Not many are aware of the fact that ‘Water’ is a super-nutrient. When asked which are the nutrients the common answer is carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Some manage to include vitamins-minerals too.
Water is an important nutrient for our body and it is abundantly available. It is important from the point of view that if our body is not well hydrated then the other nutrients in our body don’t get metabolized well. Thus, the fate of other nutrients is completely dependent on water.
Water makes up for around 60-70% of our body weight. However, the amount of water contained in different body cells varies. Muscle cells comprise of 70-75% water whereas fat cells contain 10-15% water. Therefore, a muscular person will always have a good percentage of water in his body.
When one doesn’t hydrate himself adequately, his cells start losing water and the adverse effects of dehydration sets in. Dehydration can be a serious condition that can lead to problems ranging from swollen feet or a headache to life-threatening illnesses such as a heat stroke.
It is possible to go without food for a long time, but people cannot live without water for more than a few days. Every cell and organ depends on water to perform innumerable functions. The most essential functions include the following:
• Removal of waste and toxins out of the body
• Regulating the bowels
• Transport of nutrients and oxygen to all the cells
• Helping the heart pump blood efficiently
• Controlling the blood viscosity, blood circulation and thereby the blood pressure
• Regulating the body temperature
• Lubricating the joints
• Protecting the organs and tissues
• Helping in saliva production
Most of us are aware of these essential functions of water, yet many of them fail to drink enough of it on a daily basis. When questioned, a wide variety of reasons follow, “I tend to forget”, “I don’t feel the need to drink it”, “I don’t feel thirsty”…and so on. It’s been observed that many people tend to confuse thirst with hunger as our brain sends similar cues for both. Thus, some people end up grabbing some snacks in response to a thirst cue which could have been satisfied just by sipping water.
To be contd……..
In our next part we will talk of How do you create the need to drink water?