Mom, is it really necessary to drink 8 glasses of water everyday????
As a kid, I was always nagged by my mother for not drinking enough water on a daily basis… I found it to be a real task to gulp down a few glasses which seemed gallons to me. But as I grew up to become a doctor and got to know what huge role water had in our body, I realized what harm I had been doing to my body since last so many years.
So, firstly, the answer to the above question –“ Is it really necessary to drink 8 glasses of water everyday?” is YES. A big fat YES! It is absolutely necessary to have ATLEAST 8 glasses of water everyday. The size of glass being 200-300 ml, which means 1600ml-2400ml of water per day. So on reading this, 2 questions strike my mind.
- What role does water have to play in our body?
- Why only “8” glasses of water?
So, let me answer your first question. What does this transparent looking liquid have to do in our body and why is it always stressed by your doctors no matter what disease you are suffering from?
Water is the 2nd most essential element required in the human body, first being Oxygen. A human being can live for days without food but not without water.
1. Water is a universal solvent and is able to dissolve all the products of digestion.
2. Because nutrients and cellular wastes are soluble in water. It is the means by which nutrients are carried to the cells and wastes are removed from the lungs, kidneys, gut and skin.
3. Water is the structural component and a cushion of all cells. Thereby it prevents friction between moving parts of the body.
4. Water regulates the body temperature through evaporation of water from the skin and lungs.
5. Water acts as a body lubricant: The saliva making swallowing possible, the mucous secretion of the gastrointestinal tract makes food pass through it, and so on.
6. Water is the medium of all body fluids including the digestive juices, the lymph, the blood, the urine and the perspiration. All the physiochemical changes that occur in the cells takes place in the regulated environment of the body fluids.
7. Progressive deficiency of water may cause poor absorption of food, delayed elimination of wastes, elevation of body temperature, failure of the circulatory system and even malfunctioning of the renal system may occur.
Any modern lifestyle disease – be it Hypertension, Obesity, Hypercholesterolemia, Arthritis, Heartburn, Headache, Chronic fatigue syndrome, insulin dependent Diabetes, Lupus, etc can be related to this very fundamental rule of drinking adequate water.
E.g. Blood is kept in its normal fluid consistency by water. So, if water content in the body reduces, blood gets thicker which in turn leads to sluggish circulation causing increased load on the heart to pump THICK blood. This eventually on a long-term causes the heart muscles to fatigue causing heart failure.
Thicker blood also leads to poor circulation to other parts of the body, causing headache, chronic fatigue, body ache, etc.
Similarly, reduced water intake leads to bloating and poor fat digestion, thereby increasing your weight. Joints require water for cartilage formation and lubrication.
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Daily Requirement :
Today, the IOM (Institute of Medicine) recommends a total volume of 3.7 liters (15 cups) for an average adult male and 2.7 liters (11 cups) for an average adult female. Keep in mind that water needs vary from individual to individual, depending on the physical activity, weather condition, temperature, etc.
Here are some healthy “water tips” for you :
1) Drinking 2 glasses of water on waking up in the morning helps activate your entire system
2) Drinking 2 glasses of water before going to bed reduces risk of getting a heart attack
3) 1 glass of water before taking bath reduces blood pressure
4) 1 glass of water 30 minutes before having your meals improves the digestion
5) Drink one glass of water during the workout
Like Leonardo Da Vinci says “Water is the driving force of all nature”. Water being one of the 5 essential elements in Universe, it does have a magnanimous role to play in our mind, body and our existence. Every cell of your body needs it, not once, not twice, for a lifetime.
– Written by Dr. Amrita Utekar