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Are you drinking enough water?

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Dr MacLawrence Famuyiwa

The body of a human being is made up of between 50% to 78% of water. It is water that forms the basis of blood, digestive juices, urine and our perspiration. It is also part of our lean muscles, bones and fat.
Babies are born with about 78% of their body being water, this drops to about 65% by one year of age. Adult males have about 60% of their body being water while it is merely 55% in adult females because females have more fat than lean tissues.
Fat tissues are known not to have as much water as lean tissues. Consequently, fat people have less water as a percentage of their body weights compared to slimmer people. So, the water needed to be consumed is dependent on our age, body size, gender, metabolism, the weather, our activity levels and the food we eat.

The only source of water into our bodies is from the water and other beverages we daily drink. Some amounts of water also comes from our food. Most essentially, the water consumed has to be clean, so as to sustain life and ensure longevity, since the consumption of contaminated waters rather cause illness and even death.
However, human bodies can’t store water; we daily lose water from our bodies through respiration, perspiration, excretion and egestion. Most mature adults lose about 2.5 to 3 liters per day. Older adults lose about 2 liters per day.

Hence, it is mandatory that we continually replenish lost water. Otherwise, we would be dehydrated and this may be life-threatening, especially to babies, children and the elderly. In fact our body can only last a few days without water unlike lack of foods that can still sustain lives for several weeks. Consequently, an adult male needs to drink about 3 liters of water each day while an adult female needs about 2.2 liters per day.

Water our body needs comes not only from drinking water but also from other fluids such as coffee, tea, juice and soup among others. Drinking milk, especially by children, is an important source of water for our body. This is because milk is about 90% of water. However, full fat milk is preferable for children less than 2 years while low fat and reduced fat ones should be consumed by everyone else.
Tea, apart from being an important source of fluid for our body, also provides antioxidants and polyphenols believed to protect against heart disease and cancer. Some of the needed fluid for our bodies can also be provided by fruits. But fruit juices should never be an alternate to natural fruits, since fruits also provide fibers and nutrients and are free of extra sugars added to fruit juices.

Water is a vital nutrient to the existence of cells and is even one of our cells’ building materials. The health and integrity of every cell is maintained by water.
The lungs are made up of about 83% of water, the muscles and the kidneys about 79% of water, the brain and the heart about 73% of water, the skin about 64% and even the bones are about 31% of water.

It is water that helps our bodies to perform all important functions because it perfuses all our organs and cells to flush out wastes, regulate body temperatures, and help our brain to function properly. It also forms the saliva in our mouths, lubricates our joints and helps in metabolizing and transporting carbohydrates and proteins from the foods we eat.

All these are possible because water has an excellent ability to dissolve many substances such as nutrients, minerals, and chemicals in biological processes and make them available for use by our cells. Also, the surface tension of water makes it possible for water to easily transport these materials round our body and also transport waste materials out of our body.
In conclusion, we should form it a habit to always drink adequate water. Water should not be substituted with mineral water, carbonated drinks, fruit juices and other sugary and artificially sweetened drinks.

There are in fact a lot of benefits attached to drinking adequate water, which includes improvement of physical and mental performances, prevention of dehydration, reduction of the risk of kidney stones and, in women prevention of urinary tract infections among other life-saving benefits. Overall, it is water that enhance our beauty make us to live long.

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