OVERVIEW OF WATER IN THE BODY SYSTEM
Water makes up about 75 per cent of the body of a male adult (this is about 10 per cent less in the female). The reason for this is that the male has more muscle mass. There are approximately 100 trillion cells in the body and each one is 80 per cent water. The total water content of an adult is in the region of 45 liters and this varies depending on size, weight and the lifestyle of the individual. This quantity of water is distributed in the extracellular space that surrounds all the cells of the body and the water is connected to the water inside the cells (intracellular) through openings in the membrane of the cells.
Water is always being filtered between the extracellular and intracellular spaces. The quality of the extracellular fluid is most vital for the intracellular fluid and by extension the wellbeing of the cells, tissues, organs and the body as a whole. The extracellular space is 90 per cent water, while the water in the intracellular is 75 per cent. The total amount of water at the different stages of life vary: a newborn baby is 90 per cent water and as the child grows the water content of the body reduces to 75 per cent in the adult. The body of the elderly is 50 per cent water. Meanwhile, the amount of water in the different compartments (organ systems) also vary: brain 83 per cent, heart 78 per cent lungs 80 per cent, kidneys 82 per cent, blood 90 per cent and the bones are 22 per cent.
The quality of the water in and around the cells is dependent on the following factors: the volume of the water in the body; if the water is less than optimal, a state that is referred to as dehydration, affects the quality of water in the body system adversely. In this state of dehydration, a lot of things go wrong, some of which is a reduction in the rate of flow of blood in the circulatory system. As this becomes chronic, waste products accumulate in and around the cells. Nutrients, oxygen, vitamins, minerals and the likes become deficient at the cellular level.
The lifestyle of an individual, whether active or sedentary also affects the quality of the body waters. All these factors will ultimately render the fluids of the body acidic, a situation that supports diseases, infections and cancer. Determining the quality of water in the body is by the pH scale. The pH scale is from 0 to 14. A pH of 7.0 is neutral, one from 0 to 6.9 is acidic and from 7.0 to 14 it is alkaline. Unlike the acidic type of water, the alkaline water or environment supports life and health and it is for this reason that health experts always advice that you should drink water regularly. You drink water, not because of thirst but because it is mandatory for healthy living, for when you become thirsty your body (cells) is already dehydrated.
BENEFITS OF WATER IN THE BODY
SKIN MAINTENANCE: Water is essential to maintain the optimum skin moisture and deliver essential nutrients to the skin cells. It replenishes the skin tissue and increases its elasticity. This helps delay the appearance of signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.
TRANSPORT SYSTEM: Water is involved in all forms of transportation in the body like oxygen and nutrients to the cells and waste products from the cells including carbon dioxide.
AS A LUBRICANT: Water carries out lubricating functions in all these organs and cavities of the body: mouth, joints, vagina, intestines, blood vessels and the skin.
GENERATION ENERGY: Water produces hydroelectric power, especially in the brain. Water is also necessary for the manufacture of hormones, neuro-transmitters and other secretions of the endocrine glands. The production of blood cells by the bone marrow is also dependent on water.
ENHANCING AND STIMULANT PROPERTIES: The functioning of the immune system is enhanced by water. Water is a tonic that does not have a side effect. Dehydration is the number one (1) stressor and an adequate amount of water in the body has a calming effect for it.
Other functions and properties of water include: temperature regulation, improvement of the memory, diuresis [urine forming] and maintenance of the chemical composition of the body fluids and pH regulation. Water can be used to correct the weight of an obese person, water alone can replenish water; there is no substitute for it and finally, WATER IS LIFE. My advice as I conclude is that everybody should drink sufficient water daily, at least eight glasses daily for maintenance of good health.