03 Feb Why is water so important for your health?
It is monotonously stated that we need to drink more than 2 litres of water every day to keep ourselves healthy and hydrated. Have you ever asked yourself why this is emphasized repeatedly to us? Well, water makes up around 60% of an adult’s total body weight and is necessary for many functions which include flushing out waste from our bodies, regulating our body temperature, promoting optimal brain function and memory and preventing dehydration.
Simple bodily functions cause us to lose water throughout the day through our breathing, perspiration, urination and bowel movements. For our bodies to continue functioning optimally, we need to replenish this loss by consuming both beverages and foods that contain water.
Dehydration occurs when the body does not have enough water. Because water is crucial to so many bodily functions, dehydration can be very dangerous. In severe cases, dehydration can lead to the swelling of the brain, organ failure, seizures and many more dangerous health risks.
The average adult man needs to drink around 3.7 litres (15.5 cups) of water daily, with the average women needing only 2.7 litres. These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20% of our daily water intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.
Your daily water intake is vital to maintaining your over wellbeing as water:
- Creates saliva – Water is the main component of saliva. Saliva is needed for the breaking down of solid foods and keeping your mouth environment healthy.
- Regulates body temperature – when you perspire on a hot day or during physical activity, your body loses water. The perspiration is needed to bring down your body temperature, which will rise too high if you do not replace the water lost. In severe cases, this loss of water can result in dehydration.
- Protects your body’s tissues, joints and spine – Water is needed to help lubricate and cushion your joints, spinal cord, and tissues. This will help you enjoy physical activity and lessen the discomfort caused by conditions such as arthritis.
- Adequate water intake can help prevent constipation and the onset of kidney stones.
- Studies have shown that drinking water before, during and after a meal will help your body break down food more easily and get the most nutritional benefits from your meals.
- Water also helps dissolve vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from your food and then delivers these to the rest of your body.
- Because water absorbs the important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from your food, it improves your health by helping prevent the occurrence of conditions such as constipation, kidney stones, exercise-induced asthma, urinary tract infections (UTIs), hypertension, etc.
- Water boosts the metabolism, thereby increasing your energy level.
- Adequate water intake keeps your skin hydrated and may promote collagen production.
- Proper hydration is key to staying in the optimal cognitive shape. Researchindicates that not drinking enough water can harshly impact your focus, alertness, and short-term memory.
- Not getting enough water can negatively impact your mood. Dehydration often results in fatigue, confusion and/or heightened anxiety.
- Drinking adequate amounts of water can help you keep your skin hydrated and may promote collagen production.
To help you remember to drink enough water throughout the day, consider carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go and keep track of how much water you drink throughout the day. Try to pace yourself out – drink at least a half of your recommended daily intake by midday.
Healthline. 2019. Why Is Water Important? 16 Reasons to Drink Up. [online] Available at:
Mayo Clinic. 2020. How much water do you need to stay healthy?. [online] Available at: