The Importance Of Water
Water is almost not considered when it comes to food, notwithstanding it’s an essential element for our body. But, think about it, without drinking, you survive an average of not more than three days. While without eating, you survive, albeit with severe metabolic disorders, for more than a month.
Why do we need water?
We need water because it is the most significant percentage component of our organism (in adults it is equal to 60-65% of body weight) and because we “lose fluids” all the time: first of all with urine, but also with the so-called “loss of water” extrarenal” ” represented by sweat (this share is very variable, depending on the external temperature and the activity that takes place), transpiration (the evaporation of water through our skin and mucous membranes), feces.
How can we get back the water we lose?
We have both “endogenous” and “exogenous” sources of water, it represents the endogenous sources we produce during the catabolism of nutrients. This “endogenous water,” however, is not enough to cover the losses, and therefore we need to supply ourselves with fluid from the outside (“exogenous” water).
Water content in food is variable, generally very high in fruit and vegetables but also between these with significant differences: the amount of liquid present in orange https://amzn.to/3GsPj2B is much higher than that present in a banana!
Although the amount of water introduced with drinks and foods can be very variable depending on your diet, it is still not enough. It is therefore essential to introduce water as a drink. But how much? It depends on how much liquid the foods we eat contain, but it is necessary to drink 1.5-2 liters of water a day to be on the safe side. But drinking these amounts of fluid is not a common habit, and most people are dehydrated.
Two systems try to maintain our water balance.
- The first is the production of antidiuretic hormone, which, as the word implies, reduces the volume of urine we emit and saves us water.
- The second is the thirst center, a nervous structure in our brain that makes us perceive the sensation of thirst. Be careful: when we feel thirsty, we are already dehydrated: we must drink even before being thirsty.
But what happens if we get dehydrated?
A loss of only 2% of the body’s water content causes thermoregulation problems and alteration of physical performance. With 5% or more losses, cramps appear, and over 7% of hallucinations and life-threatening symptoms occur. In any case, even without reaching these levels, if we drink little, our skin will be drier. We could have problems with constipation because the stools are dehydrated. It is not true that if you drink too much, you have water retention. Drinking water helps solve Water retention caused by excess sodium.
And as the last tip, remember that, proportionally, children need a more significant amount of water than adults. We can’t send our children to school and play sports without giving them a bottle of water https://amzn.to/3BoekZ0.