Water: Science, Medicine, Art (Part 1 of 2)

I know you hear it all the time.

Drink plenty of water!

8 glasses per day!


But do you really understand WHY? Because until I had my water unit at school, I did not. Dehydration is associated with many diseases, and I think if you have a better understanding of the role water plays in your body, you will be more likely to keep yourself hydrated. It all goes back to the same thing when it comes to nutrition... AWARENESS!!! Now let's get some awareness around water...


Human Body: 75% Water

Fully Hydrated Blood: 94% Water

Brain: 85% Water

The body depends on water to carry out processes necessary for life, and is extremely sensitive to dehydration. Without water a human would die within a matter of days. When there is a water shortage inside the body, existing water is rationed to areas where it is needed most. Long-term dehydration begins to severely damage cells and can contribute to things such as allergies, migraines and cancer. Some of water’s key functions are listed below:

• Water molecules are added to nutrients during digestion to break them down and allow for absorption into the body

• Water dissolves waste products so they are properly flushed out of the body

• Water creates a healthy environment for neurotransmitters on our brain by creating energy for sodium and potassium to move freely along the nerves, thus ensuring we are alert and sharp

• Water helps regulate body temperature

• Water is the main lubricant in the body which allows it to protect organs in the chest and abdomen, protect joints where bones and ligaments and tendons rub, and allow for smooth passage of food in the digestive system


Do you suffer from any of the following conditions?

• Stress
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Constipation
• Arthritis
• Back pain
• Heart disease
• Adult or child ADD
• Insomnia
• Fatigue
• Glaucoma
• Cancer
• Hot flashes
• Impotence or loss of libido
• Obesity
• Morning sickness with pregnancy
• Memory loss
• Migraines

Short term or chronic dehydration is related to each of these conditions, plus others, to some degree. Chronic dehydration manifests itself through feelings of irritability, anxiety or depression; conditions such as allergies or asthma; and pains associated with things like heartburn, back pain, arthritis or migraines. Histamine is released inside our bodies when we are out of balance, which we experience through things like runny noses or allergies. This is our body signaling the need for more water.

• BABIES: A fetus relies on its mother’s water intake for growth. Its cells are continuously multiplying and need water. A mother’s chemical imbalance due to dehydration requires the fetus to cope with this imbalance, and can lead to damaged genes or cells.

Children and teenagers are constantly growing and producing new cells, requiring a large amount of water. The growth hormones drive thirst. If a child gets too much sugary juice or soda, there will not be enough water to initiate certain parts of development, which can lead to asthma, allergies and ADD. There is a direct relationship between a child’s alertness and the amount of water they drink.

• ADULTS: In adults, the growth hormone is not as dominant and the brain’s nerve centers take over in water regulation. Some thirst sensation is lost. With less water, our bodies must continuously decide where to ration the existing water to maintain some level of balance and health. Over time, physiological and chemical changes caused by constant dehydration can lead to any of the above conditions.

• ELDERLY: Elderly people almost completely lose their thirst sensation. Chronic dehydration causes their cells to wrinkle and makes them susceptible to serious or even deadly diseases. They do not know they are thirsty and therefore do not drink water.

So far so good? Is it starting to make sense? I hope so. Now go drink some H20. And check back tomorrow for the “Art” of water: how much, what kind, and when?


  1. Ann,

    When we hear about water consumption (like 8 glasses per day), I assume that is in addition to the water we get through food, especially fruits and veggies. Is that correct? And, if we are eating properly, how much water are we getting through meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, etc.?

  2. Eddo

    Good questions. Tomorrow I will address all of these things... because there is definitely an "art" to drinking water!


  3. So so interesting! I am going to drink a glass right now...seriously.

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