eyes, lungs and air passages 
  • protects a fetus during pregnancy
  • water assists the excretion of waste materials as urine by the kidneys.

Water from your food

Food can provide the body with a litre of water a day providing a balanced diet of sufficient fruit and vegetables is followed.

Water content of foods:

  • Milk 87% water
  • Eggs 75% water
  • Meat 40-75% water
  • Vegetables 70-95% water
  • Fruit 85-87% water
  • Cereals 8-20% water
  • Bread 35% water

Which water to drink?

Its clear that water is essential for survival but which water do we choose to drink?

Tap water or bottled water?

Tap water is treated with chemicals to kill bacteria and other microorganisms and may also contain other contaminants like toxic metal salts, hormones and pesticides, or it may become contaminated by chemicals or microbes within pipes.

Your tap water may contain:

  • Chlorine
  • Fluorine compounds
  • Trihalomethanes (THMs)
  • Hormones
  • Nitrates
  • Pesticides

Traces of:

  • arsenic
  • radium
  • aluminium
  • copper
  • lead
  • mercury
  • cadmium
  • barium

The best water to drink is natural mineral water or filtered tap water. Bottled water that is labelled 'spring water' or 'pure water' should come from a pure source that has consistent mineral levels year after year and does not contain any pesticides and nitrate contaminants.

Dehydration

It is easy to become dehydrated through not taking in enough fluids or through illness and where the blood becomes too concentrated and causes symptoms. Increasing fluids should normally improve hydration within 20 minutes unless severely dehydrated where medical assistance may be needed.

Signs of Dehydration:

  • feeling thirsty
  • dark yellow and strong smelling pee
  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • feeling tired
  • dry mouth, lips and eyes
  • peeing less, fewer than 4 times a day
  • dry, cool skin
  • headaches
  • constipation
  • muscle cramps

Signs of severe dehydration include:

  • very dry skin
  • feeling dizzy
  • rapid heartbeat
  • rapid breathing
  • sunken eyes
  • lack of energy, confusion or irritability
  • fainting

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