There is no doubt about it. We need water to live. The clear fluid that comes from the tap is a key component in the make up of every human body. As a matter of fact, about 60%-70% of the weight of the typical adult comes from water. (For a baby it’s about 75%.)
However, water does much more than take up space and add weight to a person. It plays a critical role in many of the internal workings of the body. This involvement causes water quantity to deplete as it is used and excreted. It also makes it critical to take in water on a regular basis in order to maintain the proper fluid balance necessary for good health.
This is especially true for seniors. They have smaller amounts of water in their bodies, with less than 50% of their body weight coming from this fluid. Yet, the body’s demands are still there. And these demands can be escalated by illness. So seniors – drink up!
Why We Need Water
- Water has many more purposes than just the quenching of our thirst. Just for starters, it helps maintain the health and integrity of every cell in the body. Here are some of its other functions.
- Helps regulate body temperature.
- Carries waste and toxins from the body.
- Involved in the process of lubricating and cushioning the joints. It also acts as a shock absorber for the eyes and the spinal cord.
- Plays a vital role in the chemical processes that allow the body to digest, absorb, transport and utilize nutrients.
- Prevents constipation.
- Maintains the volume of the blood so it will flow through the circulatory system.
- Keeps mucous membranes moist. Includes those in the mouth, nose and lungs.
- Provides moisture to the skin.
The body has no way to store water. Every day it needs a fresh supply. How much water depends on the person.
It has been a common belief that we need to drink 8 glasses of water (8 oz. each) per day. That is now disputed by some experts in medical science. To add to the confusion, each person should take into account the weather (indoors and outdoors), the food they eat, their metabolism, their health status and the level of their activity.
Ask your doctor for advice on how much water you should drink on a daily basis. Then make it easier on yourself to take in that recommended quota. Here are a few simple suggestions to help.
- Place a pitcher of water and a glass next to where you commonly sit.
- Drink water or juice with every meal. And have some soup with your dinner.
- For a treat, eat Jello or have a popsicle.