Research has shown that majority of people do not a practice intentionally drink water as often as they should. The reason is simple: as a person gets older, the internal warning system to alerts the body to thirst and therefore stirs up the desire to drink water gradually begins to get ‘dull’ such that the person loses sensitivity to declining water level of water in the body. The result is that the body’s hydration tends to fall. The idea that someone has to be reminded to drink water may seem puerile to some people, but the fact remains that the urge to intentionally drink water tends to ebb as one ages.
On the average most people do not drink enough water per day even though having the right level water in the body is vital for health and proper functioning of the human body. About 60 per cent of the body is made up of water while 75 per cent of the total surface of the earth is covered by water. After all recall that water once covered the whole surface of the earth before the Almighty caused the water body to part, for land to appear, as recorded in the Bible in Genesis, chapter 1.
Whereas a lot people would find it very easy to drink beverages such as coffee, tea and fruit juice (which all incidentally contain water), but drinking enough, simple water is not something they do as a practice. Not being properly rehydrated can cause serious health complications. It is to be noted that the human blood is 90 per cent made up of water. All cells, tissues and organs in the body depend on water for proper functioning of all metabolic processes that sustain life. In a nutshell, here are 15 reasons why it is vital to drink water.
1. It lubricates the joints
Cartilage, a cushioning material which separates bones and predominantly found in joints and form the inter-vertebral disks of the spine, contains about more than 80 per cent water. In situations of prolonged dehydration of the body, the capacity of the joints to absorb shock as a person moves about tends to reduce and this can cause joint pain because of significant decrease in the mass of the cartilage.
2. Water forms saliva and mucous layer of body parts
Saliva contains an enzyme called ptyalin which initiates the digestion of carbohydrates as the food is chewed in the mouth before being swallowed. It also helps the food to be easily swallowed. Water keeps the mouth, nose, and eyes moist, thereby reduces friction and damage. Drinking water also keeps the mouth clean as it reduces the concentration of oral bacteria that can cause tooth decay arising from the action of the bacteria that break down sweetened beverages often drank in place of water.
3. Water enables blood to deliver oxygen to organs
Without oxygen, cells of the body will die. Oxygen gets to them through the blood is over 90 per cent water.
4. Waters sustains health and beauty of the skin
When the body is dehydrated, it affects the skin, which becomes susceptible to certain disorders. Pre-mature wrinkling of the skin is a key result of dehydration.
5. It cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues
Dehydration can affect brain structure and function. It is also involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Prolonged dehydration can lead to problems with thinking and reasoning.
6. Water plays role in body temperature regulation:
Water that is stored in the middle layers of the skin comes to the skin’s surface as sweat when the body heats up. As it evaporates, it cools the body. Some scientists have suggested that when there is too little water in the body, heat storage increases and the individual is less able to tolerate heat strain.
7. The digestive system depends on it:
The bowel needs water to work properly. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation, and an overly acidic stomach. This increases the risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers.
8. It flushes body waste:
Water is needed in the processes of sweating and removal of urine and feaces.
9. It helps maintain blood pressure.
A lack of water can cause blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.
10. Keeps airways and lungs moist
When dehydrated, airways are restricted by the body in an effort to minimize water loss. This can make asthma and allergies worse.
11. Transports minerals and nutrients
Water makes it possible for the body to get the minerals and nutrients it needs in soluble form as they dissolve in it and are carried to different parts of the body.
12. It prevents kidney damage
The kidneys regulate fluid in the body. Insufficient water can lead to formation of kidney stones and other problems.
13. It boosts performance during exercise
Dehydration during exercise may hinder performance. Some scientists have proposed that consuming more water might enhance performance during strenuous activity. Dehydration reduces performance in activities lasting longer than 30 minutes.
14. Weight loss
Water may also help with weight loss, if it is consumed instead of sweetened juices and sodas. “Preloading” with water before meals can help prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness.
15. It reduces the chance of a hangover
When partying, unsweetened soda water with ice and lemon alternated with alcoholic drinks can help prevent overconsumption of alcohol.
• Adapted from Medical News Today