Water, water, lots to drink

Water, water, lots to drink

Did you ever wonder why drinking water is good for health? Of course, we all know that water is essential to life and that it helps the system flush out toxins. But its role is far more important and not many are aware of what exactly it does and how.

Water is a very important component of the human body. Our muscles are made up of 75 per cent water; the brain comprises 90 per cent and the bones 22 per cent. As for blood, 83 per cent is water.

Our body is made up of cells and every cell needs water because water carries oxygen and nutrients to all these cells. Protoplasm, the basic substance of living cells, is made up of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, salts, and similar elements combined with water. Water acts as a solvent, transporting, combining, and chemically breaking down these substances.

Water also moisturises the air in our lungs, making breathing easy. It helps our metabolism, protects our vital organs and regulates our body temperature. It flushes out toxins and moisturises our joints. It helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturises skin and increases skin elasticity. Quite a lot of functions, don’t you think?

People who are trying to lose weight are told to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily because water boosts metabolic rate by 3 per cent, thereby burning more calories.

Sometimes the human body mistakes thirst for hunger pangs and drinking more water prevents us from overeating. But most important of all, water flushes down the by-products of fat breakdown in our body. Also, don’t forget the important fact that water contains zero calories so drinking tea/ coffee/ soft drinks/ commercial fruit juice instead of water is not the same thing at all. Besides, water is an important source of energy. That is why it is so important to drink water.

What happens when our water intake is inadequate? First of all, it causes dehydration which could lead to headaches, migraine, fatigue, constipation, muscle cramps, irregular blood pressure, dry skin and kidney problems. In short, it affects our overall health. Dehydration could lead to heart problems because water helps prevent the clogging of arteries. If it does not get the right quantity of water, blood becomes thick and saturated with toxins and is not able to flow properly. As a result, the cells do not get proper oxygenation or nutrition.

People have been known to develop heartburn, arthritis and various allergies simply because they don’t drink enough water. In other words, our body stops functioning properly without adequate amounts of water.

People with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and asthmatic problems are also told to drink plenty of water.

And now for the important question – how much water is adequate to counter all this? There are several theories and points of view. The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), Institute of Medicine, generally recommends a daily dose of 2.7 litres of water for women and 3.7 litres for men.  It would be safe to assume that 8-10 glasses of water each day should be enough in most cases.

A lot of fruits and vegetables also contain water. For instance, raw apples contain 86 per cent water; raw pineapples 86 per cent and fresh oranges 87 per cent to name a few. Raw carrots contain 88 per cent of water and cooked broccoli contains 89 per cent.
That is why people who take these in ample quantities manage quite well even if they do not drink the required amount of water. But it has to be taken – both fruits and vegetables as well as water – if you want to enjoy perfect health.

Do not try to drink your entire quota of water at one go. Apart from making you feel groggy it would put too much pressure on the kidneys. Try to drink before you are actually thirsty. To carry a water bottle and sip water as you work would be a good idea.

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