Sunday, January 15, 2012

WATER: The ' Why ' and ' How much '

So I was staying over at a friend’s place and had to leave early in the morning to go home , get ready and go to work. I was carrying my tooth brush with me to freshen up before I left his place. So I got up at around 6 am, weary and tired. After staring blankly at a random object for about 5 minutes (without blinking) , I got myself out of bed and towards the restroom to freshen up. I open the door and there I see my friend standing under the shower with his face pointed towards the ceiling and not a drop of water falling from the shower, because he had his mouth stuck onto the shower nozzle trying to gulp down as much water as he could because somebody told him “ You must have at least 78 liters of water in a day!” .. Alright I’m amusing myself now. But the question still remains,‘ How much water should one drink in a day?’

But first, is water really that important as it is made out to be??
YES! (an emphatic one)

Consider this..
  1. Total amount of water in the body of an average adult is about 37 Liters!! 
  2. Up to 60% of the human body is water 
  3. The brain is composed of around 70% water 
  4. The lungs are nearly 90% water
  5. Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water by weight
  6. Body fat contains 10% water 
  7. Bones have about 22% water
  8. Blood is about 80% water
  9. New born babies have as much as 80% water
  10. About 250 ml of water is lost on daily basis through breathing alone
We may survive for more than a week without food, but without water we wouldn't last for more than a couple of days(though this depends on othr factors as well).

Water is to our body what OIL is to an engine. It ensures smooth functioning of all joints. Hence, not consuming enough water may also be a cause of joint related issues.

The kidneys perform the function of throwing out uric aced, urea & lactic acid, all of which must be dissolved in water. In the absence of sufficient water,this process is not executed efficiently.Water is required to efficiently circulate blood, hormones and nutrients in our bodies. 

Water Rationing & Retention: 
Water retention is a vicious circle. Water retention gives us a feeling of being bloated. So we do not consume water , to avoid that bloated feeling. This in turn leads to more water retention. This is because, whenever our bodies don't get enough amount of any nutrient , it rations it , and uses some of it only for high priority functions only and stores the rest for future use, sensing an emergency situation. So, if we give our bodies water at regular intervals, it wouldn't feel the need to ration the ingested water and will use it to perform all the necessary functions required to keep us fit and healthy.

Now , How much water is enough?
According to the Food and Nutrition Board (Institute of Medicine)  general recommendations for quantity of water to be consumed stands at:

  • Approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of total water for women from all beverages and foods each day
  • Approximately 3.7 liters (125 ounces) of total water for men from all beverages and foods each day
So watch out for these signs and symptoms: 
  1. Dry mouth
  2. Ulcers
  3. The eyes stop making tears
  4. Sweating may stop
  5. Muscle cramps
  6. Nausea and vomiting
  7. Heart palpitations
  8. Light headedness (especially when standing)
  9. Weakness
  10. Decreased urine output
And keep yourselves well hydrated to avoid any of the above listed symptoms.
Cheers!!(with a glass of water)


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