Water the super nutrient

By Meeghan, 12 March, 2010

The important role water plays in our health and wellbeing is highlighted when you consider our body is made up of between 55 - 75% water. We may be able to survive a few weeks without food but without water even for a few hours, we may experience headaches, lethargy and confusion.

Each day most adults will lose between 2.5 - 3 litres of water (more if we are living in hot weather or vigorously exercising) and we need to replace this loss. We can obtain some of our water requirements from food (think lettuce and watermelon), even from what may appear to be dry and hard foods but the overwhelming majority must be from liquids. Fresh water is superior to all other liquids because unlike juice and soft drink for example it does not contain kilojoules and has fluoride which is good for the teeth. However milk is important for calcium and tea can be a source of antioxidants which may protect us from heart disease and cancer.

It is recommended you drink six to eight 150ml glasses of water every day but you will need more if you are physically active, living in hot climates or if you are breastfeeding. Another suggestion is consuming 1 litre of water per 25kgs of body-weight.

Water will maintain the health and integrity of every cell in the body, will regulate body temperature through sweating and will lubricate and cushion joints. If that wasn’t enough water acts as a shock absorber inside the eyes and spinal cord and works as a moisturiser to improve the appearance of your skin. Without water our body is not able to perform most body functions with ease and this places stress on the kidneys. If you are regularly dehydrated you may be at risk of kidney stones or urinary tract infections, and there is some evidence to suggest bladder cancer.

So the message is drink up and if you are drinking mineral water choose low sodium varieties, those that contain less than 30mg per 100ml.

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