Why drink water?
Water is one of the 6 essential nutrients that our body needs.
The 6 nutrients are:
about 70% of our body weight is water.
Ingestion and excretion of water.
We consume water through food, and what we drink. We also get a bit through the skin and lungs. The body even produces a little water through energy production in the cells (atp)
The water leaves the body via sweat, urine and exhalation.
The water’s route through the body.
90% of the water is absorbed in the small intestine and goes into the blood stream, from there into the extracellular fluid (the fluid surrounding the cells), along with various nutrients, and from the extracellular fluid into the cells, where it replaces the used water. When the water is transferred to the extracellular fluid the blood is ready to absorb more water.
It is important for the cells to have enough water to be able to function optimally. If not, the cells will not function properly, and we get ill.
The spent water with waste products from the cells is transferred to the extracellular fluid, and from there back to the bloodstream. From the bloodstream, the water flows on to either the kidneys, lungs or skin.
At rest, the body produces approximately 0,03g sweat per minute and 540g per 24 hours.
During times of heavy activity the body produces 1 litre or more per hour.
In a sauna the body produces around 40g sweat per minute, 1200g per ½ hour.
With fever the body produces 5 to 6 litres per day.
If we have not been taking in enough water to cover what we lose, the body will need more more than is available through the small intestine, and will have to take water from the intracellular fluid. If that is not enough, the water is taken from the cells. If this happens over a long period, the body will become dehydrated and there will no longer be enough liquid to produce sweat, or only very concentrated sweat. The same applies to the urine.
As there is now less water to transport waste products out of the body, these will begin to accumulate in the body and we will have various symptoms to show that the body is not functioning properly (disease)
Via lungs we lose about 0.25 ml per minutte at rest, and approximately 5 ml per minute when working hard.
Via sweat about 0.5 litres a day when resting
Via urine 1-1.5 litres per day
Acute dehydration is when not enough water is consumed and you lose 10% or more of the body weight in fluid loss. When in acute dehydration there is a great risk of dying from dehydration. It is important to ingest water with a little salt, a little at a time. The salt helps the water to remain in the body, instead of running straight through.
Chronic dehydration is when not enough water is consumed to cover fluid loss over a longer period of time.
This can cause the following symptoms:
Lack of energy
Loss of appetite
High blood cholesterol
Increased risk of osteoarthritis
Obesity (thirst can give you false hunger and energy shortages so that you eat more food, sugar, etc.)
What is thirst?
Thirst is the body’s warning that there is fluid loss, and that liquid needs to be ingested.
Many people do not feel thirst, and this may be due to them not listening to the body’s signal (thirst) over a long period of time and therefore, the body has become tolerant of the feeling of thirst.
That fact that you do not feel thirsty does not mean you do not need liquid.
Another reason that you do not feel thirst may be because you confuse thirst with hunger. So
instead of drinking, you eat.
If you do not feel thirsty and start drinking normally (2-2.5 litres a day), the natural thirst will return.
If you always have a small bottle of 0.5 litre with you, it is easier to remember to drink.
4 small bottles of water a day doesn’t sound so bad does it?
Remember to drink more if you exercise or are in hot environments.