Updated: Apr 23
Water is the foundation of our life. As you know, a person cannot live without water for more than four days, and the loss of only 1% of the liquid by the body causes thirst. Our health, the condition of the epidermis and scalp, and the well-being of a person as a whole depend on the amount of water we drink.
The percentage of water in the human body varies with age. So, a newborn is 90% water. But with age, the amount of fluid decreases, and by old age the percentage of its content in the body decreases to 60%. Unfortunately, it is impossible to stop this process completely. However, it is in our power to observe the drinking regime and maintain the correct water balance as long as possible, prolonging our life and preserving our health. How water affects health Water is involved in all biochemical processes in the body, such as:
regulation of blood pressure
removal of toxins
Violation of these processes affects the condition of the hair, skin, nails, as well as the functioning of all systems of the body, the musculoskeletal system, and the brain. No wonder doctors believe that dehydration can cause distraction and headaches. After all, the human brain is 75% liquid. It's the same with blood. The less water in our body, the thicker the blood and the higher the pressure. That is why hypertensive patients need to monitor the water balance especially carefully. When the body feels a lack of water, it begins to vigorously produce histamine - a hormone responsible for the immune response in an alarming situation for the body. However, an excess of histamine activates not only the immune system, but also allergies. This is why adherence to the drinking regime is especially important for allergy sufferers. Water dissolves and delivers a variety of nutrients to the tissues. Normal functioning of joints and muscles is impossible without water. With its lack, the likelihood of arthritis and osteoarthritis increases sharply due to the constant wear of fragile cartilaginous tissue.
People with diabetes need to control their blood sugar. A glass of water instead of juice or a sugary drink allows them to keep their sugar levels in check. Whereas drinks containing sugar can cause a sharp rise in its level in the blood and increase thirst.
Dehydration When dehydrated, the body draws water from its cells to maintain its most important functions. As a result, the functionality of the cells is impaired. The blood thickens and moves more slowly, respectively, and oxygen is supplied with delays. Signs that you are not drinking enough water:
feeling thirsty and dry mouth
dark yellow urine
peeling of the skin, cracks on it
drowsiness and lethargy
Unfortunately, at the very beginning, these signs may appear separately, do not give an overall picture of the problem, or be attributed to the manifestations of other diseases. Excessive fluid intake Healthy adult kidneys can process up to one liter of water per hour. Anything beyond that can be considered harmful and even dangerous. In ordinary life, this practically does not happen. However, under the confluence of a number of circumstances, this is possible, as a result of which a person may drink an excessive amount of water. An excess of water, that is, drinking more than 4-5 liters of water per day, is fraught with the following consequences:
enhanced kidney function
increased protein breakdown
washing out the necessary salts and disturbing the salt balance
dilution of gastric juice and slowing down of digestion.
In addition, people with liver and kidney diseases should be more careful with drinking water. Excessive consumption of liquids for them can be hazardous to health. In this matter, they need to strictly adhere to the doctor's recommendations. What is included in the drinking regimen One of the most common misconceptions is that the drinking regimen is equated with drinking liquids in general, including all drinks that have entered our body. It is important to remember that juices, fruit drinks, soda, milk, coffee, tea cannot replace water. Our body perceives them as food and spends maximum efforts to extract water from them. To function correctly, the human body needs a certain amount of pure water. You can calculate how much water you need to drink per kg of weight using a simple formula - we'll talk about this further. How much water to drink per day
The statement that all people need to drink 8 glasses of water per day is not entirely accurate. The required volume of water should be calculated based on individual characteristics, lifestyle, weight and age of a particular person. It is worth considering the physical activity during the day, the presence of chronic diseases, weather conditions and some other indicators. Make sure that you get enough water each day, whether your personal goal is 64 ounces (1.9 liters) or a different amount. It’s one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
For adults, the general recommendation from The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is about:
11.5 cups (2.7 liters) a day for women
15.5 cups (3.7 liters) a day for men
This includes fluids from water, beverages like teas and juice, and from food. You get an average of 20 percent of your water from the foods you eat.
How to drink water correctly People who lead a healthy lifestyle have probably heard that it is not recommended to drink water with food. This dilutes the stomach acid, making it difficult for food to be digested. Foods have an approximate digestion time, which is a good guide to when deciding when to drink after meals. Digestion of dairy products takes the longest time - more than two hours; bread products, pasta will occupy the stomach for more than an hour. Remember that the duration of digestion also depends on the amount eaten - the more, the longer.
What kind of water should you drink
The most useful is raw water, that is, water that is not distilled and unboiled. However, in our ecology, tap water carries a lot of harmful impurities. Therefore, it must be filtered using powerful purification systems. Boiling removes magnesium and calcium salts from the water, which are required by the body. And besides, there is practically no oxygen in boiled water. It is unacceptable to drink mineral water uncontrollably and a lot - it is enriched with minerals and salts, which, with constant ingestion, can accumulate and have a negative effect. The composition of mineral water affects the solution of specific problems, and a gastroenterologist should recommend it.
Hydrogen Water: Miracle Drink or Overhyped Myth
Small studies show that hydrogen water may reduce oxidative stress in people undergoing radiation, boost performance in athletes, and improve certain blood markers in those with metabolic syndrome.
Still, extensive research confirming its health effects is lacking, making it unclear whether the drink is worth the hype.
Relationship between water and weight On the Internet, you can find many articles on the relationship between water and weight loss. To a certain extent, drinking pure water actually helps you lose weight - mostly because it suppresses your appetite. Very often, when we want something to eat, our body actually signals the desire to drink. And a glass of water will completely satisfy this desire, while an eaten sandwich or other snack will add new pounds to our weight.
Many women are concerned about the question: how much water do you need to drink to lose weight? Experts believe that when losing weight, it is necessary to increase water consumption by 30% relative to the calculation. First of all, this is due to the fact that at the time of the breakdown of adipose tissue, there is an active release of toxins that are removed from the body thanks to water. Also, when losing weight, girls often use protein diets, and water is also needed for proper protein breakdown.
In special situations There are a number of situations and conditions that trigger an increased need for water.
Smoking dries out the mucous tissues of the nasopharynx, which causes a decrease in local immunity and increases vulnerability to infections. Smokers need to increase their water intake by 60%.
Viral diseases, high body temperature force the body to lose a lot of moisture, therefore, during the illness, it is advisable to significantly (almost double) the intake of water.
Lactation. A large amount of liquid is needed for milk to flow. Any nursing mother should increase the amount of water consumed per day by an average of 50% and even 150% if milk is not enough.
Athletes with increased physical activity should drink twice as much water, because during training, the body loses a lot of water with sweat.
When taking diuretics, diarrhea or vomiting, the water balance must also be replenished with additional fluid.
During pregnancy During pregnancy, some expectant mothers limit themselves to drinking due to the fear of polyhydramnios. This is a delusion. Water is necessary for the proper course of pregnancy, and the amount of amniotic fluid is in no way related to the volume of fluid consumed, but is a consequence of past diseases. Also, in pregnant women, swelling is a concern. However, water by itself, even in large quantities, cannot lead to edema. But in combination with diabetes, with the use of salty and spicy foods, with the lack of the required amount of protein in the diet, you will be guaranteed swelling. When they appear, we recommend that you immediately contact your doctor with this to establish the exact cause of their occurrence. Even with a normal pregnancy, you should not drink a lot of water in the evening. This can adversely affect the quality of your sleep.
Water & nutrition. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/nutrition/index.html. Accessed Oct. 2, 2020.
Dietary reference intakes for electrolytes and water. U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/dietary-reference-intakes-for-electrolytes-and-water. Accessed Oct. 2, 2020.
Franklin BA. Exercise prescription and guidance for adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Oct. 2, 2020.
Armstrong LE, et al. Water intake, water balance, and the elusive daily water requirement. Nutrients. 2018; doi:10.3390/nu10121928
Bardosono S, et al. Pregnant and breastfeeding women: Drinking for two. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism. 2017; doi:10.1159/000462998.
Polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid). National Health Service. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/polyhydramnios/Pages/polyhydramnios.aspx. Accessed Oct. 1, 2017.
Functions of water in the body. (n.d.). mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/multimedia/functions-of-water-in-the-body/img-20005799?footprints=mine