Sunday, August 12, 2012

Drinking Water: The Importance

It is a known fact that water makes up over 60 per cent of the average human’s body weight and composition. Apart from maintaining body temperature and aiding in detoxification of the body, research has shown other additional benefits of water.

Water intake plays a major role in weight loss programmes as it not only has no calorie content but also acts as an appetite suppressant. More to this it has been shown that in most cases when people think they are hungry they are actually thirsty. Adequate fluid therapy has also been shown to reduce the incidence of heart disease. In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology 2002, it was shown that people who took five glasses or more of water per day were 24 per cent less likely to die from heart attack than those who drank two glasses or less.

The incidence of colon cancer which has been on the rise especially among the young and bladder cancer has been shown to be reduced in avid water drinkers by 45per cent and 50 per cent respectively. Water is has also been shown to improve the skin properties of individuals as well as help with digestive conditions related to build up of gastric acid like ulcers and heart burn. Taking water has been seen to helpful to people who get constant on and off headaches as this may be assign of dehydration.

How much should you take and when is the best time to take it? The average human being requires at the least about 2500ml of water per day to compensate for daily loss via stool, sweating, breathing and mostly through urine. The long standing notion that 8 glasses of water per day is what is required is very much debatable as water requirements tend to vary with individuals. Personal needs are subject to a person’s body weight, the person’s state as requirements go up during sickness, exercise and in hot climates. Plus requirements tend to vary by the hour. Even in modern medicine fluid balance can make the difference between a patient’s demise and recovery.

Most school of thought like the American college of family medicine and various research done agree that it’s best to take water early in the morning on waking, as sleep is a period of fasting yet the body has certain requirements per hour as earlier stated. This notion has also been used as a part means of water therapy for many years in Japanese traditional medicine. Others add that it is important to rehydrate before and after exercise regimens to prevent that risk of dehydration from excessive perspiration.

Requirements may be indicated by weighing yourself before and after working out to give indication of loss and proceed to take at least two glasses for every kg lost. Several authorities also agree that most of the water should be taken in between or before meals and minimal taken during the meal itself contrary to the norm in our society. The rule of thumb is to avoid getting thirsty as this in itself is already a sign of dehydration.

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