Water and Our Health

Did you know:

  • Water comprises 50 to 70 per cent of an adult's total body weight, and without regular top-ups, our body's survival time is limited to a matter of hours or days.
  • You can survive without food for 60 to 120 days depending on body fuel stores, but can only survive without water for a maximum of 2 to 7 days depending on temperature and exercise.

Factors that increase our requirement for water include:

  • Caffeine in coffee, cola and alcohol has diuretic effect causing fluid loss from the body
  • Dry environments such as offices, with air control systems and lots of electrical equipment.
  • Exercise, increasing body heat, thereby activating the cooling process, sweating. To find out more about fluid requirements during exercise.


Health Benefits of Water

Water is vital to the body for a number of core functions:

  • Aids fat metabolism – water is they key to fat metabolism; the more fat you have, the more water you need.
  • Aids kidney function – the body is constantly producing toxins as a byproduct of normal cell function. In the kidneys, these toxins are dissolved in water so the body can filter them out through urination. Insufficient water leads to toxic offload from the kidneys to the liver.
  • Maintains blood volumes - water is necessary for the production of new blood cells. Blood volume is determined by the amount of water and sodium ingested, excreted by the kidneys into the urine, and lost through the gastrointestinal tract, lungs and skin. To maintain blood volume within a normal range, the kidneys regulate the amount of water and sodium lost into the urine.
  • Aids muscle tone and functioning
  • Keeps skin hydrated, and functioning to prevent clogged poors and withering
  • Aids endocrine gland function
  • Transports essential nutrients throughout the body and rids the body of waste
  • Acts as a lubricant for the body, moistening eyes, mouth, nose, and skin
  • Helps regulate body temperature, especially in warm weather
  • Helps prevent constipation
  • Helps medications to work - assists absorption
  • Boosts metabolism when drunk cold [we burn 2 calories per glass as we warm it up to body temperature]


Signs of Dehydration

Whilst thirst is the obvious symptom of dehydration, many other signs tell us we need more fluids.

  • Dry mouth, swollen tongue
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Rapid pulse, increased breathing rate
  • High body temperature, flushed skin
  • Dizziness, Delirium
  • Muscle spasms and muscle weakness


Water & Toxins

Water is a powerful cleanser, flushing many toxins from the body in urine. Water may also be used in healing; often found to contain high levels of specific minerals that may help to relieve the condition. 'Holy' or 'blessed' water, either from sacred sites or blessed by spiritual teachers have prompted claims of miracle cures.


Sources of Water in the Body

The body gets its water from three sources:

  1. drinks, either plain water or as part of other beverages.
  2. solid foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
  3. as a by-product of chemical reactions within the body.

The average adult should consume 2.5 litres of water per day. Of this, 1.8 litres - the equivalent of six to seven glasses of water per day - must be obtained directly from beverages. This should be increased during periods of hot weather or during and after periods of physical activity.


Water is the major ingredient of all drinks: carbonated and still drinks are 65 per cent water, diluted squashes are 86 per cent water (after dilution) and fruit juices are 90 per cent water. But drinking plain water is still the most effective way of replacing lost fluids.

Bottled Waters

There are two types of bottled water:

  1. Spring water - collected directly from the spring where it arises from the ground and must be bottled at the source. Sources of spring water must meet hygiene standards, but may be treated in order that they meet limits set on pollution.
  2. Mineral water - emerges from under the ground, then flows over rocks before it's collected, resulting in a higher content of various minerals. Unlike spring water, it can't be treated except to remove grit and dirt. Different brands of spring and mineral waters will have differing amounts of minerals depending on their source. Most Governments require all minerals in natural mineral water must be listed on the label.

Local Water Supply

Supplying safe drinking water is the most important task for water authorities. Most tap water is adequate to meet hydration needs. Whether you think the local council standards meet your needs is your decision. In addition, bacteria in the water mains are another threat, so water suppliers try to ensure there's a residue of chlorine to protect the water on its way from the treatment plant to your home. Often contaminants are removed, but chemicals such as chlorine remain, altering the purity and taste of the water. This is where home purifiers provide a benefit.

Next: Understanding Local Council Water Treatment

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