Drinking water as much as possible has been one advice that never seems to change in the ever-evolving health world. With about 65% of the human body consisting of water, drinking water consistently is a no-brainer. A lot has been written and said on the advantages of high water intake, and there is an endless stream of studies to provide more data to back this up. We can, however, revisit some of the major uses of water within our body system.
Why You Can’t Live Without Drinking Water
Before you can digest anything, you, of course, have to chew and swallow. This is thanks to the production of saliva by glands fueled by, you guessed right… water. Even if you were ill and had to take medication, it would be impossible to get better if water did not help the medication breakdown in the stomach.
All the nourishment to keep your body running and in shape will never leave your stomach without some water help. Just like a transport system takes goods from the sea/airports father inland, water carries nutrients from your stomach to extreme organs. The disbursement of nutrients to your brain and other extremities, is due to the transportation by water.
When undergoing strenuous activities and exercises, we sweat a lot and muscles lose water. Dehydrated muscles get tired, and tired muscles could be easily hurt. Drinking water is very essential for an active lifestyle.
Water is indispensable in getting rid of harmful toxins and other elements within the body. These might include a residue of medication which might sometimes be toxic to the body. When recovering from an illness or infections, sometimes, taking lots of water helps in flushing out the bad guys even as you take medication to get rid of them. Bodily waste useless byproducts or harmful excesses also need to be rid of, and water is essential to carry out these cleansing operations.
The kidney serves as a kind of filter to the body. This makes the kidney susceptible to buildups of minerals which could result in an unhealthy kidney. Kidney diseases such as kidney stones have far-reaching effects which could include buildup of fluids within the body.
Outlining why we need water to survive could go on and run into a whole book. Other important reasons to be friendly with a water-bottle include
- Combat dehydration
- Boost brain function
- Improve colon movement
- Balances body temperature
- Boosts metabolism
After all said and done, it looks like we can never go wrong with drinking water. But how much water can our body really take without being too much? This brings us to the bad parts of drinking water. Apparently, too much of a good thing won’t be good anymore also applies to drinking water.
Effects of Drinking Water in Excess
Introducing a new type of intoxication, water intoxication. Water intoxication is a situation whereby water becomes poisonous to you. Over-dilution in the concentration of sodium in the blood to less than 135milligram per litre is a major consequence of over-hydration.
This is a good example of water intoxication. This occurs when there is rapid intake of large quantities of water. Although a rare occurrence, it is preceded by some special conditions and requirements.
One such situation is in a situation when the body is under stress and has been conditioned due to physical exercise. The production of the diuretic hormone Vasopressin increases and this reduced the kidneys’ water filtering function and results in high water retentions.
Imagine running in a marathon, and your body has conditioned itself to deal with the little sips of water you get every 10 minutes. In order to conserve fluids to fuel your ongoing physical activity, less water is being passed out as urine and sweat.
So, the dam has been closed due to a drought season, and suddenly a huge flood of water gets released. When you get to the finish line and take copious amounts of liquid, your body isn’t ready to handle all that yet. Instead, the water is forced into your blood and your cells which creates an electrolytic imbalance. This leads to swelling of cells from overabsorption of water. The results include
- Confusion/ disorientation
- Brain swelling
Rare cases of death due to water intoxication/hyponatremia include Jennifer Strange, who died five hours after competing in a water drinking competition. Also, teenage schoolgirls Anna Wood and Leah Betts, also victims of Water Intoxication due to use of Ecstasy which induces thirst.
Water has often been purported to aid weight loss as it reduces the urge for food. Some few ways water aids weight loss include;
- A glass of water is necessary to fuel your metabolism
- It helps reduce cravings for other/less healthy drinks
- Water powers your workouts and makes you go longer and they are more effective.
- Taking a glass or two of water before a meal will reduce the amount of calories you consume by about 75calories.
But, funny enough, water also makes us gain weight. With at least 60% of body mass thanks to water, increased intake of water undoubtedly adds to body weight. Water weight is weight gained with intake of large quantities of water and is usually lost within 48hours.