Did you know that water is defined as an essential nutrient? Water is vital to us because our bodies are made up of about 60 percent water. Let’s take a closer look at the 5 ways water benefits our bodies. It:
Clears Out Waste: Water is used to flush out waste such as urea, sodium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus from cells. At least two cups of water leave as urine per day to efficiently carry out waste.
Aids Nutrient Absorption: Water is used to carry nutrients like carbohydrates and proteins across our intestinal cells for absorption. About 80 percent of the water ingested is absorbed through the small intestines. Adequate water is also necessary to move food through the intestinal tract.
Keeps Us Cool: In hot temperatures, our body increases excretion of water as sweat. Evaporation of sweat from the skin removes excess heat from the body, keeping us cool.
Acts as a Lubricant: Water makes up our saliva,
acts as a cushion around our joints and spinal cord,
and is inside our eyes.
Boosts Our Brain Function: Our brain is made up of about 75 percent water. Mild dehydration, as little as a 2 percent loss in body weight, can interfere with mood, concentration and short-term memory.
On average, we lose a total of about 2 liters (8 cups) in sweat, feces, urine and vapor from our lungs. Thus, we need to replenish with 8 cups per day. The best beverage to keep us hydrated is water! Other healthy choices also include milk and soy milk. The U.S. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies’ Dietary Reference Intake Committee also concluded that caffeinated beverages, like coffee and tea, do not negatively impact hydration and can be used to meet our fluid needs. Evidently, water plays essential roles in our bodies. So, drink up everyone!
Cathy Lam Davius ‘15 is a registered dietitian and holds a Bachelor of Science in Wellness Management from SUNY Oswego and a Master of Science in Nutrition from the University at Buffalo. She lives with her husband, Dr. Christopher Davius ’15, PT, DPT, in Grand Prairie, Texas, where they look forward to years of helping their community achieve excellent health status.