The Health and
Wellness Practitioners

THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER TO THE BODY (Part 1)

What is water?

The New Oxford Dictionary defines water as “A colorless, transparent, odorless, tasteless liquid that forms the seas, lakes, rivers, and rain and is the basis of the fluids of living organisms.

The following statement was taken from the Ground Water Consortium about what water is made of:

“A water molecule has three atoms: two hydrogen (H) atoms and one oxygen (O) atom.” (“What is Water Made Of – The Groundwater Consortium”) You often hear people refer to water as H2O. “A single drop of water contains billions of water molecules.” (“Water’s Compositions | Idaho Falls, ID”)

Sources of Water

Whether you drink water from the kitchen faucet (tap water), a freshwater stream, or bottled water purchased at the store, water is necessary to our overall being.

  1. The amount we consume or take in is important
  2. The recommended amount of water per day, can be reached by consuming/eating foods which have a high-water content such as:
    1. Cucumbers
    2. Tomatoes
    3. Watercress
    4. Apples
    5. Celery
    6. Lettuce
    7. Watermelon
    8. Peaches
    9. Zucchini
    10. Broth (Low sodium vegetable, chicken, or beef)

The body is built to know when it needs water. We call it “thirst” or being “thirsty.” The mouth may feel dry, and it seems no other drink or beverage can satisfy the thirst.

The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine recommends the following for daily fluid intake:

  1. 125 ounces (3.7 liters) for men
  2. 91 ounces (2.7 liters) for women

To determine how much water you need, Dr. Roxanne B. Sukol/National Academics of Science Engineering and Medicine suggests considering these four factors:

  1. Activity level: if you work out a lot or are moving all day long, drink more water
  2. Location: if you find yourself in a warmer climate or at higher altitudes, you’ll probably want to increase your water intake.
  3. Metabolism: if you think you have a speedy metabolism and your body seems to need more fuel to keep its engines revved, you may want to take some extra sips during the day
  4. Size:  the more you weigh, the more water your body tends to need.

Tips to Drink More Water

  1. Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day
  2. Freeze some freezer safe water bottles. Take one with you and allow it to thaw for ice-cold water all day long
  3. Choose water over sugary drinks
  4. Order water with meals, when eating out. You’ll save money and reduce calories
  5. Serve water during meals at home
  6. Add a wedge/slice of lime or lemon to your water. This can help improve the taste and help you drink more water
  7. Make sure your kids are getting enough water.  Encourage children to drink water in educational settings, such as school, daycare and after school activity settings

Problems related to not drinking enough water, which may lead to symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration might include:

  1. Constipation
  2. Dizziness
  3. Dry mouth
  4. Fatigue
  5. Muscle cramps

More severe dehydration, if left untreated can become a medical emergency and may require immediate attention or being admitted to the hospital.  Severe dehydration can include the above symptoms as well as the ones below:

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Confusion
  3. Lethargy (drowsy)
  4. Loss of Kidney function

Give the body water and it will do its job. It is the balance to every organ and system in the body. Water also acts as a booster for the immune system. When infection tries to enter, a well hydrated person has a better chance of fighting off the invader. Infection thrives and takes control in a dry, unhealthy body. Drink plenty of water, your body depends on it!

Join The Health and Wellness Practitioners for the next Wellness Blog: THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER TO THE BODY (Part 2) Looking at body systems and how water is used by the different parts of the body.

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Deborah Lofton is a Registered Nurse with over twenty-eight years of nursing experience.

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