Water is the most important as it helps in various metabolic activities. The human body contains approximately 60 % of body water and this varies with age, gender, body size and composition. This is distributed in various body tissues and organs by weight ranges from 10% to 95% like Adipose tissue, bone, skin, muscles, brain, lungs, kidneys, blood and eyes.
Benefits of water: The various metabolic activities of water
The requirement of water was estimated based on a factorial approach, utilizing the existing literature of the fluid guidelines made by IOM and WHO with corrections made for the body mass and energy requirement to suit the Indian context.
The water requirements:
|Adult man||32-58ml/kg body weight|
|Adult woman||27-52ml/kg body weight|
|Children||60ml/kg body weight|
|Adolescent Boys||47-60ml/kg body weight|
|Adolescent Girls||39-49ml/kg body weight|
|Elderly(sedentary Activity |
|33ml/kg body weight |
38ml/kg body weight
|Pregnant Woman:||2.1-3.2litres/day (Based on working intensity)|
The minimum requirement for water is the amount that equals losses and prevents the adverse effects of insufficient water. The requirement is based on environmental conditions and physical activity. A healthy person needs to take at least 8-10 glasses of water daily. The fluids that we take other than water in our daily routine are also considered and also the fluid that is formed due to the oxidation of food (Metabolic water), the one present in food, one that is added while preparation and also the breakdown of body tissues. This is the water gained. The water losses are through renal, respiratory and skin surfaces.
Consequences of hyper-hydration:
Excess intake of fluid or decreased body’s ability to excrete water or increased tendency to retain water by the body leads to overhydration. It is normally seen in kidney disorders, liver diseases, congestive heart failure and hormone imbalance. Over-hydration reduces the concentration of sodium in the body and leads to hyponatremia and then to muscle cramps and weakness.
Beverages to be avoided to prevent dehydration:
Beverages other than water to keep you hydrated: