Why is an understanding of water nutrition important to your healthy diet plan?
About two-thirds of our body weight is from water. It is an essential nutrient but what gives it the distinction of being the most important nutrient is we are unable to conserve it like other nutrients. Even under starvation conditions, we can survive for months so long as we have water. Without it, we a meager chance of survival. This is because just a 5% decrease in water weight will likely lead to death.
Ironically, we often don't pay attention to the importance of water until we are deprived of it because of the prevalence in the developed world along with the proliferation of manufactured beverages. Some estimates suspect upwards of 75% of the developed world's population is chronically dehydrated.
Our body cells die very quickly without adequate water. It carries to the cells the nutrients it needs while cleansing it of wastes. Water is the primary mode of nutrient transportation within our body. Its role as a vehicle is possible in large part due to its uncanny ability to act as a solvent and dissolve nearly anything.
The water molecule enjoys its space and resists crowding. This property allows it to function as a protective layer to provide lubrication and cushion for our body against shock. When energy is produced by any of the macronutrients - carbohydrates, lipids, protein - heat is also given off as a by-product. To maintain a healthy body tempature, water helps get rid of the excess heat in the form of sweat.
When our water nutrition is poor, we suffer the consequences as our bodily systems work inefficiently.
It doesn't really make a lot sense that we have a vast availability of water but fail to drink enough on a daily basis. Moreover, many of us that are chronically dehydrated know we aren't consistently drinking enough water.
When our kidneys are working properly, we can filter up to 4 cups ( ~ 1L ) of water every hour. At this pace, we would meet the commonly accepted "8 glasses of water a day" intake goal for health. Like many nutrition guidelines, this recommendation is not specifically tailored toward you.
Instead, it acts as a benchmark that will prevent chronic dehydration in your body. So... What influences your water nutrition?
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a industry-leading report that recommends adequate intake levels based on gender and age. We've found a simple water intake calculator that uses information from this report along with lifestyle and body weight.
Read up further on why Water Nutrition is a key part of How to Eat Healthy. In addition to understanding thirst, below is a great list of strategies to increase your water intake without having to set alarms for when to drink or keep journal entries every time take a gulp.
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Your Healthy Diet > Superfoods > Water Nutrition