Water constitutes nearly 70-80% of our body composition largely dependent on our body size. It has a primary role to perform as a nutrient in maintaining our system in good health.
Unlike the consumption of food which could be potential sources of fats, carbohydrates or sugar, water even when consumed does not lead to uptake of calories; instead, it is associated with possible benefits to our health. The human body may be subjected to huge losses of water through breathing, excretion, and sweating. This fluid loss taking place regularly can be balanced by consuming an adequate volume of water in the form of food, liquid or plain water, to ensure normal functioning of the body.
The ability of water to maintain the appropriate concentration of fluids in our body is one of its most significant roles in promoting good health. Water is required at the cellular level to perform every ongoing physiological and biochemical reaction in the body supporting digestion of food and supply of nutrients, blood circulation and in regulating body temperature. Through appropriate mechanisms of communication with the kidney, the brain monitors the amount of water to be retained in the body or lost from the body, in accordance with the demands of our biological systems.
Studies have also suggested that water could inhibit the formation of kidney stones. Also, consumption of large quantities of water has been suggested as a potential cure for kidney stones by reducing the mineral concentration which crystallizes to form clusters and could perturb kidney functions.
Drinking large volumes of water also helps check weight gain and could be a strategy adopted for controlling calories. Though, not directly associated with an effect on weight loss, food products with high water content such as fruits and vegetables are filling and absorbed in the body slowly not letting us feel hungry for a prolonged period of time. Thus, water helps boost the metabolic activity in the body and prevents the consumption of extra calories.
Keeping the body hydrated facilitates among different age groups of males, females, and children to perform better. An adequate consumption of water prevents muscle fatigue and tiredness. It is, therefore, recommended that people start consuming fluids at least an hour before exercises and during the course of exercises to compensate for the continuous loss of water from the body in the form of sweat. Also, keeping the body adequately supplied with water helps boost memory and controls our mood, according to scientific studies. Dehydration very commonly accompanied by persistent and continuous headaches and migraine attacks may also be addressed by drinking enough water. Consumption of alcohol, a diuretic may cause excess loss of water in the form of urine, thereby, leading to dehydration. In such situations, water could help deal with dry mouth, tiredness, and headache, which are common symptoms of hangovers.
Water has a functional role to play in improving bowel functions and prevents constipation. Maintaining a continuous flow of water through the digestive tract ensures proper functioning of the bowel. The skin has an important role in regulating the balance of water and minerals in the body. It protects the body from excess loss of water. Often when the skin looks dry or wrinkled, keeping the body hydrated could be helpful. However, excess intake of water does not play a role in eliminating wrinkles completely from the skin.
The functional role of water in contributing to our good health is multitudinous. Still, it is considered as the second most popular fluid preferred for consumption following carbonated drinks. However, the health value of water is more than that of soft drinks, which are associated with enhanced uptake of calories. Apparently, the common advice of drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day may be a little overrated. However, it does not in any way rule out the possible positive implications of water on our health. When there is an imbalance between the amount of water being consumed and the quantity of water being flushed out from the body, various conditions could be affecting our system, which includes dehydration, headache, and constipation. There are certain factors such as high temperature, high altitude or extreme physical exertion which might aggravate further fluid loss from the system.
Knowing the benefits of drinking sufficient amount of water and its positive impact on our health, various measures can be undertaken to ensure adequate consumption of water as discussed below.
Consumption of a beverage or drink accompanying every meal. The choice of beverages lies at our discretion, but it is more effective to incorporate a non-caloric beverage such as water, juice, tea or coffee.
Ensure sufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables, with high nutritive value and water content. A considerable proportion of fluid is derived from the food we consume.
Carrying a bottle of water with us everywhere helps us keep ourselves hydrated, thereby, reducing the risks of various health conditions.