Importance of water in the human body | 10 reasons to drink it
Water is the major constituent of the human body.
About 60% of it is water.
We need water for our cells, brain, and organs to function correctly.
But also to fight physical pain and even mental health problems.
Given the fact that you’ll be dead within three days when you don’t drink water, it’s save to say that it’s the essential nutrient in your body.
Since we lose a lot of it through sweating and breathing, it’s important to drink enough water to refill it.
In this post, I’ll show you what the function of water in your body is and what can happen when you don’t refill it.
So let’s get to it:
1. The primary function of water in your body
Water is the main constituent of cells, tissues, and organs and is vital for life.
Glucose and amino acids are solved in water in your cells as storage for when you need it.
One gram of glucose dissolves in about 4 grams of water. That is the reason why you lose so much weight at the start of your weight loss journey. Your body consumes glucose for energy, which causes you to lose a lot of water weight.
Water is also used to break down the protein, carbohydrates, and fats to useable components for your cells.
Furthermore, water carries nutrients to your cells and removes waste from your cells. It’s essential for transportation inside your body.
It also maintains the amount of blood in your body. You might not know this, but when you don’t drink enough water, your blood volume also suffers.
That’s why drinking enough water is so vital for your health. If your body doesn’t contain enough blood, your heart, lungs, brains, and all your organs can’t function properly.
2. Water and thermoregulation
Water has a large heat capacity, which contributes to limiting changes in body temperature in warm or cold environments. It cools off the body through sweating.
When your body heats up through the sun or the hot air around you, you start sweating to reduce your body temperature. This lost fluid has to be replaced by drinking water.
If you don’t do that, your body will overheat. It will also result in a reduced quality of your blood.
Your body pushes blood to the outside of your skin, where it can lose heat through your skin.
That is why your skin can turn red when you’re feeling hot.
But when you don’t drink enough water, there’s less blood to cool the body.
Sweating during exercise is necessary and not something to find dirty.
A small study conducted by Dr. Boschmann he found that when you drink 500 ml of water, the metabolic rate of fat tissue increased by 30%. The increase occurred within 10 minutes and reached a maximum after 30-40 minutes. The increased metabolism originated from warming the water.
3. Reduced calorie intake
Drinking more water is related to lower calorie intake.
A study conducted in 2016 used a nationally representative sample of 18311 adults from the national health and nutrition examination survey.
An increase of 1% in daily plain water intake was associated with a reduction in mean daily total energy intake of 8,58 kcal.
The majority of this calorie reduction is because drinking more water leads to drinking less sugar-containing beverages. Sugar-containing beverages are high in calories but have little satiety effect.
Another small study showed that drinking 500ml of water before breakfast resulted in 13% fewer calories consumed during breakfast.
So drinking enough water is also essential for energy regulation and could enhance weight loss.
To make sure you drink enough water during the day, putting a water bottle on your desk will help you drink more. I selected a water bottle for you that will motivate you to drink more water to help you with your weight loss.
4. Water as a lubricant and shock absorber
Water is also essential as a protector of your joints.
Your joint capsule, which contains synovial fluid, surrounds your joints.
This fluid helps to keep your cartilage healthy but also serves as a shock absorption when you walk or run.
Therefore it can slow down the formation of osteoarthritis.
Furthermore, water is stored in and around your organs to absorb blows.
Your body has to absorb many impacts during the day, and it needs to protect its vital organs. Water helps with that.
5. Physical performance
During physical activities, losing only 2% of water can already affect your performance.
It reduces endurance and motivation and increases perceived effort and fatigue.
During exercise, the amount of thirst you’re experiencing is usually not enough to replace the lost fluid through sweating. That’s why mild dehydration can persist for a few hours after completing the exercise.
That’s why it’s critical to keep drinking water, even when you don’t feel thirsty.
You still need to rehydrate.
Drinking a few glasses of water before you start exercising gives you a head start and reduces the risk of dehydration during exercising.
6. Cognitive performance
Your brain mostly consists of water. That’s why mild dehydration also hurts the functioning of your mind and your emotions. It can produce disruptions in mood and cognitive functioning.
It can also make it harder to concentrate, affects your short term memory and your eye movements.
That’s why it can cause temporary vision problems.
Dehydration even affects coordination, as this is an essential function of your brain.
Furthermore, research shows that dehydration is associated with changes in blood-brain barrier permeability and decreases in the blood flow in some areas of the brain.
A good blood-brain barrier permeability is essential for some reasons.
When you ate enough, your stomach and intestines send a signal to your brain. To reach your brain, the permeability has to be good. Otherwise, you won’t feel full which can lead to overeating and increased weight.
Furthermore, proper hydration increases the amount of glucose in the central nervous system, which is known to enhance learning and memory.
7. Gastrointestinal function and constipation
Fluids in the diet are generally absorbed in the proximal small intestine. The speed of gastric emptying to the small intestine determines the absorption rate.
The total volume consumed generally accelerates the gastric emptying rate which slows down again by higher energy density and osmolality.
Constipation can also be a result of not drinking enough water.
Your intestines need a certain amount of water with your food to function properly.
So when you don’t drink enough water, your intestines have a hard time processing your food. That can result in hard stools.
Lack of fibers is another possible cause for constipation. That’s why it’s important to eat enough carbohydrates since they contain fibers.
8. It improves your Kidney function
Your kidneys are crucial in regulating water balance and blood pressure as well as removing waste from the body.
When you’ve drunk a lot of water, your brain signals your kidneys to process the water and turn it into the urine.
The more water you drink, the easier this is for your kidneys.
When you start to get dehydrates due to a lack of fluid intake, the body begins to conserve water for when it’s needed. Your kidneys decrease urine volume and promote retention of water, and the urine becomes hypertonic. Your urine turns dark yellow when this happens.
Also, when you eat a lot of salt or other toxic substances like alcohol, it stresses your kidneys. These causes wear and tear on the kidney tissue, which might damage it.
Drinking enough water is vital to protect this organ and keep your body healthy.
9. It improves your heart function and hemodynamic response
Blood volume, blood pressure, and heart rate are closely linked. Matching water intake, and water output through your kidneys tightly regulates your blood volume.
When you lose water through sweating, your blood volume decreases. It can cause light headiness when you stand up after sitting or lying down for a while.
Getting up can cause a shortfall in blood pressure. Drinking 300-500 ml of water can prevent this shortfall in blood pressure. Water intake reduces heart rate and increases blood pressure, keeping your heart healthier. That is also the reason why drinking enough water improves physical functioning.
10. It prevents a headache
Dehydration is also a major cause of headaches.
Everybody knows what happens when you’ve drunk too much alcohol the other night.
You’ll get up with a headache.
Drinking a few glasses of water reduces symptoms quickly.
It’s not exactly clear as to why this happens. Research hasn’t found a clear explanation yet.
Fact is of course that your brain mainly consists of water. So when you don’t drink enough water, it’s likely that also your brain becomes dehydrated.
We’ve already talked about reduced concentration and cognitive functioning when you don’t drink enough water, so dehydration of your brain is a possible explanation for the development of these problems.
Now I want to hear from you
What would be your reason to start drinking more water?
Do you want to improve the health of your kidneys, heart, and intestines or do you want to reduce your calorie intake?
Leave a command below
Let’s make the world healthy again!