The human body loses water through breathing, sweating and digestion. Water is necessary to replenish and rehydrate what we lose. We get it into our bodies through foods we eat and by drinking it and other beverages, such as tea.
Why we need to drink water
Our bodies are 60% water and it is necessary in every part of our body, from our cells to our organs. How much do you need to drink to stay hydrated? That depends on the factors in your like, such as climate, physical activity and health problems.
In addition to quenching our thirst and keeping our body temperature regulated, water keeps the tissue in our bodies moist and supple; this especially in sensitive areas such as the nose, eyes and mouth. It also helps keep the blood, bones and brain at the optimum moisture level. It protects the spinal cord and is a lubricating cushion for your joints.
Water helps push waste through your body via urination, defecation and perspiration. It helps the intestines, liver and kidneys process what we put in our body and flush it out. It keeps the food you eat moving through the digestive track and if you get constipated, you haven’t drunk enough. Digestion starts with the saliva in the mouth, which is basically water. The enzymes in the saliva break down the food we put in our body and makes mineral and nutrients accessible to your body.
When we need a higher intake
Becoming dehydrated can cause problems and when we exercise vigorously, we sweat a lot of water out. The same goes when you have a fever or an illness that causes diarrhoea and vomiting. Anytime you lose fluid, you need to increase your water intake to make sure your body can return to normal hydration levels. It also helps with come conditions, such as bladder infections and kidney stones. And it helps a breastfeeding mother produce more milk.
How much to drink?
There is no rule to follow about how much water you need throughout the course of the day. Some diets recommend 64 ounces a day; but if you are exercising, you need more in order to replace what you have taken out. If you drink other things, like coffee and tea, you can count them towards your daily water intake.
One good method of determining if you need to drink more is to look at the colour of your urine. If it’s light or clear, you are hydrated enough. If your urine is dark, you’re probably dehydrated and need to drink more.