Water is essential for all life forms, meaning without it, all life would cease to exist. You may remember from science class that the human body is made up of about 60% water.
As you can imagine, if your body is made up of mostly water, it doesn’t do too well without it. You can survive a few weeks without food but only 3 to 5 days without water.
Not only does water make up the majority of your body weight, but it plays a key role in many different functions in the human body.
In this article, we will discuss why water is important, how much water you should drink daily and strategies to achieve adequate hydration.
📌 Key Takeaways
- Water is essential for all life forms and helps the body with many different functions.
- Aim for at least 8 to 12 cups of water daily.
- To stay on top of hydration bring a water bottle with you daily.
Table of Contents
🚰 Reasons Why Water is Essential
There are many different reasons why drinking water is essential to the human body. Some of the reasons why it is important to drink enough water a day are listed in this section.
1. Regulates body temperature
Your body regulates your temperature through a process called thermoregulation.
When your internal body temperature rises from physical activity or climate conditions, water plays a key role in helping your body cool down through blood circulation, sweat, and respiration.
Dehydration can lead to a dysfunction in this process. For example, if you are exercising in the extreme heat and become dehydrated this could lead to a heat injury such as heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.
2. Moistens tissues
Water helps to moisten and lubricate a variety of tissues in the body including your eyes, nose and mouth. This is because water is necessary for mucous, saliva, and tear production.
All of these bodily fluids are necessary for proper functioning and bodily comfort. Staying hydrated helps to ensure these functions are supported!
3. Lubricates joints
Similar to the above, water is needed to produce other bodily fluids such as synovial fluid and cerebrospinal fluids. These are fluids that cushion your joints.
For example, cerebrospinal fluid surrounds the brain and spinal cord, absorbing shock and preventing them from coming into direct contact with the skull or vertebrae.
4. Helps to protect the body’s tissues and organs.
As you can tell, water helps to protect our body’s tissues and organs in a variety of ways – help to produce fluids that cushion and lubricate joints, thermoregulation, and more.
In addition to the above, water also helps moisten the mucous membranes in your respiratory and digestive systems.
Moist mucous membranes are important because they act like a protective barrier against irritants and other pathogens.
They also help to prevent damage from dryness or friction so everything works in a fluid manner.
Water is also essential for maintaining the health and elasticity of the skin. Like the mucous membranes it skin acts as a protective barrier against external factors like pollutants.
5. Helps the body flush out waste products
Drinking water helps to flush out waste products through bowel movements and urination. Water is necessary for the formation and excretion of urine by our kidneys.
The main role of the kidneys is to filter out waste products, excess salts and toxins from the bloodstream.
It’s important to consume an adequate amount of water to maintain proper kidney function and prevent these waste products from building up in the blood.
The kidneys help to ensure these waste products are dissolved and eliminated through urine.
One of the other ways our bodies eliminate toxins is through bowel movements. Adequate hydration is important to promote regular bowel movements so these toxins can be eliminated.
6. Helps the body carry a variety of nutrients and oxygen to cells
Proper hydration also helps with circulation. Without adequate water intake, this can lead to dehydration which leads to the thickening of blood.
This causes the blood to travel more slowly to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your organs.
Not only that, but when we are dehydrated it will also decrease our blood pressure, which is why sometimes you may feel dizzy when dehydrated.
7. Helps the body absorb minerals and nutrients
Water is necessary to help absorb different vitamins and minerals. Without water, we wouldn’t be able to absorb many essential minerals and vitamins that are water-soluble.
This means that they dissolve in water. The water acts as a solvent, breaking down the nutrients into forms most easily absorbed by your body. For example, vitamin C and various B vitamins are water-soluble.
🤔 How Much Water Do I Need?
As you can see, there are many benefits of drinking water. But, how much water do you need to drink daily? It can be challenging to know if you’re drinking enough water.
For most people 8-12 cups per day is an adequate amount of water to stay properly hydrated. However, everyone is different so it’s important to know your body.
It depends on a variety of factors including climate, gender, physical activity and more.
The WUT Rule
Some of the most practical ways to monitor your hydration is through an acronym called “WUT” (Weight, Urine, Thirst).
For example, the weight part means after you exercise if you lose one pound of body weight, you need to drink 16 oz of water to gain back what water you lost during exercise.
The urine part refers to your urine color and frequency. If your urine is dark and you don’t urinate very often then you’re likely dehydrated.
The last part refers to your thirst. By the time your brain lets your body know you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
If you have a combination of all these then you are definitely dehydrated and need to drink more water!
📝 Strategies to Stay Hydrated
Most adults do not drink enough every day. To make sure you drink an adequate amount of water it may be beneficial to follow some of the following strategies:
- Bring a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go! This can help you stay better hydrated due to the convenience of the water with you all day long.Try to aim for at least 64 oz or 8 cups of water daily.
- Eat water rich foods! While we get the majority of our hydration through water, we can also get it from water rich foods like soups, fruits and vegetables.Not only that but aside from drinking water, other fluid intake counts as well. Sometimes plain water is boring.If that’s the case, consider herbal teas or sparkling waters to help you stay on top of your fluid intake!
- As mentioned earlier, make sure you pay attention to your urine color. If it’s dark, you’re likely dehydrated. Drink more water if this is the case!
- Try to avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol since these will dehydrate you since they are considered to be diuretics.
- Make sure you stay hydrated before, during and after exercise. We tend to lose a lot of water through sweat and breath while we exercise.It is important to stay on top of it so you don’t go into a deficit where it is more challenging to get rehydrated. Additionally, if you’re a heavy sweater, remember you might need a little more water!
So, if you didn’t already know, you probably now recognize the importance of drinking enough water every day. Water is necessary for many bodily functions, no wonder we can only survive a few days without it!
Be sure to bring a water bottle with you every day to stay on top of your fluid intake. Plain water can be challenging for some, so if that’s the case make sure you are increasing fluid intake in order ways like herbal teas or carbonated water.
At the end of day, it doesn’t matter how you do it! Just make sure you’re making an effort to stay hydrated. Your body will thank you later!
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
What are 5 Reasons Why Water is Important?
Drinking water is important for a variety of reasons. It helps our body’s function in many different ways.
Water helps to lubricate our joints, moisten our tissues, regulate our body temperature, carry nutrients and oxygen to cells, and absorb nutrients.
Why is Water Important in Life?
Water is important in life because it accounts for 60 percent of our body weight. Without water, our body would not function properly.
Water is essential for life because no life form can survive without it. Humans can only survive a few days without it.
What are 3 Reasons Why Water is Important to the World?
Water is important to the world in many ways because it is essential for ALL life forms. For one, the human body cannot survive without it.
Additionally, plants and other animals rely on water for survival as well. So, without water we would no longer have food. Lastly, for ecosystems to thrive water is also necessary.