Water - Our body's lifeblood

The human body can last weeks without food but only days without water. The body consists of about 55 to 75 percent water. Water is the basis of blood, digestive juices, urine and perspiration and is contained in lean muscle, fat and bone.

Since the body can not store water, we need to refuel every day to compensate for losses from lungs, skin, urine and feces. Water is needed to maintain health and integrity of every cell of your body to retain fluid enough blood flow in blood vessels to remove the by-products of body metabolism, helping to eliminate toxins, regulates body temperature by sweating, lubrication and cushion joints and transport nutrients and oxygen to body cells, to name a few. Drinking fresh, clean water plays an important role in reducing the risk of certain diseases.

Water loss from the body through the urine is increased significantly by the consumption of alcoholic beverages and caffeine. These drinks have a diuretic effect, meaning that they stimulate the kidneys to excrete more urine. We not only lose water, we also lose water soluble vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin B (thiamin) and other B complex vitamins. For all beverages containing caffeine or alcohol you drink, you must add a additional glass of pure water.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provide about 4 cups of water per day. Even with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you always need to drink 6-8 glasses of extra water per day to supply enough water to meet the daily needs of the organization. For all beverages containing caffeine or alcohol you drink, add a glass of pure water.

Dehydration occurs when the body water content is too low. This can be easily fixed by increasing fluid intake. Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, fatigue, mood changes and slow responses, dry nasal passages, dry or cracked lips, dark urine, weakness, fatigue, confusion and hallucinations. Eventually urination stops, the kidneys fail and the body is unable to eliminate toxic waste. In extreme cases this can lead to death.

About six to eight glasses a series of liquids can be consumed daily. More than eight glasses may be needed for physically active people, children, people in hot or humid environments and nursing women. Less water may be needed for sedentary people, older people, people in a cold environment or people who eat lots of foods with high water content.

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