The Importance of Water

Nearly every part of the human body depends on water for proper functioning. Failing to keep one's body hydrated can lead to debilitating health effects such as:

Drinking an appropriate amount of water every day can have healthy, long-lasting effects. Water is crucial for these processes to properly occur:

When one considers this list, it becomes obvious that proper hydration is necessary for surviving and maintaining good health.

How Much Water Do I Need Per Day?

While the amount of water each person needs per day varies based on health, weight, climate and various other factors, there are several ways of establishing an approximate requirement.

One of the most common theories is that a person should consume about eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. This figure comes from the fact that most adults lose around 1.5 liters of water per day through urination, with an additional amount being lost through sweating, breathing and other bodily activities. Two liters of water in addition to daily meals should cover this deficit.

However, many doctors agree that most people need more than this. Some estimate that women should try to drink at least nine glasses a day and men should drink thirteen. Individuals that live in hot or humid clients, exercise frequently or are ill should increase their intake of water past this amount to make up for water lost during perspiration. Those who drink significant amounts of soda, coffee or alcohol should also drink additional water, as these liquids sap moisture from the body. The Mayo Clinic advises individuals to consume enough water so as not to feel thirsty and produce at least 6.3 cups of slightly colored or colorless urine every day.

As long as an individual allows himself or herself to urinate when he or she needs to, it is usually not possible to drink too much water. The body is able to balance its own hydration, expelling excess moisture through

urination.

How Does the Human Body Process Water?

Water is very easy for the body to digest, as it does not need to go through a lengthy breaking down process in order to make its nutrients available to the body. After consuming water, the fluid usually becomes saturated with salt and makes its way to the small intestine. The walls of the small intestine are covered with many tiny nodules called villi, each of which are covered with similar but smaller microscopic structures called microvilli. The nature of these structures greatly extends the surface area of the small intestine's mucosa, allowing for increased nutrient absorption. Water is absorbed along with its nutrients by the mucosa, after which it is transferred to the bloodstream, where it is transported throughout the body.

What Other Benefits Can I Receive From Drinking Water?

Drinking a sufficient amount of water over an extended period of time can help fight diseases and health complications. The American Journal of Endocrinology published a study revealing that individuals who consumed over four glasses of water every day were 41% less likely to die of a heart attack than those who drank two or fewer glasses. Other studies have found that the regular consumption of a healthy amount of water can reduce one's chances of developing bladder cancer by 50% and colon cancer by 45%. Some medical professionals have suggested that the daily intake of an adequate amount of water may help prevent breast cancer.

Water can also be used as a tool for weight loss. It can be used a replacement for juices, soda or alcohol and rarely contains any of the following:

Furthermore, water is an excellent appetite suppressant. By drinking more water, one can dull food cravings. In fact, when someone thinks they are hungry, they are often just thirsty. Drinking water can also make one a more efficient exerciser. Even lacking just 1% or 2% of your body weight in water can lead to fatigue, headache and general lack of energy.

Water makes up more than 80% of the human body, which means that every living person depends on water to survive. As such, it is important to stay hydrated in order to ensure that the body is able to function properly. Drinking enough water makes one healthier and helps maintain good health in both the short and long term.