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Food & Health

Water’s many health benefits

The human body is composed of approximately 60 percent water, according to statistics published in medical physiology texts, such as Arthur guyton’s “Textbook of Medical Physiology.” At birth, the human body may be comprised of up to 75 percent water, but this percentage decreases as we age and with obesity, which can decrease the percentage of the body water to as low as 45 percent. Needless to say, water and staying hydrated is essential to the human body.
Are you getting enough water?
For a healthy heart and kidney, it is recommended we consume an average of two liters of water per day, although the recommended amount varies with age, gender and the amount of physical activity we engage in. Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea actually act like diuretics and make us lose more water throughout the day. The amount of water in the human body is controlled by hormones and how much water we take in. Clearly, in times of extreme heat or intense exercise, we must take in more water to make up for the moisture lost n perspiration.
One of life’s essentials
Staying well hydrated is essential. The human body can go without food for approximately one week, but not drinking water for as short a period as 24 hours will upset the balance needed for body functions, including breathing and respiration exchange. The cells in the human body hold a large percentage of our body’s water in intracellular fluid. Water is essential to young and healthy-looking skin and the proper functioning of the heart and kidney. In fact, water is one of the most essential components that we consume.
Add flavor to it
However, some people may not like the taste of water. Some ideas to try if you are not fond of drinking water include using a filter to sifter out impurities that may affect how the water tastes, as well as adding a tiny bit of fruit juice or a wedge of lemon to the water. If tap water is not an option, there is no shortage of bottled waters to choose from, whether carbonated or un-carbonated.
There’s simply no substitute
Although water is found in food and drinks, if you want good health, healthy skin and a youthful glow there is no substitute to drinking enough water everyday. Once you get to the point of feeling thirsty, odds are that you are already low on body water. The brain triggers the sense of thirst as a warning mechanism to get us to drink enough water. It is also possible to drink too much water, although it is highly unlikely. So, for optimum well-being, drinking enough water is as important as a healthy diet and staying fit. Every part of our body benefits from adequate hydration and the effect of water on our skin and pores even influences how young we look. The next time you think of having a soft drink, set it aside and have a beneficial, cold glass of water instead.
Reasons to make sure you are drinking enough water:
1) Water can help control calories: Doctors always recommend people on diet to drink lots of water as a weight loss strategy. It is a magical liquid that helps you trip calorie intake.
2) Water helps maintain a balance of body fluids: Your body is composed of 60 percent water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
3) Water makes the skin, hair and nails look good: All body cells contain plenty of water and they function as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. But don’t expect over-hydration to erase wrinkles or fine lines.
4) Water helps your kidneys: Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine.
5) Water helps maintain normal bowel function. Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation.When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration — and the result is constipation.
6) Water helps energize muscles: Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue.

5 tips to help you drink more water:
If you think you need to consume more water, here are some tips to increase your fluid intake:
• Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
• Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste.
• Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20 percent of our fluid intake comes from our food.
• Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
• Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you’re watching calories, go for non-caloric beverages or water.

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