The cells, organs, and tissues of our body make use of water to maintain bodily functions. Since we lose water through sweating and digestion, it’s vital that we replace it through food and fluids. The amount of water our body needs depend on certain factors including the climate, physical activities, and health condition.
Water keeps us from dehydration.
Dehydration can be caused by heat, vigorous exercise, or illnesses that causes fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. If we lose too much fluid, it’s important that we increase our intake of fluids to restore our body’s optimum water level.
If you experience health conditions like urinary tract stones or bladder infections, it’s important that you drink more fluids to flush out bacteria. If you’re nursing or pregnant, you need to consult your doctor about your fluid intake as your body may need more fluids than usual.
Water helps in digestion.
The first step of digestion starts with saliva, which is made up of water. Good digestion relies on enzymes found in saliva for the breakdown of food and liquid, as well as for the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Proper digestion makes these nutrients more available to the body.
Water is also important in digesting soluble fiber. With the aid of water, we absorb soluble fiber more quickly; thereby promoting bowel health by making our stools formed and soft for easy passage through our intestines.
Water detoxifies our body.
Intake of adequate amounts of water allows the kidneys and liver to flush out waste. Waste is excreted from the body through defecation, urination, and perspiration. Water helps prevent constipation by softening stools and helping move the food through the gastrointestinal tract.
Water helps protect our joints, spinal cord, and tissues.
Aside from quenching our thirst and regulating our body temperature, water keeps our tissues moist. With proper hydration, our body maintains optimum moisture levels in vital areas of our body including our brain, bones, and blood. Water also helps protect our spinal cord and acts as a lubricant and cushion for our joints.
How much is “adequate water intake”?
Although we are told to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, there’s no definite rule on how much fluid you should drink. That’s because a variety of factors are at play. Meet your daily water needs by simply drinking fluids when you feel thirsty. It’s also important that you drink fluids while eating your meals. If you’re not sure about your hydration level, check your urine. If it’s clear, you’re probably in good shape. But if it’s dark, you’re probably dehydrated.
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