Why We Need to Drink Water
by April Chalk
Water is often taken for granted, but it is a vital component of the human diet. Water is so vital to our body's function that a human will die in just a few days from going without it.
Water in the Body
An adult male is made up of about 60 percent water, while an adult female is approximately 55 percent water; children's bodies are close to 65 percent water. Fat tissue contains less water than leaner tissue, and water is the base ingredient in all bodily fluids, including blood and digestive juices.
Functions of Water in the Body
Some important functions of water in the body include: moistening tissues, regulating body temperature, protecting organs, lubricating joints, preventing constipation and flushing out waste products. Water also is used to dissolve minerals and nutrients and to carry these nutrients as well as oxygen to the cells.
Dehydration occurs when your body does not have enough water to function properly because you are losing more fluid than you are drinking. Signs of dehydration include thirst, dry mouth, dry skin, headache, fatigue, dizziness, muscle weakness and decreased liquid output (urine, tears and sweat). Dehydration can be fatal, so call a doctor if symptoms become serious.
Eight cups a day is the recommended amount of water intake for adults, but you also can hydrate your body with other beverages and foods with a high water content such as fruits, vegetables and soups. If you are ill, exercising or spending time outside in hot or humid weather, it is important that you consume more water than normal.
Water and Weight Loss
The Drinking Water Research Foundation reports that 21 percent of the average American's caloric intake comes from beverages; water has zero calories and zero sugar, making it the perfect beverage for weight loss. Drinking more water also can help you feel more full so you eat less.