Water and its Importance
Water is a very essential component of our food and living. We can survive without food for about 2 to 3 weeks but we can’t survive without water more than a few days. Water is the largest constituent of the body and from this fact we can derive its importance. More than 60% of adult human weight is water. In women the water portion is low about 45% to 55 % as compared to man because in women there are more fats than muscle mass as in men. Water also regulates the nutrient intake and wastes excretion. Most of water is held as intracellular fluid that is about 55% while the rest 45% is extracellular fluid. In this article, the discussion will be about the function and importance of water from different aspects.
Functions of water:
Water has many vital functions in our body to play.
It is used as constituent of every in its buildup. Fatty tissues contain the least of water about 20%, in bones its ratio is about 26%, striated muscles have 75% of water and brain is containing about 85% of it.
It prevents the dehydration in our body and provides lubrication across the joints and between internal organs.
It provides the aqueous environment for the proper enzyme functioning. As the enzyme requires the aqueous environment for this.
Through perspiration and sweating it helps to regulate the human body temperature.
It serves as a medium for the nutrients, enzymes and other chemical substances are dispersed or dissolved.
It also provides medium for the intracellular reactions to take place.
It participates in chemical reactions, especially in the hydrolytic reactions.
It also helps in transportation for the nutrients to taken up and wastes excreted out of body.
Sources of water:
There are three major sources of water in the body. These include:
Our body gets from daily diet intake about 750 mL to 1000 mL water that makes up about 25 to 35 % of the intake. All foods except salt, sugar and vegetable oil contains appreciable quantities of water.
The metabolic activity of nutrients that is through oxidation also produces water and provides about 10 to 15 % of the daily water intake. Thus, when one gram of carbohydrates, proteins and fats are oxidized in the body about 0.6, 1.07 and 0.41 g of water is produced respectively.
Water taken as drinking water, beverages, fruit juices, tea, coffee, milk, ‘lassi’, etc. accounts for about 50% or more of the daily intake.
The intake of water proportion differs for every person according to his/her needs and physical activity level. Moreover, water intake is governed by diet, age, climate and activity etc.
More water is needed for more food intake. For about each kilocalorie of energy water requirement is about 1 mL for a person consuming about 2500 kcal of energy.
More water is needed when diet is rich in proteins and salts.
The water requirement of a person exceeds with age.
The need for water in summer is more than in winter season.
To regulate the balance by the kidneys for the waste elimination in temperate climate about minimum 900 mL of water is required. Sedentary man in temperate climate requires about 2 L of water per day.
Depending upon the humidity, temperature and activity, much more water is needed in the tropical climate.
For some specific conditions the water requirement is enhanced e.g for pregnant and lactating women, sports man engaged in a strenuous exercise etc.
Quality of water:
The quality level of water is based on the presence and absence of micro-organisms especially the E.coli bacteria and the substances contaminating it.
For human consumption about two aspects for the quality of water is important:
Microbiological qualities are determined by investigating the presence and quantity of coliform bacteria specially Eschericihia coli and Aerobacter aerogens. Their presence indicates that the water has been contaminated with human feces or sewage. In general water with a total number of 100 bacteria commonly 03 coliform per 100 mL of water is safe to drink.
Chemically, water should be free from:
It should have a pH in between 6.5 to 8.5. it should not contain heavy metals e.g mercury, arsenic etc.
So water is very vital component of our lives and must be consumed clean and healthy as our whole body functioning for its major part resides on it.
Water and its Importance