Water is essential for human life because the human body is made of about 60% water. Our bodies are constantly losing water as our body maintains its water level. In fact, a typical adult naturally loses about 2-3 liters of water a day.
To maintain the level of water that the body needs to function on a day-to-day basis, water intake should be balanced with water loss. We regulate our body’s water level through eating and drinking, which is often triggered by thirst and appetite.
Not replacing the water lost from our body, can lead to dehydration. We need to be conscious of how each of our organs lose water in order to replenish our internal water supply.
1. Lungs: By Exhaling Water Vapor
A lack of water can cause the mucus in your lungs to thicken, which slows down respiration.
Water is lost from your body through breathing. Depending on the humidity level of the air, we lose about 300 to 500 milliliters of fluid a day through breathing. When you inhale, you are typically inhaling cooler, less humid air. Your body moistens the surface of your lungs and adds moisture to the air as it passes through your air passageways. When you exhale, the air is warmed up to approximately 90°F with a relative humidity of almost 100%. The humidified air you exhale is lost to the outside environment. Therefore, when you breathe you are basically pulling water from your body and exhaling it into the air.
Staying hydrated will help maintain a healthy respiratory system. Try setting a timer to remind yourself to drink water. According to the Institute of Medicine, approximately 80 percent of our water intake comes from the beverages we drink, while 20 percent comes from food we eat. Choose hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables to stay hydrated and maintain a healthy respiratory system.
2. Skin: By Perspiration
A lack of water in the body could cause it to overheat and lead to dehydration.
Another large source of water loss in your body is through sweating. Studies show that athletes can lose 2 quarts of water per hour while exercising. Your body temperature rises about 3 degrees when engaged in physical activity. Sweating is your body’s natural cooling system by releasing H2O in the form of perspiration.
The type of work you perform or the climate you live in could also affect the water lost in your body. Those with strenuous physical occupations will lose more water while trying to maintain their body temperature. If you live or work in a hotter climate your body is more susceptible to losing water through sweating.
Water energizes the muscles and lubricates the body for a better overall workout. A well-hydrated athlete’s heart does not have to work as hard and oxygen and nutrients are transported to the muscles more efficiently. Drink water before, during and after a workout to maintain your body’s water level.
3. Kidneys: By Urine
A lack of water will cause your kidneys to work harder and eventually lead to kidney damage.
We lose water through urination. A person typically loses 1.5 liters of water a day through urine. If your water intake is high then your kidneys produce larger amounts of water to help maintain a balance. If your body does not have enough water, the kidneys will try to conserve water by producing only a small amount of concentrated urine. Urine color is a measure of your body’s hydration and internal water supply.
A good general rule of thumb is to check your hydration level by looking at your urine and drink water when you feel thirsty. If your urine is dark yellow or amber it could be a sign of dehydration. You may be hydrated if your urine is colorless or light yellow.
The kidneys are your body’s filter; you can choose to remain hydrated and give them light duty or repeatedly be dehydrated and push them until they break. Severe dehydration can lead to kidney damage. Keep your kidneys on light duty by always having bottled water with you wherever you go. Team up with friends or family to encourage replacing one sugary beverage a day with water.
4. Intestines: Through Bowel Movements
A lack of water in your system will cause your large intestine to soak up water from your food waste causing constipation.
Water is important for your digestion because it keeps the food you eat moving through your intestines. You intestines also need water to help keep stools soft and easy to pass. All feces contain water, causing water loss during a bowel movement. A person typically loses about 6% of its water through feces.
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of chronic constipation. A lack of water will cause your body to use up its stored water. Prevent dehydration and ease chronic constipation by drinking plenty of water.
5. Heart Rate and Breathing Related to Stress
A lack of water can cause cortisol (well known as a stress hormone) levels to increase and lead to stress.
Stress increases your heart rate and makes you breath more heavily. Your body loses water through breathing. If you are breathing more heavily your body will lose water at a faster rate.
When your brain lacks water your cortisol (stress) levels increase and you lose energy and become more tired. By drinking enough water, your brain can balance its chemicals and keep stress levels low.
In addition, during times of stress you are more likely to forget to eat and drink. Ensure bottled water is always at hand, with our office and home water delivery service, so it is easily accessible when you are stressed. Set a timer to remind yourself to take a break and drink water.
A lack of water in your diet can lead your body to pull water from its stored water supply.
Diets containing heavily processed foods could lead to water loss in your body. Heavily processed foods lack the moisture of fresh foods. Meat proteins pull water from the body to aid in digestion. Less moisture in your foods may be causing your body to pull more water from its water supply.
Diuretics, like coffee and alcohol, send us to the restroom more frequently. This causes us to lose more water through urination. Alcohol and coffee contain water; however, you may want to consider the amount consumed in your diet to avoid excess water loss. Be sure to drink plenty of water when drinking alcohol.
Water loss is a natural function of your body. It is not recommended or advised that you prevent water loss that takes place naturally. Each function has its own purpose in helping to maintain your body’s water level. Water intake should be balanced with water loss, so make sure to drink plenty of water every day! As a leading water company, we at “The Water Guy”™ can help ensure that you always have enough water by providing scheduled deliveries to your home or place of work. Call or contact us today!