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[ Role of Water | Loss of Water | Water Requirements | Is Your Tap Water Safe? ]
We often do not consider water an important part of our diet, but the fact is that, it is actually the most important one. We can live without food for weeks or even months, but we would die without water for just two or three days. Our bodys main component is water which makes up more than two-thirds of our body. Water is involved in nearly everything that goes on in our bodies.
Water is a good solvent for many chemicals; hence it is used in the transportation of many substances, and in many chemical reactions happening in the body. It carries oxygen, nutrients, carbon dioxide and other waste products. It also transports hormones and enzymes. Water acts as a cushion and protects important body organs and it lubricates the joints. Your eyes are kept wet by water when you blink, thus preventing them from drying up. Your skin also needs water. Water makes it soft and prevents it from drying and cracking. Water also keeps the body temperature normal. Water can play an important role in keeping you alert, and is essential to make your brain work better. In summary, your entire body needs water.
Loss of Water
We lose water from our skin when we sweat. When we speak or breathe, we lose water vapor through the mouth. Much of it is lost through urine and feces. Here is a chart about how much water we lose in the various ways:
|How Water is Lost||Water Lost in ml|
Note: The above figures are only approximate. The actual loss differs for people and can change due to the weather or the activities of the individual.
We need about 6-8 glasses of water (2 liters) a day to replace our water loss. We need not actually drink 8 glasses of water because we obtain some water from the food we eat, such as soup, fruits, milk and meat.
How do I know if I am taking in enough water?
You can see if you are drinking enough water by checking your urine. If you excrete a large amount of urine and the urine is light-colored, then you are most likely taking in enough water. If you excrete only a small amount of urine which is dark-colored or possesses a strong odor, then you are likely not to be taking in an adequate amount of water.
Is your Tap Water Safe?
Do you drink tap water? Tap water may not necessarily be safe for drinking in some countries. Tap water is treated with chlorine. Though chlorine helps kill off water-borne germs which cause typhoid, dysentery and cholera, studies have shown that bladder and rectal cancers are linked with drinking chlorinated water. Chlorine can also cause a reduction in the "good" cholesterol (HDL) and an increase in the "bad" cholesterol (LDL).
Hence, distilled bottled water is the safest, followed by water purified by purification systems at home. It is not advisable to buy spring water or filtered water because there is a chance that bacteria and chlorine are present in it.
So, before you fill your glass with tap water, think again. It may be worthwhile to invest in a good quality water purification system that distills and filters the water.
This page has been authored for participation in
the 1997 Thinkquest Competition.