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Why you should be drinking water?

“3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food”

Have you heard this rule of threes often quoted by wilderness survival experts? Water is an essential nutrient; it is arguably the most important nutrient we need. Our body cannot survive more than a few days without water, whereas it may take weeks, months or years to develop deficiencies in other nutrients. I'm not suggesting that we go into the wilderness to test out this rule but I do suggest we consider our own water consumption.

So why is water so important to us?

About 60% of our body’s weight is actually #water. Water is the fluid in which all life processes occur within our cells, outside of our cells and between our cells. Water is needed to transport nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, oxygen and waste products around our body, to maintain cell integrity and structure of large molecules, to participate in metabolic reactions, to lubricate and cushion our joints, to moisten mucus membranes, to help regulate our temperature and to maintain blood volume. For our body to function optimally, fluids need to remain in balance within and outside of the cells. For this to happen, we need to ensure that we consume plenty of fluids.

Do you only drink when you feel thirsty?

You know that feeling when you have a dry mouth which prompts you to reach for a drink. Well, actually, that prompt is delayed, well-behind the body’s need to replenish its fluid supplies. If we continually ignore this prompt, are unable to find water, or are unable to recognise it (common in the elderly), our body quickly becomes dehydrated, resulting in weakness, exhaustion and, eventually, death. However, long before we feel thirsty, some of our body functions may be affected such as concentration, alertness and short-term memory. Not drinking enough water has also been linked to constipation, cystitis, increased risk of kidney stones and dry skin.