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The benefits of hydration for the body



The benefits of hydration for the body

Water makes up between approximately 50-80% of the human body depending on age, gender and body composition. Generally babies and children have the highest percentage whilst obese adults have the lowest percentage of water in the body. The percent of water also depends on your hydration level. People feel thirsty when they have already lost around 2-3% of their body's water. Mental performance and physical coordination start to become impaired before thirst kicks in, typically around 1% dehydration. This is one reason hydration is crucial, to maintain basic motor skills and mental agility.

Water is the most abundant molecule in the body and is fundamental to several other bodily functions.

  • Water is the primary building block of cells.
  • It acts as an insulator, regulating internal body temperature. This is partly because water has a high specific heat, plus the body uses perspiration and respiration to regulate temperature.
  • Water is needed to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates used as food. It is the primary component of saliva, used to digest carbohydrates and aid in swallowing food.
  • The compound lubricates joints.
  • Water insulates the brain, spinal cord, organs and foetuses. It acts as a shock absorber.
  • Water is used to flush waste and toxins from the body via urine.
  • Enables healthy bowel movement and function.

Ideally, we should drink around eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 litre as day. It is therefore essential to maintain water levels and hydrate regularly, preferably before you feel thirsty.

By Molly 'Tilly' Harris