Water Facts - Why Drinking Water Helps with Weight Loss
is the most common compound on earth, the fluid which all life depends
upon. Humans need to drink water! It's the one liquid Humans must
have to live. An average person can go nearly two months without
eating, but less than a week without water. Yet, important as water
is, most of us know little about it, let alone how much water a
human needs to consume?
The skinny on water:
- Water helps to maintain healthy body weight by increasing metabolism
and regulating appetite.
- Water leads to increased energy levels. The most common cause
of daytime fatigue is actually mild dehydration.
- Drinking adequate amounts of water can decrease the risk of
certain types of cancers, including colon cancer, bladder cancer,
and breast cancer.
- For a majority of sufferers, drinking water can significantly
reduce joint and/or back pain.
- Water leads to overall greater health by flushing out wastes
and bacteria that can cause disease.
- Water can prevent and alleviate headaches.
- Water naturally moisturizes skin and ensures proper cellular
formation underneath layers of skin to give it a healthy, glowing
- Water aids in the digestion process and prevents constipation.
- Water is the primary mode of transportation for all nutrients
in the body and is essential for proper circulation.
Considering the issue of water from the perspective of supply and
demand some interesting facts emerge that can help increase our
awareness about the acquisition, use and misuse of this vital resource.
Doing the Math
day a human loses water through breathing, perspiration, urine and
bowel movements. For a human body to function properly, we must
replenish our water supply by consuming beverages and foods that
The average urine output for adults is about 1.5 liters (6.3 cups)
a day. You lose close to an additional liter of water a day through
breathing, sweating and bowel movements. Food usually accounts for
20 percent of your total fluid intake, so if you consume 2 liters
of water or other beverages a day (a little more than 8 cups) along
with your normal diet, you will typically replace the lost fluids.
One popular method of calculating the necessary daily water intake
is the "8 x 8 rule" - drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water
a day (about 1.9 liters). The rule could also be stated, "drink
eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day," as all fluids count
toward the daily total. Though the approach isn't supported by scientific
evidence, many people use this basic rule as a guideline for how
much water and other fluids to drink.
There are different ways to calculate human water needs. As a general
recommendation you can simply follow the replacement rule based
upon gender. Men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total
beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total
beverages a day.
In any event you should drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel
thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or
slightly yellow urine a day.
The amount of water a human needs can vary. Humans need to modify
their total fluid intake depending on how active they are, the climate
they live in, their health status, and if they are pregnant or breast-feeding.
If humans exercise or engage in any activity that makes them sweat,
they need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss.
An extra 400 to 600 milliliters (about 1.5 to 2.5 cups) of water
should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise
lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires
more fluid intake.
How much additional fluid humans need depends on how much they
sweat during exercise, how long they exercise and the type of activity
they are engaged in. During long bouts of intense exercise, it's
best to use a sports drink that contains sodium, as this will help
replace sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing
hyponatremia (loss of Sodium), which can be life-threatening. Additionally,
humans need to continue to replace fluids after they are finished
Hot or humid weather can make humans sweat and require additional
intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause human skin to
lose moisture during wintertime. Further, altitudes greater than
8,200 feet (2,500 meters) may trigger increased urination and more
rapid breathing, which use up more of a humans' fluid reserves.
Illness or health conditions
of illnesses, such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea, can cause a
human body to lose additional fluids. In these cases humans should
drink more water and may even need oral rehydration solutions with
electrolytes. More fluid is needed if a human has a bladder infections
or urinary tract stones. Heart failure and some types of kidney,
liver and adrenal diseases may impair human excretion of water and
even require that a human limits its fluid intake.
Pregnancy or breast-feeding
Women who are expecting or breast-feeding need additional fluids
to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when
nursing. Pregnant women should drink 2/3 gallon of fluids daily
and women who breast-feed consume 3/4 gallon of fluids a day.
Even with all of the importance water holds in our lives, many of
us know very little about the water we use each day. We drink tap
water, enjoying the convenience and cost-effectiveness of this practice,
yet, we fail to recognize the serious threat this water may pose
to our health.
Those who are willing to forgo the convenience of tap water and
indulge in bottled water often know very little about the contents
of that water and simply trust that bottled water must be better
than tap water. Even conscientious consumers, who wisely attempt
to treat their own water in an effort to ensure the healthfulness
of that water, often know little about the many home water treatment
options now available.
Although people used to rely largely upon tap water to fulfill
their daily quota of drinking water, in the last two decades, consumers
have begun to shy away from this water source due to such public
health scares. Bottled water companies, promising a purer, healthier
water product than tap water, have expanded greatly in order to
supply growing demands for quality drinking water. But, in many
cases, bottled water is no purer than tap water, and it may not
even taste better.
Bottled water companies, because they are not under the same accountability
standards as municipal water systems, may provide a significantly
lower quality of water than the water one typically receives from
the tap. Bottled water, due to several factors, is clearly not a
healthier or purer alternative to tap water. Also, bottled water
is outrageously expensive when compared to the cost per gallon of
If one is choosing only between tap water and bottled water, tap
water is plainly the more economical, and, in many cases, the healthier
choice. Despite this assertion, tap water does not remain without
The concerns over the quality and safety of tap water that sparked
the growth of the bottled water industry are still entirely present.
Tap water is nowhere near free from dangerous contaminants. The
most recent and innovative solution to the problems of low water
quality has come about in the age of water filters.
Water filters currently provide the best and healthiest solution
to the problems of both bottled water and tap water.
filters remove more dangerous contaminants than any other purification
method, and they are uniquely designed to work with municipally
treated water. The water they produce is not subject to phthalate
contamination, and they are able to remove cryptosporidium from
drinking water, a feat that neither municipal water treatment plants
nor bottled water companies have yet managed. Also, drinking filtered
water is a much more economical practice than drinking bottled water.
The pure water product of a water filter costs very little more
than untreated tap water.
Furthermore, because water filters use no more energy than is already
required to propel water through a home's plumbing system, they
circumvent several of the environmental problems of the bottled
water industry. At this point in time, there is simply no better
choice-for purity and economy-than filtered water.
Every Drop Counts
Given the supply and demand issues surrounding water, it is imperative
that we make some conscious decisions regarding the preservation
of this indispensable resource. In doing so, it is important to
be aware of some basic realities.
Water is a precious resource in our environment. Growing populations
and ongoing droughts are squeezing our water resources dry and the
degradation of natural habitats. We have no choice but to pay more
attention to how we are using water, and how we may be wasting it.
We must bridge the gap between our understanding of how important
water is to our survival and what we can do to ensure that we have
an adequate supply of clean water for years to come. Try to do one
thing each day to save water. For more information about what you
can do, please search online for the many simple ways you can take
action and conserve water.
Richard A. DiCenso