Our body weight is approximately 60% water. Body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues for temperature regulation and other bodily functions. Because body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it’s important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. The amount of water we need depends on a variety of factors, including the climate we live in, how physically active we are, and whether we are experiencing an illness or have any other health problems.
Water Aids in Digestion
Digestion starts with saliva, the basis of which is water. Digestion relies on enzymes that are found in saliva to help break down food and liquid and to dissolve minerals, other nutrients and digest soluble fibers. With the help of water our bowel health is benefitted by making well-formed, soft stools that are easy to pass.
Water Helps Your Body Remove Waste
Adequate water intake enables your body to excrete waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation. The kidneys and liver use it to help flush out waste, as do your intestines. Water can also keep you from getting constipated by softening your stools and helping move the food you’ve eaten through your intestinal tract.
Water Protects Your Tissues, Spinal Cord, and Joints
Water does more than just quench your thirst and regulate your body’s temperature; it also keeps the tissues in your body moist. Keeping your body hydrated helps it retain optimum levels of moisture in these sensitive areas, as well as in the blood, bones, and the brain. In addition, water helps protect the spinal cord, and it acts as a lubricant and cushion for your joints.
How Much Water Do You Need?
There’s no hard and fast rule, and many individuals meet their daily hydration needs by simply drinking water when they’re thirsty. In fact, most people who are in good physical health get enough fluids by drinking water and other beverages when they’re thirsty, and also by drinking a beverage with each of their meals. If you’re not sure about your hydration level, look at your urine. If it’s clear, you’re in good shape. If it’s dark, you’re probably dehydrated.