Water not only fills all cells of living organisms, but also surrounds them. Did you know that water occurs in a similar volume – about 75 percent. – both on the surface of the Earth and in the human body? So what is water, what are its types, how do we lose it, and what water do we need to hydrate our body healthy?
Water is needed for breathing, moisturizes the inhaled air and protects vital organs. It does not contain calories, so it is not an energy component, but it allows the transformation of food into energy. The extraordinary properties of water could be multiplied.
Table of Contents
- Water: composition, forms, features
- Water: where is it found?
- Water: types of water in nature
- Water: a role in the human body
- How exactly does water work in the human body?
- Water: how much do we need to live?
- How much water should we drink each day?
- Water: types of drinking water
Water: composition, forms, features
Water is one of the most common chemical compounds in nature. Its formula is: H₂O (hydrogen oxide), i.e. one molecule of water consists of 2 hydrogen atoms connected by 1 oxygen atom.
Water is in the form of a transparent liquid (at room temperature), but also takes other forms of aggregation:
- gaseous, i.e. steam – at high temperature,
- as a solid, i.e. ice – at low temperature.
The water has a polar structure. Water molecules can attract each other, creating such beautiful phenomena as snowflakes or ice crystals, but they can also interact with molecules of other substances. Water is a commonly used solvent. Substances with a similar structure, e.g. sucorase or vinegar, dissolve well in water. Substances with a different structure do not dissolve, but mixed with water form suspensions – e.g. flour or oil.
The water has no smell. It is also colorless, but only in small quantities. In a larger volume it adopts a light blue shade. This color is the result of water absorption of visible light.
Water: where is it found?
Water is present in many planetary objects, in interstellar matter, and of course on our planet. On Earth, water occurs in the following forms:
- water vapor and clouds,
- artificial tanks (including water supply),
- ground water.
Water: types of water in nature
Water that occurs in nature is not pure, but is a mixture of gases and mineral salts. Most of these salts contain: sea water and mineral water obtained from natural sources, which is one of the healthiest drinks for man.
It is also worth knowing that it is the content of mineral salts that makes a given water soft (has few) or hard – this is characterized by a high content of calcium and magnesium salts.
Both soft and hard water, as well as distilled water, i.e. substances which may be harmful to health during the distillation process, belong to the group of so-called utility. It also includes the most important water for humans, i.e. drinking water, which is obtained from wells, waterworks and mineral deposits.
What is heavy water?
It is water that is obtained by centrifuging ordinary water. Heavy water is rich in heavy hydrogen isotope, or deuterium, and is mainly used in nuclear techniques. For living organisms, heavy water is highly toxic!
Water: a role in the human body
Water is a substance from which 70-75 percent consists of the human body. For example: blood plasma consists of 90% water, the brain – 80%, and muscles – 75%.
In our body, water acts as a transporter for nutrients, enzymes and hormones, regulates body temperature, ensures the proper functioning of the electrolyte economy, and most importantly: enables metabolism, i.e. the implementation of all reactions that lead to the use of energy and nutrients from food and for maintenance life processes.
How exactly does water work in the human body?
- Thanks to it, blood circulates in the blood vessels and reaches all organs.
- Water is a kind of “grease” – as a component of mucus, it prevents friction of internal organs against each other and bones in the joints.
- Protects against injuries incl. eyeball, brain, spinal cord, fetus.
- Is a solvent for most substances and chemical compounds – without it, reactions in the body would not be possible.
- It allows digestion and absorption – it is necessary in saliva when chewing and forming billets in the mouth and in digestive enzymes that act in the distal parts of the digestive tract.
- Metabolic products dissolve in water and can be removed from the body.
- It is our thermoregulator – it absorbs heat and distributes it evenly. Allows you to cool your body surface by evaporating sweat.
Water: how much do we need to live?
Every day, we excrete approx. 2 liters of water from the body. We lose her with:
- in urine – 53.6 percent,
- then – 21.4%, depending on weather conditions and physical activity,
- exhaled air – 19.6 percent,
- faeces – 5.4 percent
Intense physical activity at high temperatures can result in a loss of up to 5 liters of water. Symptoms of dehydration include drowsiness or agitation, anxiety.
Water shortage of 10% body weight already causes weakness, trouble breathing and salivation, and pressure. And 20% dehydration can lead to unconsciousness, swelling of the tongue and even death, especially in the elderly and infants.
The cause of dehydration is not only not drinking water, but also:
- draconian diet,
- violent diarrhea,
- prolonged fever.
With long-term dehydration, we are poisoned by the accumulation of toxic waste products.
How much water should we drink each day?
The minimum amount of water that makes the body work properly is 800-1000 ml / day. The maximum amount should not exceed the renal excretory capacity. In total: 1 adult for every 1 kg of body weight needs approx. 30 ml of water per day. Nutritionists recommend that adults drink at least 2 liters of water, and even 3 liters a day in hot weather. Most of this demand should be natural water. Of course, water is also in other drinks, but they are not the best source of hydration and should be limited in the diet.
Water: types of drinking water
The best product for hydrating the body is simply water. Many drinking waters are available in stores. There are so many types that we usually divide them into: sparkling and still, distinguishing among their favorite brands. We also colloquially refer to all water bought in the bottle as mineral water, which is not true. Waters available for sale are divided into:
- natural spring
- natural mineral
In recent years, so-called flavored waters containing fruit extracts, from which we prepare homemade lemonades, i.e. lemon, lime, apple, orange, grapefruit, peach, mango, strawberries, watermelon and mint. Due to the fact that they are low in calories (i.e. they have less than 5 g of sugar in 100 ml ) and contain at least half as much calories as regular sweetened drinks, such as fruit drinks or cola drinks, “flavored waters” can become a good alternative for them to reduce energy consumed with drinks.
Flavored waters will work especially in the diet of those who have not yet drunk water and reached mainly for high-sugar and high-calorie drinks. Thus, by gradually reducing their sweet taste preferences, they can help them change their habits and be a bridge to drinking water in general.
Flavored waters are also eager to reach for people who eat healthy everyday, water is the main fluid in their diet, but from time to time they feel like a little sweet in a low-calorie edition. It is also a good proposition for people who want to reduce calories in their diet, but it is difficult for them to give up their sweet taste. The “flavored waters” offer includes products completely without sugar and calorie-free (eg Sparkles or Żywiec Zdrój with a hint of Zero Sugar fruit), as well as products with reduced sugar content, in which sugar has been replaced in part with stevia.
If flavored waters are to become a healthy supplement to a balanced diet, it is important that they do not replace natural water, but are a step towards its introduction into the diet. It is of course worth paying attention to the composition – let the selected variants be not only tasty, but above all low-calorie or without calories, without dyes, preservatives, artificial flavors or glucose-fructose syrup.
How to hydrate well:
always have water on hand – make it at least half the fluid you drink,
drink water regularly, in small amounts, in small sips – this way it penetrates better into the tissues; too much fluid consumed once is quickly excreted by the kidneys and our body cannot use them effectively
drink water at room temperature both in hot weather and on cold days,
if you want to reduce your appetite – drink a glass of water 20-30 minutes before meals.