The normal human body is made up of sixty percent water. Water has various uses that help in the normal functioning of body cells and organs. The body loses water through sweat, breathing and during digestion. This is the reason why doctors advise that we keep our bodies hydrated all the time. The amount of water that the body needs depends on some factors which include weather conditions and physical activity. Many people think that the main role of water in our body is to hydrate the cells.
Other functions that water plays in the body
The initial process of food digestion begins with saliva in the mouth which is essentially water. Water is also used as a catalyst for enzymes that are contained in saliva. The enzymes are essential in breaking down the food for absorption into the body through the lining of the digestive tract. Water makes nutrients dissolve in it so that they are easily soluble. It also helps to dissolve fiber easily which benefits one’s bowel health making stool easy to pass because it is soft.
Removal of waste from the body
There are numerous ways of excretion. One can do so through perspiring, urinating and defecating. All these processes need water for them to be performed smoothly. The liver, intestines, and kidneys flush out the waste with the help of water. Water also helps to prevent constipation because it helps move the food eaten through the digestive tract and also by keeping the stool soft for easy passing. However, it is important to note that it has not been proven that increasing intake of water does not cure constipation.
The body loses fluids in several ways. Some of the ways the body loses water include sweating after doing very vigorous exercises, sweating because of hot weather or because of a fever. Some illnesses cause diarrhea and vomiting which makes the body dehydrated. For the body to work properly, one should be properly hydrated.
In case one becomes dehydrated due to the above reasons they should increase their intake of water to make their hydration levels rise to optimum. Taking lots of fluids also helps to treat some conditions like urinary tract infections. Other special cases that would make one need more water include when one is pregnant or breastfeeding.
There have been numerous suggestions on how much water one should take. However, the norm is, take water when you feel thirsty. Most people who are in good health get enough of water from taking water just when they are hungry. The most important thing is looking at the color of one’s urine which is a pointer to how hydrated one is. Clear urine shows one is properly hydrated while dark urine could be an indication of dehydration though sometimes certain illnesses of the kidney or liver may make one’s urine dark. Side effects of certain drugs also change the color of urine.