Why is water so important to us?
An adult human body is composed of 75% water, so staying well hydrated is important for health and well-being.
One key role of water is to regulate body temperature, a lot of water is lost through sweat, especially in hot environments. Sweating is a mechanism to cool down the body, to avoid heatstroke and long-term damage. With sweat electrolytes and plasma are lost which need replenishing to keep the body balanced.
Helps with blood circulation
Good blood circulation aids the functioning of all the organs in the body. With an appropriate amount of water in your system, the amount of blood and therefore circulation will increase. This helps muscles receive more oxygen.
With the increased availability of oxygen in the muscles, energy levels will be higher along with a more active metabolism making you more energetic.
Good hydration has also been shown to help maintain activity levels for longer periods. This can be for work or exercise alike.
A key area where hydration is crucial for good functioning is the digestive system. Here increased amounts of saliva and liquids within the digestive tract help with the breakdown, digestion, and movement of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
Many people avoid drinking appropriate amounts of water in order not to go to the bathroom frequently. This can compromise the immune, digestive and urinary systems causing constipation, kidney dysfunction, infections, and high blood pressure.
Cognition and mood
Dehydration can affect concentration, physical and mental functioning, and short-term memory. Individuals can also express anger fatigue confusion and overall bad mood.
Often especially in hot climates sun will dry out and damage the skin. To counter this effect, we often apply sunscreen and moisturizers to avoid the skin getting damaged. Additionally, to external application, water can help keep the skin healthy and hydrated from the inside.
So what is the right amount of water?
Adults lose about 2.5 liters of water every day depending on the height and weight of the individual (Not accounting for physical activity). On average 1-1.5 liters are consumed through food. Therefore 1.5 liters need to be replaced with water or other beverages.
As a general guideline, a healthy adult should consume 20-40 milliliters of water per kilogram body weight.