Health Benefits of Water

Water is all around us. It's an essential part of the atmosphere and makes up two-thirds of the earth's surface. Around 70 % of the human body is made of water. 

It would be difficult to overstate how important water is to your overall health. You cannot live without it. Water flushes waste from your body, regulates body temperature, and aids in brain function. 

Most of the water you consume comes from liquids, but many food sources also contain some water. 

Throughout the world, people recognize the importance of access to freshwater. In regions where clean water is scarce, dehydration risks are a significant public health concern.

Health Benefits

Water allows the body to perform a long list of important functions that maintain health, for example:

Essential Cell Functions

The cells located throughout the body contain water. Water helps maintain the cell shape and structure required for your body to complete a wide range of vital biochemical processes.

Without water, cells become dehydrated and aren’t able to function properly, which can cause serious illness.

Body Temperature Regulation

Water regulates our internal body temperature, primarily through sweating and respiration. 

This is an especially important function when overheating is a concern. Healthcare professionals recommend increasing your water intake during exercise or when you’re outside in hot weather for extended periods. 

Nutrition

Untreated water does not have nutritional value; however, it carries nutrients throughout your body.

Nutrients per Serving

One cup of municipal drinking water contains:

Portion Sizes

It’s essential to drink plenty of water to keep your body functioning well. Many health experts recommend drinking at least four to six cups of water per day, although it is possible to drink too much water. 

According to their doctor's recommendation, people living with thyroid disease or kidney, liver, or heart problems may need to limit their water intake. This is also true for people who take medications that increase water retention.

How to Use Water

Water is a common ingredient in many recipes, including drinks and foods. When following recipes that include water as an ingredient, pay attention to instructions about water temperature. For example, yeast requires hot water, while pie crust-making calls for icy-cold water. 

Water is the basis for many popular beverages, including coffee, tea, lemonade, and flavored punches. 

You can drink water from a tap, run it through a filter, or buy it in different forms at many stores. In addition to water without bubbles, you can purchase flavored and unflavored carbonated water. 

Here are some creative ways to enhance the flavor of water:

  • Add sliced fruit to a glass of water
  • Freeze coffee into cubes and add them to iced coffee drinks
  • Add bullion cubes to create broth as a recipe base or eat it on its own as a soup
  • Add cucumber slices to seltzer water
  • Flavor water with herbs like fresh mint leaves
  • Add a packet or drops of flavor-enhancing products
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 19, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

American Physiology Society: "Insights into digestion and absorption of major nutrients in humans."

Cleveland Clinic: "Urinary System."

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon.

Harvard University: "Biological Roles of Water: Why is water necessary for life?"

Harvard Health Publishing: "How much water should you drink?"

Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Military Nutrition Research: "Nutritional Needs in Hot Environments: Applications for Military Personnel in Field Operations."

John Hopkins Medicine: "Dehydration and Heat Stroke."

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs: "Water Scarcity."

United States Geological Survey: "The Water in You: Water and the Human Body."

University of Hawaii: "Water's Importance to Vitality."

University of Washington Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine: "Joints."

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