Water is essential to life. It does not just promote life but maintains life. Scientists who devote most of their time in searching for livable planets, aside from earth, looks for water traces or sources of water before confirming that a certain planet is livable (aside from temperature and air composition). Even up to this moment, there is no known planet like earth that has water in it. When talking about water, one popular question that is frequently asked is how many cups of water should you drink a day? Let’s find out.
Water is a chemical substance. Its chemical formula is H2O which means that its molecule contains two hydrogen atoms and one part oxygen. The hydrogen and oxygen atoms are connected by covalent bonds. Water is unique because it can be present in three states which are liquid (in ambient condition), solid (in the form of ice) and gas (in a form of steam or water vapor).
The human body is about 60% water. Without water, the body could not maintain its function. Water is used by the body to flush out toxins or metabolic wastes through the kidney in the form of urine, gives fluidity to the blood thus make it circulate smoothly throughout the body and maintains moisture in the sensitive areas of the body such as the eyes, mouth, nose, and throat.
If the water in the body is significantly decreased, it can lead to dehydration. Dehydration is a leading cause of mortality rate in children who are experiencing diarrhea. Symptoms of dehydration can be first felt when 2% of body fluid has been lost. It can cause increased thirst, dry skin and loss of appetite. As more water is being lost in the body, symptoms of dehydration are becoming life threatening which could lead to lethargy, seizure, and even death. Water loss of 15% and above is considered fatal thus water replacement is very important.
How much water is needed? There is actually no certain number that can say the exact amount of water that should be taken in a day because water intake depends on the activities of the person and the type of climate he/she is into. Generally, doctors recommend drinking 8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day (it’s easy to remember – 8 by 8). For those who live in a hot climate and frequently engage in sports activities, more water should be consumed. The above figures may seem small but actually, they are enough because 20% of water intake are from the foods being consumed a day.
Water adjustment is important so to meet fluid losses. Volume per volume replacement is advised, which means that when an estimated 100ml of water is eliminated in the body (through stool for example), 100 ml of water should also be taken in so that water balance in the body is maintained. If sweating hard, it is best to replace both body fluids and electrolytes at the same time.
To make sure you get enough water regularly, always carry a drink bottle filled with water. You can get a water filter bottle so that the water you drink is chemical free, or an infuser water bottle to flavor your water so as to encourage you to drink more.