Do you drink enough water? Most of us don’t, even though water is the most essential nutrient in our body. Water makes up a portion of every cell, tissue and organ in the body. Water accounts for approximately 60% of our body weight. Even bone is made up of more than 20% water. Muscle contains approximately 75% water, and our teeth contain about 10%.
Don’t underestimate the importance of water and the functions of water in the body.
Functions of water in the body
Water is essential for life. Water plays a number of huge roles in daily sustenance and health, such as:
- transporting nutrients to cells and other structures in the body;
- carrying away waste;
- moisturizing the mouth, the nose, the eyes and other mucosal membranes;
- hydrating the skin;
- and promoting adequate blood volume.
Water is also found in bodily fluids and is important in many chemical reactions inside the body. Water also helps the body to maintain adequate temperature, promotes joint lubrication, and acts like a shock absorber for our spinal cord and brain and other body organs, helping to protect against physical trauma.
One can think of the importance of water in the body the same as the importance of water in your car radiator. While water is essential in cooling your engine, water in the body maintains adequate blood volume. Without water, your blood becomes thicker and sluggish, forcing the heart to beat harder and faster to supply sufficient amounts of oxygen to your muscles.
Health risks of inadequate water intake
Without water, your body is susceptible to dehydration. Severe dehydration is very dangerous for older individuals as well as newborns and infants and can lead to electrolyte and other chemical imbalances in the body. How can you tell if you’re dehydrated?
A number of signs and symptoms are associated with dehydration:
- Severe thirst
- Darker, yellow urine
Treatments for dehydration are focused on restoring body fluids. It’s recommended that an adult drink a minimum of 64 fluid ounces of water a day. Don’t underestimate the importance of adequate water intake on a daily basis.