The Importance of Drinking Water
Multiple Health Benefits of Water
The body's need for water is second in importance only to the need for oxygen. In fact, humans survive longer without food than water.
There are six nutrients or substances essential for life: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. While we are aware of the importance of including the first five in the diet, the health benefits of water are often overlooked, as we do not realize that the body needs water more than it does any other nutrient. Water has preventive and curative properties, and is important for every bodily process.
Importance of Water for Digestion, Circulation and Mental Health
Water transports oxygen and nutrients to all the cells of the body, and helps in the absorption and utilization of vitamins and minerals. Most digestive enzymes require certain levels of water to enable digestion. Sufficient water intake also prevents dyspepsia, which is a symptom of underlying stomach problems. Finally, sipping hot water decreases acid secretions in the stomach and relieves hyper-acidity, heartburn, flatulence and acute indigestion.
Water is also responsible for chemical reactions in the body, regulation of blood pressure, maintaining normal body temperature, proper circulation and healthy blood vessels. It dilutes and helps to maintain the normal volume and consistency of fluids like blood and lymph. Moreover, water is essential for regulating the normal structure and functions of the skin. Finally, it maintains the moisture in the linings of the internal organs of the body.
Most of the brain consists of water, so consumption of water reduces headaches and improves concentration. Inadequate water in the brain can even cause depression and hypertension. Water keeps the body fresh, hydrated and alert, and boosts metabolism. It also prevents eye related problems.
Water as a Cleansing Agent
Water helps to flush out toxins and waste products through the skin and kidneys. It prevents and alleviates constipation, and starts peristalsis, or the movement of the intestines. Moreover, water reduces bladder problems, and prevents and eliminates kidney stones.
Drinking water helps to combat fever by flushing out germs. It is essential for strengthening the defense mechanism of the body, and preventing infections.
Inadequate water content in the body hampers the proper cleaning of bacteria and causes dryness of the tongue and bad breath; thus, water is required for oral hygiene.
Water Aids Mobility, Energy and Weight Loss
The health of our joints is also dependent on the amount of water in the cartilages. Water helps in lubrication and allows joints to glide smoothly over each other.
Water helps to convert food into energy, so drinking an adequate amount of water in the morning provides energy for the rest of the day. It enables the storage of glycogen, which is an essential source of energy in our muscles.
Water has zero calories, and helps in weight loss. It satisfies hunger pangs, burns calories and prevents fluid retention.
During the ancient Olympics, athletes were advised to drink large amounts of water to correct fluid loss from sweat and thus prevent cramps. Drinking water cures chronic diseases; it alleviates muscular pain, heartburn, joint pains, skin allergies, and indigestion. Apart from flushing out the system, it helps to increase energy levels and prevent heart attacks, strokes and cancer. Studies prove that drinking sufficient water alleviates constipation within a day, diabetes within a week and hypert.