by Arthur Evans
drinking lots of water

Water is the most abundant element in the earth. It is composed of the first and third most abundant elements, hydrogen and oxygen, respectively. Silicon is the second most abundant element because compounds of silicon are found in more than 90 percent of the earth crust. It covers about 71 percent of the earth surface, only 3 percent of the earth’s water can be used for cooking, drinking and other human activities, the remaining 97 percent is found in the ocean and is too salty for common uses.

Most living organisms cannot survive without water. If water disappeared from the earth, most people and animals will begin to die in a matter of days, plants would start withering in the ever-drier air and in a matter of months, most life forms on earth would cease to exist.The uses of water cannot be overemphasized, billions of gallons of water are being used every day in different forms of liquid, solid (ice), and gas (steam). Some general uses of water are: for eating, cleaning, bathing, washing, agricultural and industrial purposes, transportation, and to generate electricity.

hydrating after a workout

Water makes up about 70 percent of the human body weight, but lack of water does not enhance weight loss. Water is essential for the survival of all living organisms. The human body system needs water to survive and perform its regular biological daily functions. According to the U.S National Academics of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, the adequate daily intake of fluid is about: 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) daily for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) for women. Some general biological roles and functions of water in the body includes:

  • Maintenance and balance of body fluids
  • It aids in the prevention and treatment of constipation
  • It aids weight to lose
  • It is important for the digestion of foods
  • It maximizes physical performance
  • It flushes out toxins from the body and enhances the function of the excretory system
  • It helps to treat kidney stones and aids the circulatory system in the transport of  body fluids and nutrients
  • It improves energy level and enhances cognitive functions of the brain
  • It helps to prevent dehydration
  • It protects tissues, spinal cord, and joints in the body.
  • It helps to regulate our body temperature

The body system needs about 3-4 liters of water daily, not taking enough or taking very little could have a serious health impact on the body.  Some effects of low water intake include:

man with headache
    dehydration occurs when your body does not have enough water to carry out its normal daily functions. It often stems from losing more water than you take in. the body loses fluids through urinating, breathing, tears, vomiting, sweating, and bowel movement. Common symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, dizziness, intense thirst, dark yellow urine colored urine, and headache
    did you know? The human brain is composed of about 75 percent of water. Our brain is strongly dependent on our hydration level, a reduced amount of water in the body affects the flow of oxygen to the brain which in turn affects our ability to think, concentrate, and remember. Water is very important for the transport of oxygen and nutrients needed for optimal functioning of the brain. Lack of water in the brains of adults has shown signs of neuronal activation while performing cognitive tasks as a result of the brain performing tasks with limited resources of oxygen and nutrients.
    water plays a very important role in the digestive and excretory system, it is needed in the digestion of foods and to move wastes along the digestive tract. Stools can become hard when the intestines lack enough water which helps in softening them and this leads to a dry and lumpy stool and also constipation. Less water will be withdrawn from your colon (large intestine) when your body is properly hydrated.
    moderate hydration helps to regulate insulin levels in the body to balance the blood sugar level thereby preventing diabetes. Lack of water in the body causes the sugar in our circulation to become more concentrated thereby increasing the blood sugar level. It causes the damage of vessels that supply blood to vital organs, increases the risk of type-2 diabetes and obesity.
    A low amount of body fluid is linked to some psychological defects like stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that half a liter of dehydration can increase our cortisol level. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that plays a variety of important functions in the body especially in the immune system and for metabolic activities, including helping the body to respond to stress.
    As humans, we can survive for about a month without food, but only about a week without water.

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