Heres an exert from my book THE WELLNESS ZONE. ( 2nd edition)
Just a little reminder that we need to drink WATER!
We all know that we should drink water. But do you know why?
In this article I pin pointed information on water in your body. Where it’s located? What are the percentages? What happens when you become dehydrated? What happens when you drink too much water? Why is water so important anyway? Read on and you may be swilling with enthusiasm and really seeing some healthy results.
H2O, two parts hydrogen to one part oxygen is the real stuff. Then we can add in any particles that have attached themselves along the way, such as minerals, toxins, and synthetic chemicals that just love a little H2O to go. There are hydrophilic molecules which just love to attach themselves to hydrogen atoms and are water loving , these readily dissolve in water such as sodium based chemicals ,a nd then there are hydrophobic molecules which are repulsed by the water such as lipid based molecules which require some form of mixing or emulsification to blend with the water. The way molecules are attracted or repulsed to water is important in your body as this determines how nutrients are absorbed and assimilated through your system.
Water is the essence of life, this is above all else except for the air we breathe the most important factor for your health. There are negative and positive ions within your body. Many trace minerals and elements are only usable in your body when they have been converted to this ion formation. This occurs when the minerals dissolve readily in water, and we need to drink water so that there is sufficient water in our body for this process amongst the many processes involved with hydration and metabolism.
Where’s the water in my body?
The total amount of water in your body is dependant upon your fat content. Adipose (fat tissue) is only about 10% water as opposed to many other body tissues.
An overweight person’s body fluids may only be about 55% whilst a lean person may contain as much as 75% total water for your body weight.
There are fluid compartments in the body such as inside the cells and outside the cells. About 40% of your water content is found inside your cells and another 20% is found outside the cells. An average 70kg person would have about 45 liters of water in the body with 15 liters located outside the cells (extra cellular fluid) and 30 liters inside the cells (intracellular fluid).
Blood accounts for about 4litres of the extra cellular fluid (5% of the body weight) and water in your connective tissue accounts for about 9% of this weight. Another 4% of water is located in your bones and collagen. Other extra cellular fluid is located in the digestive tract, cerebrospinal fluid , eyeball, pleural, pericardial, peritoneal and synoval fluids, plus of course the thyroid glands, sweat glands and cochlear endolymph.
So, now we know where fluid lives in our body. It constantly needs to be replaced and this process happens most obviously through the foods we eat and the beverages we drink.
This fluid is always on the move, and old molecules of water need to be constantly replaced by new. All water that enters your body passes into the gastrointestinal tract and is absorbed through the small intestine where it visits the liver for filtration before moving onwards to the rest of the body. Blood cells take up new molecules in less than one second and brain tissue takes up water very fast exchanging the old for the new in less than every two minutes. These molecules are constantly being replaced with the old molecules entering the blood and being taken around the body to be filtered by your kidneys and liver cells ensuring that the most toxic molecules are excreted or taken out of action.
You lose about 3 to 6 % of water each day, so a person who has 45 liters of water in the body would lose about 1.5 to 3 liters a day, which doesn’t take rocket science to work out that you will need to replace this each day. Your body has some awesome mechanisms in place to bring water loss right down to zero in times of non replacement.
This is where you can accumulate fluid in your body, at times when you are not drinking enough water and your body slows down the water turnover cycle.
Keeps your water cycle going simply by having a glass of water each time you urinate, and try to drink a glass of water every half an hour during hot weather as you will lose water from sweat in the summer as well as the urine cycle.
Water carries toxins out of your body.
There needs to be a minimal rate of urine formation to allow removal of toxins and water soluble metabolites. Urea is formed as amino acids are broken down and excreted as urine, this is almost like ammonia and is very acidic in the body, many other potentially toxic byproducts enter the kidneys for filtration and excretion through your urine, so it’s essential to keep the water cycle going in your body for toxicity removal and natural detoxing.
A load of water is evaporated from your body in sweat, exhaling breath as vapor is derived from the respiratory tract surfaces. Water is also lost through skin evaporation other than sweat because the skin surface is not completely dry and the cells contain moisture. Water is also lost through faeces.
The rate of water loss from sweating is variable depending on your personal thermoregulation and metabolism, the environment; the amount of exercise you do, stress, sweating and other factors may lead to a loss of between 1 litre and 5 liters a day. If you find that you are sweating more than usual in the hotter weather take this into account with your water intake. Add an extra 1 to 5 liters of water to your diet. Don’t panic, water comes in may forms other than drinking it directly?
Where do I get water in my diet?
Water is in all of the foods you eat. Examples here are that a rare steak is 40% water, whereas a well done steak is 25% water. An apple is 85% water, most fruits and vegetables are high in water with our favorite watermelon sitting at over 90%. Cauliflower, strawberries, marrow, beans, mangos, rock melons and broccoli all sit around the 90% water content level. Cereals, breads and drier foods obviously have less water. Even a glass of milk is 90% water. So it’s not that hard to get your daily quota of the essential ingredient, water.
The regulation mechanisms
Obviously you can’t regulate exactly the amount of water you take into your body, so magically your body will do this for you. Yes, your intake can vary considerably from day to day and the rate of loss can also vary. Your water percentages in the body do not vary, they are stable and there are some interesting mechanisms in place to control this process.
Your hypothalamus is the coordinating centre in your brain for the feedback information to regulate water in the body, this receives the input from detectors such as the osmotic pressure of your blood, the greater this osmotic pressure the greater is your need for water intake. The left atrium of your heart also has a detector which influences the water balance in your body. When water levels are low this is reflected in reduced blood pressure, which in turn reduces the pressure in the left atrium.
Psychological factors also impinge on your regulatory centers in the hypothalamus. Sight, smell, taste of foods can also influence these activities. A reduced level of body water is detected as an increase in the osmotic pressure in your blood and as a reduced pressure in your left atrium as already mentioned, the main response to this is to increase water retention through the collecting ducts in your kidneys, this will reduce urine volume and return larger amounts of water to your blood. This mechanism is the release of ant diuretic hormone (ADH) from your posterior pituitary gland. This hormone increases the permeability of the collecting ducts and allows a greater rate of water reabsorption.
The second mechanism for increasing water retention (or decreasing water loss) involves the kidneys alone without the influence of the hypothalamus. Once reduced blood pressure is detected in the kidney the enzyme renin is secreted which promotes another hormone called aldosterone from your adrenal glands. This hormone acts on your renal tubules to promote the reabsorption of sodium ions. Where salt goes water follows, so you can imagine how this mechanism quickly reverses water loss from the kidneys reducing urine flow. The down side here is that you will be recirculating all those nasty toxins through your system until you are able to have enough hydration for the kidneys to choose to let them out again through the urine.
The third mechanism that ensures you don’t have a water deficit in the body is the thirst response. The greater your water deficit, the greater will be your thirst. This mechanism can easily be ignored with mild dehydration, however once your body has reduced urine output and it continues to do so, then you will become more and more thirsty. Thirst is part of the homeostatic regulation of body water, however unlike the other two mechanisms it is not automatic, however if the sensation becomes extreme and dehydration threatens our survival the ability to control thirst becomes impossible. These three mechanisms for controlling water in the body area will be reversed when there is sufficient water in the body or when our intake becomes excessive.
It’s really good to see why we need to drink water and why it’s so important to keep our body fluids in balance. Many illness and disease can be avoided when we are sufficiently hydrated. When I talk about hydration I want to say that clean, pure hydration is the most important factor. Imagine all those water molecules clogged up with salts and sugars from refined foods. For new cells to be healthy in all organs you need to give those cells the right nutrients. Water is the main carrier and the water needs to be clean.
Our body has the ability to make water molecules from the metabolism of protein in the liver, this occurs naturally and our body is able to filter out many of the poisons and toxins through our liver and kidneys. But, let’s make the job easier by eating clean foods and reducing the work load on these organs.
Enjoy your water and make time every day to put your health first.