“I’m dying of thirst!”
Well, you just might. It sounds so simple. H20 – two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. This substance also known as water, is one of the most essential elements to health and is so important that your body actually has a specific drought management system in place to prevent dehydration and ensure your survival. As a biology teachers, I often advice all my students to drink as much water as possible to keep hydrated, specially in the summer. And also as a biology teacher, here are some scientific facts on water:
1. Water is important to the mechanics of the human body.
The body cannot work without it, just as a car cannot run without gas and oil. In fact, all the cell and organ functions that make up our entire anatomy and physiology depend on water for their functioning.
The human brain is made up of 95% water, blood is 82% and lungs 90%. A mere 2% drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration. Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue.
2. Water serves as a lubricant
Water serves as a lubricant in digestion and almost all other body processes. The water in our saliva helps facilitate chewing and swallowing, ensuring that food will slide easily down the esophagus. Water also lubricates our joints and cartilages and allows them to (pardon the pun) move more fluidly. Even our eyeballs need plenty of lubrication to work well and remain healthy.
3. Water regulates body temperature
Our bodies can control over-heating through perspiration from sweat glands in the skin and from evaporation which produces a cooling effect. Blood is also routed into areas close to the surface of the skin where it can be cooled and then carried back to the interior of the body. Conversing in a cold environment, the skin maintains proper body temperature by shunting the blood away from the exterior surface thereby conserving heat within the body..
4. Water helps our bodies remove toxins in many different ways.
Water flushes toxins and waste from the body through urination and perspiration. Water helps reduce constipation and aids in bowel movements which ensures that wastes are removed quickly and regularly before they can become poisonous in the body. Drinking enough water will also lessen the burden on the kidneys and liver by flushing out waste products.
Blood is about 92% water and it carries nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. Nutrients from the food we eat are broken down in the digestive system where they become water-soluble, which means they are dissolved in water. Water allows these nutrients to pass through the capillaries within the intestinal walls to the blood and circulatory system where the valuable nutrients and oxygen can be distributed throughout the body to all the cells and organs.
Drinking eight glasses of water daily can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50% and it can potentially even reduce the risk of breast cancer. And those are just a few examples!
5. Drinking to Your Health
Since water is such an important component to our physiology, it would make sense that the quality of the water should be just as important as the quantity. Therefore, your drinking water should always be clean and free of contaminants.
Please note: Drinking soda or cold drinks as a replacement for water is not only severely harmful to your health but could also cause chronic illness.
Remember it is also never too late to improve your health with the help of regular exercise, balanced nutrition and a positive outlook on life.
So here’s drinking to your health and achieving your goals. We know you can do it!!