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Feb 22, 2017
Feb
22
2017

The Elixir of Life

Water is, and always has been, essential to everyday life. Humans are dependent on water to function. Our bodies are made up of nearly 70% water, and our major organs are much more dependent on it to function. The water in our bodies helps regulate our body temperature and powers our organs, muscles, and cells to function correctly. Whether you’re a sportsperson or a doctor, your body needs adequate amounts of water to survive and thrive on a daily basis.

Water is needed for most body functions, including to:

  • Maintain the health and integrity of every cell in the body
  • Keep the bloodstream liquid enough to flow through blood vessels
  • Help eliminate the by-products of the body’s metabolism, excess electrolytes (for example, sodium and potassium), and urea, which is a waste product formed through the processing of dietary protein
  • Regulate body temperature through sweating
  • Moisten mucous membranes such as those of the lungs and mouth
  • Lubricate and cushion joints
  • Helps transfer nutrients, oxygen, carbon dioxide and waste products from one cell to another.
  • Reduce the risk of cystitis by keeping the bladder clear of bacteria
  • Aid digestion and prevent constipation
  • Moisturise the skin to maintain its texture and appearance
  • Boost your physical performance
  • Serve as a shock absorber inside the eyes, spinal cord and in the amniotic sac surrounding the foetus in pregnancy.

How much water do you need to drink?

The amount of water you should drink on a daily basis depends on your lifestyle, fitness and other habits. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, but that number may be conservative for optimal health. It depends on your weight, activity level, and other factors that affect your health. However, there are other factors to consider when deciding how much you want to drink. Coffee and alcohol are diuretics that can lead to dehydration. If you’re exercising, you’ll want to increase your water intake. If it’s a hot summer day, and you’re moving around a lot, you’ll want to make sure you keep up by drinking water throughout the day. Under any of these circumstances, you’ll want to increase your fluid intake.

Keep in mind, commercially bottled mineral water contains salt, which can lead to fluid retention and swelling, and even increased blood pressure in susceptible people. Limit the amount of mineral water for optimum consumption.

On a concluding note, it is important to remember that water is essential to most bodily functions. The body has no way to store water and needs fresh supplies every day. It is up to you to fuel this machine that keeps you going every day.

For more information of creating a well-balanced diet, and to know the optimum water intake for you, take an appointment with our Nutrition Department: http://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicaldepartments/nutrition.html

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