Most individuals take drinking water for granted, and a significant number of people fail to consume recommended levels of fluids each day. Keeping hydrated has a huge impact on everyone’s overall health, so why so many walk around at least partially dehydrated most of the time?
Around 70% of the body is made up of of water, and around 71% of the planet’s surface is covered by water, although only approximately 2% of this is fresh water.
Our bodies are 70% water, and our blood is 90% water. There is no universally agreed upon amount of water that one must consume daily, but there are recommended quantities. Water is essential for the kidneys to function, as well as virtually every cell in the human body. The skin is the largest organ in the human body, and can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and wrinkling when dehydrated.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that men achieve a daily fluid intake of around 3 litres and that women take in 2.2 litres.
All the cells and organs of the body need sufficient water to function properly; water is also needed to protect the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, assist the passage of food through the intestines, regulate core body temperature and lubricate the joints.
Although it is possible to obtain a certain percentage of your required daily water need by eating foods with a high water content such as soups, tomatoes, oranges, melons, berries, and lettuce, the majority is gained through drinking water and other beverages.
Water is lost by the body via every day functioning such as sweating, urination and even breathing, and needs to be replaced to maintain the fluid balance.
Drinking plain old water is the best source of fluid for the body. Beverages such as milk and juices are also adequate sources of fluid, but those containing alcohol and/or caffeine are not ideal because they are a diuretic, which means that they increase the flow of urine, causing the body to get rid of water.
There is no universally agreed upon amount of water that must be consumed daily, but there is a general level of consensus as to what a healthy daily amount of water is, but according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an adequate intake for men is approximately 3 litres per day and for women, around 2.2 litres.