Water is the combination of 2 gases – hydrogen and oxygen. Each water molecule consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.
Water is an important structural component of the body’s skin, cartilage, tissues and organs. For human beings, every single part of the body is dependent on water. Our body comprises about 75% water in total. The percentage of water contained in some of the body parts are as follows:
- the brain has 85%
- blood is 90%
- muscles are 75%
- kidney is 82%
- bones are 22%
The functions of our glands and organs will eventually deteriorate if they are not nourished with good, clean water, regularly.
The average adult loses about 2.5 litres water daily through perspiration, breathing and elimination. If you don’t replace the water you lose your body becomes dehydrated. Symptoms of the body’s deterioration begin to appear when the body loses just 5% – a relatively small percentage of its total water volume.
In a healthy adult, signs of lack of water, are seen as fatigue, headache, and general discomfort, whereas for an infant, it can cause rapid dehydration and even be fatal. In an elderly person, a 5% water loss causes abnormal body chemistry, especially if the percentage of electrolytes is overbalanced with sodium.
One can usually see symptoms of aging, such as wrinkles, lethargy and even disorientation when someone is dehydrated. Continuous water loss, without adequate replacement, over time, will speed up aging as well as increase the risk of diseases.
If your body is not sufficiently hydrated, the cells will draw water from your bloodstream which will thicken the blood and make your heart work harder. At the same time, the kidneys cannot purify blood effectively. When this happens, some of the kidney’s workload is passed on to the liver and other organs, which may cause them to be severely stressed.
Water is also drawn from the brain and muscles causing fatigue and headaches. Additionally, you may develop a number of minor health conditions such as constipation, dry and itchy skin, acne, nosebleeds, urinary tract infection, coughs, sneezing and sinus pressure.
So, how much water is enough for you? How much water should you drink each day? Research has provided us with the calculation. The minimum amount of water you need all depends on your body weight. An accurate calculation, is to drink an ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight or in metric measurements that equates to 33ml per Kg of body weight.
Bear in mind that water intake should be over the course of the day and not drunk all at once. Drinking large amounts of water in a short space of time can result in the body flushing out electrolytes which are needed for the cells in the nerves, heart and muscles to function properly. The kidneys of a healthy adult can process fifteen liters of water a day.
Foods, especially raw fruits and vegetables have a content of water in them so some of your water consumption will come from your food. In hot and dry climates and when you are exercising it is important to drink a bit extra as you will lose water through perspiration.