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Water
 

Do you find drinking water in the winter difficult?

Winter is here and a lot of people find it difficult to drink water during this season, but little do they know that water is indeed critical to life.

Do you experience any of the following symptoms:
  • Dry and itchy skin?
  • Chapped lips?
  • Dry coughs?
  • Nosebleeds?
  • Acne?
  • Headaches?

If you experience any of the above, it may well be because you are dehydrated.

You need to DRINK more WATER!

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Water is critical to life and if you don't drink enough water it may result in you experiencing either mild dehydration or total dehydration.

Mild dehydration may result in you experiencing fatigue, headache, decreased alertness and even the inability to concentrate.

Total dehydration on the other hand can very quickly lead to death. Thus water is one of the simplest molecules in nature. But water in itself does not provide energy, yet it is so essential to all the cells in our body and the processes that do provide energy.

Water has many functions that makes it important and critical to life.

THE FUNCTIONS OF WATER:

In food water lubricates food for easy swallowing, softens and makes food edible in cooking and facilitates the blending of ingredients.

In the body water is the basic ‘medium’ where ‘everything happens’. It transports nutrients and waste, as well as products that are important for our body’s metabolism.

It is vital for the excretion of waste products (urine & faeces). It is also cardinal to the body's temperature regulation (sweat). It also acts as a lubricant around our joints. Water is also a shock absorber.


WATER IS CRITICAL TO LIFE

Water is critical to the maintenance of life. Take a look at the effect of dehydration:

  • 1% > thirsty
  • 3% > muscles drop in strength & endurance
  • 10–12% > heat tolerance decreases and you may experience extreme weakness
  • 20% > DEATH So therefore drink plenty of water more often!

WATER REQUIREMENTS VARY

There are a few factors that may influence a person's water needs:
  • Your age (requirement increases with age)
  • Your body temperature & the climate (water loss)
  • Illness and injury (increased requirement) 
  • Pregnancy and lactation (increased requirement) 
  • Activity, e.g. athletes (perspire a lot more than your average person thus their water intake requirements may be a lot more)


WATER REQUIREMENTS:

WATER BALANCE
In a healthy adult your total body water remains constant. And your typical daily requirements are about 1.5 L of water per day.

Our sources of water on a daily basis are:
  • Drinking
  • Eating 
  • Metabolic processes

But our bodies maintain a water balance therefore we lose water on a daily basis due to :
  • Urine
  • Respiration 
  • Sweating