Water is the key component for all living beings and the most common substance on the Earth. Water plays an important role in our lives and is vital for maintaining various bodily functions and activities, like food assimilation and digestion, excretion, cellular reaction and body temperature regulation. Since most of our body is made up of water, inadequate intake of water will leave our body under-hydrated or can even cause dehydration. Drinking water on an empty stomach is the best way to consume water as it gets easily absorbed by the body. In fact, drinking two glasses of water just after you wake up helps to stimulate peristalsis, lower blood concentration, and boost blood circulation. These are just few out of the many reasons for why is water good for you. The list below describes some more benefits of water.
Importance of Drinking Water:
Water plays an important role in respiration, digestion, elimination, maintaining temperature (homeostasis), metabolism, etc. The following are the different functions and biological importance of water in human beings.
Much of the fluid and water is lost from the body everyday during perspiration and urination. This loss needs to be compensated in order to maintain the normal functioning of the body. If the body does not receive sufficient amounts of water, it can become dehydrated, which can be a life-threatening condition. Lack of water in the body or chronic dehydration can also lead to other diseases like constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Dehydration can also lead to joint pain.
Helps in Digestion
Water plays a significant role in digestion. Water helps in breaking down and quick movement of the digested food in the colon. Importance of water also lies in the process of digestion as it helps to digest water soluble vitamins and fibers. Once there is sufficient amount of water in the body required for digestion, colon does not extract water from the solid waste resulting in proper and quicker bowel movement.
Helps in Excretion of Toxins
As mentioned above, water aids in quicker bowel movement, it also aids in excretion of all the toxic waste from the body. The kidneys require water for proper functioning and lack of water can lead to kidney stone and kidney diseases. One of the other benefits of drinking water is that it can indirectly contribute in enhancing the texture of skin, making it smooth and supple.
Helps in Weight Loss
One may not be aware of the importance of drinking water to lose weight. Water helps in faster metabolism and burning off excess calories in the body. Secondly, water also acts as a natural appetite suppressant which brings a feeling of satiety, curbs excess eating and consequently helps in weight loss.
Helps in Homeostasis
The other importance of drinking water is that it helps in homeostasis or maintenance of proper body temperature. The chemical reactions in the body slow down when there is a lack of water in the body. The cells in the body get dehydrated and these dehydrated cells increase the temperature of the body resulting in irregularities. Therefore, in order to maintain a normal temperature, it is essential to know the importance of water and drink adequate amounts of water every day.
Other Benefits of Water
Apart from the above mentioned drinking water benefits, if you are still wondering what the importance of water to living things is, then take a look at the following points that help to know the importance of water in diet:
- Water comprises nearly 70% of the Earth’s surface and also makes up approximately 70% of our body composition. Interesting? Well here are some more interesting Water facts sure to take you by surprise:
- Water is the only substance on earth that is naturally found in all its three states: solid (ice), liquid (water) and gas (steam or vapor).
- Wonder why ice floats on water? That is because ice is about 9% lighter than water.
- Did you know the percentage of water in your brains or bones? Well, 75% of your brain and 25% of your bones are made up of water.
- Now here is a good reason for closing or repairing that dripping faucet – a drip from a leaky faucet is like wasting almost 75 liters of water every single day!
- Did you know that a human being can go without food for a month, but he can go without water for only one week?
- A normal human being must have 2 liters of water each day (which translates to about 75000 liters of water in their entire life). Despite this, nearly 2 million plus people on the planet do not have access to safe drinking water.
- Once you drink water, it leaves your stomach in about 5 minutes!
- There are about 70000 known water contaminants.
- Wonder how much water is needed to process the most common of our foods and drinks? Well, for a barrel of beer it is about 5700 liters; for one chicken it is 44 liters; a barrel of crude oil needs 7000 liters of water to refine it; and about 35 liters of water are used to process a can of vegetables or fruits.
Benefits of Drinking Water:
Hydrates the Body
Drinking adequate amounts of water everyday help in hydrating the body. If water intake is less, it might lead to dehydration, which further leads to host of other diseases such as constipation, diarrhea, etc. Dehydration is also known to cause joint pain, lower back pain and headaches. Dehydration can even prove to be fatal, especially in elderly people and infants. Hence, adequate amount of water intake is very important to avoid these conditions. Read more on how much water should a person drink in a day.
Aids in Weight Loss
One of the most important of drinking water health benefits, is that it helps in weight loss. When a person is thirsty for a very long time, he often confuses it with hunger. This makes him consume even more food than what is actually required by the body. Such overeating might lead to excess calorie intake and hence, leads to weight gain. Drinking adequate amount of water keeps the person hydrated, he does not feel thirsty or hungry and hence, does not gain weight. Some studies show that drinking water also helps in burning fats of the body. Read more on drinking water to lose weight.
One of the most important of the benefits of drinking water is that it maintains normal oxygen supply to the various cells in the body, thus keeping a person energetic. When a person consumes adequate amounts of water, it ensures that proper blood volume is maintained in the body. Sufficient blood supply ascertains that oxygen reaches all the parts of the body. This is another benefit of drinking water.
Regulates the Body Processes
If there is lack of water in the body, the kidneys and the liver, both can not function properly. Hence, the body metabolism slows down. Persistent lack of water in the body may lead to kidney ailments and kidney stones too in some cases. Water keeps other body organs such as ear, eyes, nose etc. moist and hence maintains their functionality.
Flushes Body Toxins
There are numerous drinking water benefits for skin. Water helps in flushing out the harmful toxins in the body through sweating and urination. In this process, all the impurities in the blood are also eliminated. This makes the skin soft, supple, beautiful and radiant. Read more on why is water good for you.
There are many health benefits of drinking water, both in pregnancy and post pregnancy. Breast feeding mothers are often recommended by doctors to increase their water intake. Many pregnant woman suffer from constipation and diarrhea due to the various hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy. Adequate amount of water ensures that these conditions are not persistent. Another benefit of drinking water during pregnancy is that adequate water intake supplies the fetus with enough fluids which help in its growth, thus ensuring a safe pregnancy. Read more on hot water benefits.
These are a few ways in which drinking water benefits the body. Researches have shown that drinking up to two liters of water everyday helps in minimizing the incidence of life-threatening diseases such as colon cancer, breast cancer and bladder cancer to a great extent. Hence replenishing the body with water is very essential not only for survival, but also to keep such fatal diseases at bay.
Recommended Daily Water Intake:
- The water intake per day recommended to stay healthy depends on various aspects, including the area you live (either cold or hot), the level of activity you perform on a daily basis and your overall health condition. Hotter the climate, the more you sweat and consequently, the higher is the amount of water that you should drink. Likewise, water requirement is more if you perform exercises or other activities that make you sweat. Health conditions that cause excessive excretion (e.g. vomiting, diarrhea) is another factor that increases the recommended water intake per day.
- There is no simple answer for, how much water should an individual drink per day? However, daily water consumption varies as per individual requirements. For an adult, drinking 2 liters of water with additional liquids is sufficient for normal functioning of the body. Whereas, the daily water requirements for children depend upon the body weight. For a child, the recommended water intake per day is the number of ounces equal to two-thirds of his or her body weight.
- The water introduced in the body is lost in various activities, such as breathing, perspiration or sweating, urination and bowel movements. Eventually, the water level in the body is decreased, which needs to be replenished again. This is the way water is lost from the body and the reason why we require drinking water everyday. As long as you drink water in an amount that's equivalent to the lost water, your body will remain hydrated and function smoothly.
- The signs that indicate adequate amount of fluid in the body are rare incidences of thirst and passing at least 1.5 liters of colorless to slightly yellowish urine per day. On the contrary, lack of water in the body causes dehydration, a condition in which the body cells and tissues cannot function properly. In such a condition, we feel tired very easily and our body displays a lack of activity tolerance.
- According to medical experts, we should drink water at frequent intervals, not only when we feel thirsty. As per their opinion, the body is already going through dehydration by the time people feel thirsty. Another indicator for lack of water in the body is passing of dark-colored urine. These are the easiest signs that reflect the fluid level in the body.