• 12Sep

    Is drinking a lot of water healthy?

    Water is the major constituent of our body. About 50 to 60% of total body weight is water. The ratio between total body water and body weight is standard for an individual. In an average adult male 60% of the total body weight is water, whereas it is 50% in a young adult female. A lower percentage of body water in females is related to a higher percentage of body fat and a lower ratio of muscular tissue in comparison to males.  

    Normal daily water intake

    A healthy person consumes about 2 litres of water per day, 70 to 80% as fluids and the remaining in the solid food. Daily water losses include 800 to 1200 mL in urine, 250 mL in stool and 500 mL in insensible losses. To clear the products of metabolism, the kidneys must excrete a minimum of 500 to 800 mL of urine per day, regardless of the amount of oral intake.

    The insensible loss occurs through evaporation of sweat and loss of moisture in breathing. This is termed insensible water loss because we are not consciously aware of it, even though it occurs continually in all living humans. These losses are aggravated by fever, increased metabolism as in hyperthyroidism and hyperventilation. Sensible water loss can occur during vomiting or diarrhea.

    Drinking a lot of water – facts

    Yes, drinking a lot of water is healthy provided its source is good and hygienic. ‘A lot’ should not be taken as drinking an excessive amount of water. There are many reasons to ensure that one consumes sufficient water or fluids.

    Fluid balance: Water is required by all body systems. Cellular metabolism depends on adequate water intake. These physiological functions include digestion and absorption, secretions of glands, cardiovascular function, brain function and normal homeostasis of body. Kidney function depends on urine formation. Severe lack of hydration may result in renal failure and anuria (lack of urine formation). Low water balance stimulates thirst and maintains water balance.

    Drinking a lot of water is healthy provided its source is good and hygienic.

    Drinking a lot of water is healthy provided its source is good and hygienic.

    Weight loss companion: Water intake helps in weight loss. Consumption with meals results in early filling of stomach resulting in satiety. This way, one can reduce calorie consumption. People on various diets are advised to take plenty of water. It’s a zero-calorie drink which is non-addicting. Foods with more water content like salads, fruits and soups are more filling and helpful in dieting.

    Muscle strength: Consumption of adequate water is very important during exercise. It helps in maintaining muscle metabolism. During exercise, a lot of acidic metabolites are produced which are washed away by the perfusion of blood. In people with dehydration, muscle cramps occur due to accumulation of these metabolites. Also, during exercise water is lost in the form of sweating and should be replaced. Dehydration reduces performance in sports.

    Beautiful shiny skin: Skin has an excellent blood supply as it is involved with body temperature regulation. When body temperature rises during exercise or fever, sweating helps in reducing the raised temperature by evaporation. Skin becomes dry, inelastic and shrivelled if one develops dehydration. Drinking plenty of water keeps the skin healthy, bright and shiny.

     System cleansing: Almost all the metabolic waste products are excreted in urine. A rich blood flow through the kidneys helps in the formation of urine. In people with lack of hydration, urine becomes concentrated and dark. Water in adequate amounts is required to maintain good renal perfusion for production of urine. A good flow of urine also prevents urinary tract infections and stone formation. Drinking plenty of water is also advised for prevention of constipation.

    Drinking plenty of water has a lot of positive effects on our body. It may be plain water or other fluids. One has to ensure that the source of water should be healthy and hygienic. In certain diseases like kidney failure, cirrhosis of liver and congestive heart failure, water intake is restricted. Physician consult should be taken in case of such illnesses.

    Anna L.

    It’s all about health!
    I have academic background in drugs related Chemical Technology, as well as extensive professional experience in pharma and medical companies. My main area of interest is everyday life medicine. The goal of my articles is to give people informative answers to the questions that bother them, to dispel doubts and some common misbeliefs and also to inspire everyone to keep healthy lifestyle.

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