The human body is made out of 60% water for adult and up to 75% for newborns. It can function even without eating for more than a month but not drinking for 72 hours straight will lead to death.
What roles does water play in our body ?
Water has multiple roles in our body which is mainly made out of water. Water is a solvant and hydrates molecules, it allows multiple chemical reactions to happen like hydrolysis. Water also transports nutrients and waste, it also regulates our body temperature through sweat for example. Water plays a protection role as well, because the cerebrospinal fluid which protects our brain is made out of water.
Why drink water ?
On a daily basis, our body loses water through urine, sweat, breath and feces. An athlete loses more water than a regular person because it has a high ability to manage heat and hence sweats a lot more. Moreover, an athlete generally has more muscle mass, muscular tissues contain 70% water whereas adipose tissues contain 30% water. When feeling thirsty, there is a 10% loss of our physical ability.
The amount of water our body loses also depends on room temperature and humidity.
Therefore, it is necessary to drink at least 50 fl oz (1,5 liter) of water everyday.
Where does water come from ?
There are three sources of water : food, drinks and metabolic water.
Food provide around 33 fl oz (one liter) of water on a daily basis.
Metabolic water comes from macronutrients’ catabolism and provides around 10 fl oz (300ml) per day.
Lastly, at least 50 fl oz (1,5 liter) of water should be consumed everyday.
Here are a few tips to stay hydrated throughout the day :
⁃ Start your day with a glass of water
⁃ Have a bottle of water in your bag at all times.
⁃ Take a sip every now and then even if not thirsty.
⁃ Have a few glass of water during meals.
⁃ Drink before, during and after a workout.
By Alex Zhang, student in nutrition