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Water, a Way to Stay Healthy

Written by
Dr. Afnan
and medically reviewed by Dr. K. Shobana

Published on Nov 28, 2018 and last reviewed on May 20, 2022   -  4 min read

Abstract

Water not only quenches thirst but also plays an integral role in the proper functioning of the body. Read this article to know more about the uses, recommended daily water intake, and ways to drink water more.

Water, a Way to Stay Healthy

Water: A Miracle Drink

Water has always remained the most essential and basic component of life for all living creatures, since the beginning of the world. The survival of mankind is impossible without water. Water is essential to good health that keeps the functioning of every system in the body properly. Drinking enough water every day can prevent dehydration, a condition that can cause confusing thoughts, mood changes, overheating body, constipation, and kidney stones.

How Much Water Should a Person Drink a Day?

Every day a person loses water through breathing, sweating, urine, and bowel movements. So for the body to function properly, it is essential to rehydrate and replenish the water supply by consuming beverages and foods containing water.

The recommended daily water intake is:

  • About 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters of fluids every day for men.

  • About 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters of fluids every day for women.

It is recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. This is commonly called the 8x8 rule. But, it is not applied to everyone. Most healthy people can stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than eight glasses per day may be enough. Others may need more.

Who Are at Risk for Dehydration?

One may need to modify the total fluid intake based on several factors, including:

  • Exercise: People who do any vigorous activity that causes profuse sweating should drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It is essential to drink the right amount of water before, during, and after a workout for good hydration.

  • Environment: Hot or humid weather can cause excessive sweating and requires additional fluid.

  • Overall Health: The body loses fluids in health conditions like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, bladder infections, and urinary tract stones. Drinking more water or following a doctor's recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions can help replace the fluid loss in the body.

  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, may need additional fluid intake to stay hydrated.

  • Older adults: Older adults are at a higher risk of dehydration due to decreased thirst response, low fluid content in the body, decreased kidney functions, and health conditions and medications.

What Are the Health Benefits of Drinking Water?

Here are the reasons to drink enough water or other fluids every day:

1. Water Helps in Weight Loss: One of the major benefits that people can get is weight reduction. This is more helpful for persons who are obese and want to lose weight. Drinking one to two glasses of water 20 to 30 minutes before a meal helps reduce weight. Doing so reduces the quantity of food one can eat and decrease the appetite. Drinking water before meals results in an average reduction in intake of 75 calories per meal.

2. Water Keeps Muscles Energized: Like most things in the body, muscles also require a balance to function properly. Without enough water, the muscles do not get the electrolytes needed to maintain balance, which results in weakened strength and control, and even dehydration. Drinking the appropriate amount of water helps muscles become energized, makes a person more awake, and alert, and enhances performance.

3. Water Helps Improve Skin: Dehydration makes the skin look more dull, dry, and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration. Drinking adequate amounts of water not only helps keep the skin nourished and moisturized but also keeps the skin glowing and fresh. Water also flushes out harmful toxins from the skin in the form of perspiration.

4. Water Helps Keep Kidneys Healthy: The kidneys play a major role in cleansing and getting the body rid of toxins such as urea, creatinine, and uric acid. Water helps the kidneys eliminate wastes from the blood in the form of urine. In the presence of enough fluids, urine flows freely and it is light-colored and odorless. Insufficient fluids in the body increase urine concentration, color, and odor because the kidneys trap excess fluid for bodily functions. People who drink too little water may be at a higher risk for kidney stones, especially in hot climates.

5. Water Aids in Digestion: Drinking water during or after a meal aids in digestion. Water and other fluids help break down large chunks of food so that the body can absorb the nutrients. Water also helps in softening stool, which helps prevent constipation.

What Are Ways to Drink More Water?

Here are some tips to increase the fluid intake and get the benefits of water:

  • Choose beverages of your own choice.

  • Include more fruits and vegetables in the diet. The high water content in fruits and vegetables adds to hydration.

  • Always keep a bottle of water in the car or at the workplace. Refill it throughout the day.

  • Add flavor to the water for enhanced taste. Lemons, oranges, cucumber, watermelon, strawberries, and herbs are good options.

  • Take water while traveling.

  • Drink plenty of water instead of sweetened beverages.

  • Drink water when feeling hungry. Usually, thirst is confused with hunger. True hunger is never satisfied with drinking water. Drinking water can also contribute to a healthy weight-reduction plan. Research suggests that drinking water can help a person feel more full.

  • Stay hydrated during, and after a workout session.

Conclusion:

Water is important to most bodily functions. Good hydration helps in better functioning of the digestive system, prevents constipation, flushes toxins from the body, promotes good kidney function, keeps the muscles energized, and improves skin. Since the body has no way to store water it is essential to rehydrate and replenish the water supply by increasing fluid intake.

Frequently Asked Questions


1.

Why Is Water Essential?

Water is considered the elixir of life. It is an integral part of all the metabolic reactions happening in the body, which is crucial for the proper functioning and sustenance of life. For example, it helps regulate the body temperature, keeps the kidney healthy, aids digestion, keeps skin hydrated, helps in weight loss, and keeps muscles energized.

2.

Is Drinking Only Water Healthy?

Water is healthy as it serves many vital functions. However, water has no calories; hence, maintaining a balance between drinking water and consuming healthy food is essential. Drinking only water thus may not add to any health benefits.

3.

Why Is Water Important for Our Health?

Water is an essential element required for the proper functioning of various organ systems in our body, thereby sustaining life. It plays a crucial role in hydration, maintaining body fluids balance, aiding digestion, keeping our skin soft and supple, and detoxifying the body.

4.

How Much Water Does a Person Need?

A person should drink roughly eight glasses of water to keep themselves hydrated; however, water intake is an individualized parameter that may vary depending on the needs and other physical traits.

5.

What Happens if You Do Not Drink Water?

Not drinking adequate water could result in dehydration and other adverse effects. There would be a considerable change in the body's metabolic functions. There would be a lack of energy, fatigue, headache, and dry skin. Dehydration would also result in constipation and hard stools.

6.

Is Water Good for Your Skin?

Water is considered an excellent hydrating element for the skin. It nourishes the skin, keeps it hydrated, and moisturizes it effectively. Water is also known to reduce pimples and acne and helps flush out toxins from the skin. Drinking sufficient water will help to keep your skin fresh, supple, and glowing.

7.

Which Water Is Considered the Best for Your Body?

Still water is better than sparkling or carbonated water as it is absorbed more quickly in the body. Sweetened and carbonated water would add to the extra calories with little benefit.

8.

How Does Water Impact Our Life?

Water is the elixir of life. It plays a vital role in our body's metabolism and other vital functions. Subsequently, water is also a crucial element in sustaining the world economy. Roughly 70 % of water is used in agriculture and other occupational industries. It is estimated that only 3 % of the earth's water is freshwater, and only 1.2 % is drinking water. Hence conservation and appropriate use of the available water is imminent for better survival.

9.

What Is Water, and How Is It Important?

Water is a colorless, tasteless and odorless chemical solvent. It is primarily composed of hydrogen and oxygen and can exist in solid, liquid, and gaseous states. Water is essential to hydrate the body. Since water cannot be stored in the body, drinking and replenishing the needed quantity from time to time is necessary.

10.

Does Water Make You Look Younger?

Water is considered a tincture of youth. It helps the skin look younger, bright, and unblemished. Adequate hydration prevents wrinkles, acne, and scars, thus giving a youthful look to the individual.

11.

Is Water Good for Your Heart?

Studies suggest adequate hydration could prevent heart disease and cardiac failure. Drinking sufficient amounts of water can significantly lower the body's sodium levels, which are a precursor for various heart diseases. Water is also known to maintain blood pressure. However, individuals with a known history of cardiac failure are advised to drink less water as the heart cannot pump sufficient blood, which may result in fluid accumulation throughout the body.

12.

How Long Does Water Stay In Your Body?

Water is one of the easily digested substances as it can be digested and processed in less than five minutes. Excess water is excreted in urine, feces, and sweat. Water is also used for various metabolic reactions, such as digestion and other vital functions in the body. In addition, the body cannot store water. Hence it is advisable to stay hydrated as much as possible.

13.

How Can I Tell if I Am Hydrated?

The color of the urine is the best indicator to assess the level of hydration. Clear or pale urine is suggestive of adequate hydration. Dark or amber-colored urine indicates poor hydration.

14.

Why Do I Pee So Much When I Drink Water?

The amount of fluid consumed is directly proportional to the urine produced. Any excess water is filtered by the kidneys and excreted through the urine. Hence when a person drinks too much water, it results in excess urination.

15.

Does Water Slow Down Aging?

Water helps maintain skin elasticity and can slow down signs of aging, such as scars, soft lines, and wrinkles. Hydration is important to keep the skin healthier and younger-looking. Drinking less water makes the skin dull, dry, and prematurely-aged.

Last reviewed at:
20 May 2022  -  4 min read

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