The Significance of Water ConsumptionWater
Fluid intake for humans is a vital. As some say, it’s the source of life.
With billions of people spread across various landscapes with diverse environments and temperatures, nobody has exactly the same desire or requirement regarding hydration.
By understanding the basic needs of the human body at different stages of development, people are able to get an understanding of the guidelines they can follow. Although everyone has unique needs, there are still protocols that should be considered that allow humans to thrive as well-balanced individuals. This is equally important at all stages of life.
First, let’s first deal with the basics, which is understanding the main function that water has within the body. As one of the fuels (the other being food), water has three functions for humans:
- It delivers nutrients.
- Keeps the substances in the body in solution and transports them.
- Secretes toxic substances.
It’s suggested that the average adult should consume up to 2.5 liters daily, with slightly different suggestions from the CDC regarding youth and the elderly. An alternative guideline being 30 ml per kilogram of body weight or 0.46 fl oz per lbs.
So for example, if you are an adult between 30 to 60 years of age and weigh 60 kg (132 lbs), your water intake from all sources should be at least 1800 ml (or 1.8 liters per day).
For those with higher activity levels and individuals who live in hotter environments, those needs are higher. The key is to distribute drinking adequately and evenly throughout the day, as it is not enough to drink a lot directly after the fluid loss. And that’s just a start, as the body excretes about the same amount per day, through the intestines, kidneys, lungs and skin.
While we’re not suggesting to go below two liters per day, it’s not unheard of for people to miss these suggested levels. A study by the University of Giessen showed that only 27% of respondents consume enough water (more than 1.5 liters per day – which is the absolute minimum).
But what happens when your water consumption really starts to slow?
While slight thirst will occur as your body loses 1% of your body weight in water, things get more serious as that percentage creeps upwards. When one has a water loss that amounts to 15% of their body weight, one can sadly experience death by multiple organ failure. Really!
Further, the amount of water in the human body varies as one gets older.
As a newborn, it’s as much as 80%. A few months after birth, it drops to 70%. As a 25-year-old, the amount of water is estimated to be about 60%. And as one gets into their 80’s, it can drop down about 50% of their body makeup.
The importance of proper water consumption is even more evident when one reviews the estimated amount of water that is in our tissues and organs.
This includes small quantities, such as about 2%, which make up dental enamel and hair. Bones and fatty tissue each have about 30% water makeup. With over 80% of water content, the cerebral cortex, blood, plasma, and lymph are included. What has the most? The eye, which is close to 100% water.
It makes you wonder how one could get dry eyes, but let’s digress on that point…
Incorporating water into one’s life isn’t always going to be fun, or convenient, but it’s one of the easiest ways to take care of your body and health – that is, if you live in an area with access to safe water.
Remember to stay hydrated, and if you have any questions about the optimal water consumption for you and your family, start a conversation with your physician.
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