By AFEA member Seán O'Neill

We all know that water is the basis of life as we know it. Places on earth or throughout the known universe that don’t have water are known to have very little to no signs of life. The adult male body is composed of approximately 60% water whilst adult females approximate water composition is 55%. Water is important to every cell in our bodies. It helps carry nutrients and oxygen to each cell. The average human body has been calculated to be composed of 37.2 trillion (1 trillion = 1,000,000,000,000) cells.

Your body parts & water

Your brain is composed of 75% water.  To help your thoughts ‘flow’ you need to ensure you brains maintain this water.  Dehydration often leads to confusion and impaired cognitive functioning.  Water helps moisten oxygen to support your breathing.  The lungs do not like dry conditions.  Water helps regulate your bodies temperature.  It helps you convert the food you eat to energy.  Your stomach needs moisture to rotten and ripen your food intake.  Your blood is composed of 83% water.  Water helps your process of elimination of toxins from your bowels and bladder.  It helps you cushion and protect your vital organs.  It allows you body to absorb nutrients.  Your bones are composed of 22% water.  It is important that your bones have the ability to be flexible to absorb shocks and cushion joints whilst maintaining a structure for your vital organs.  Your muscles are composed of 75% water.Your brain is composed of 75% water. To help your thoughts ‘flow’ you need to ensure you brains maintain this water. Dehydration often leads to confusion and impaired cognitive functioning. Water helps moisten oxygen to support your breathing. The lungs do not like dry conditions. Water helps regulate your bodies temperature. It helps you convert the food you eat to energy. Your stomach needs moisture to rotten and ripen your food intake. Your blood is composed of 83% water. Water helps your process of elimination of toxins from your bowels and bladder. It helps you cushion and protect your vital organs. It allows you body to absorb nutrients. Your bones are composed of 22% water. It is important that your bones have the ability to be flexible to absorb shocks and cushion joints whilst maintaining a structure for your vital organs. Your muscles are composed of 75% water.

How much water should you drink on a daily basis?

There is a simple formula you can you to determine the appropriate minimum amount of water to drink on a daily basis.

The formula is: Your Body weight / 2 = # of fluid ounces per day
[1 fluid ounce = approx. 30mls]
Below are some worked examples of the formula:
8 stone = 112 pounds = 51Kg 56 fluid ounces = 2.8 pints = 1.6L
10 stone = 140 pounds = 63Kg 70 fluid ounces 3.5 pints = 2L
12 stone = 168 pounds = 76Kg 84 fluid ounces = 4.2 pints = 2.4L

Keep in mind consuming liquids which contain caffeine such as tea, coffee and energy drinks and alcohol are all known to act as a diuretic (i.e. expel water from your body) and depending on volumes consumed may mean you need to add an additional amounts of water to what you have calculated using formula above. A general guideline would be another glass of water for each serving of alcohol etc. taken.
It is also important to remember to quench your thirst, even if that is more than the formula suggests and to try and drink water that is pure as possible and tastes good to you!

Some useful times to drink water

After you wake up drinking water acts as a good stimulant to your internal organs. Drinking water after a bath helps lower your blood pressure. Drinking water half an hour before a meal helps aid your digestion.

Tips to help you create a water drinking habit

#1 – Start your day by drinking water. This will help you to become aware of your natural thirst throughout the rest of your day.
# 2 – Keep a supply of water to hand.
If you are not used to drinking adequate amounts of water, you will find yourself most likely initially requiring more loo breaks as your body gets used to having a regular supply of water available to it. Your body will adjust and stop holding on to as much water as it can.

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