Benefits of Drinking Water
Water is an extremely important part of our diet and we can take advantages of it. Water is also a universal solvent, so water’s physical properties vary depending on the source from which it is derived. It can absorb minerals and salt if there are any such components in its source. In places rich in minerals, the water contains minerals that are of great benefit to our health. “There is some evidence that high-calcium water is beneficial to bone.” (WHO, 105)
Our bones require calcium to function properly and deficiency of calcium leads to different problems like arthritis, osteoporosis etc. If calcium-rich water is drunk on a regular basis, such problems can be avoided. Thus, water is also a cheaper alternative of providing important minerals like calcium to our body that not only helps to strengthen our bones but reduces the risk of bone injuries.
Calcium is an important mineral especially for children, athletes and women. The growing bodies of children require regular and adequate amounts of calcium; while athletes depend on their strong bones and muscles for better performance. Calcium-rich water serves dual purpose of providing adequate amounts of calcium and hydrating their bodies, which is essential for their health and performance.
Women constantly need calcium to sustain their health and to cope well during all their biological phases like menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Calcium-rich water also lowers the risk of calcium deficiency in a natural way.
Drinking water is a great gift of nature and it can be obtained from different sources; “Common water varies considerably according to the source whence it is derived, and other circumstances; but all the varieties may be reduced under the three following heads:
Rain water, Spring Water, River water.” (Thomson, 1003)
Whatever the source of drinking water may be, it is important that it should be clean, clear and free of any odor. Being an excellent solvent, water can absorb impurities and toxic substances if care is not taken. Rain water is considered to be the purest form of water as it contains huge amounts of oxygen which it absorbs from the air. “… for medicinal purposes, we prefer rainwater, as what is naturally distilled by the sun…” (Hoffmann, 17)
This shows how important it is for the drinking water to be distilled; and if it is naturally distilled by the sun, it is deemed to be the purest form of water. Rain water also consists of Oxygen- an element on which life is heavily dependent on. Our bodies need oxygen not only for breathing purposes but for sustaining life in general. Oxygen is circulated throughout our bodies as each and every cell and organ of our body needs oxygen.
Rain itself is the symbol of life as it nourishes everything on the face of earth; be it plants, human beings or animals. Rain water also fills the rivers with water and maintains water level underground. However, rain water might not be considered by many people to be fit for drinking on account of environmental pollution; as water being an excellent solvent absorbs all the impurities in the atmosphere and thus its quality as drinking water is doubtful.
Spring water is an excellent natural source of water and the purity and freshness of spring water is unbeatable by any other type of water. Spring water gushes forth from the womb of the earth and being a direct source of water, it is free of any impurities or toxic substances. On the contrary, it might contain important minerals which are beneficial for our health. However, in urban areas, it is not possible to obtain water directly from this natural source.
Even today, people are really fascinated by spring water and perhaps it is for this reason that resorts and spas have become so popular among tourists, who wish to taste nature by drinking directly from water springs. Tap and bottled water simply taste differently from spring water because they are either pumped or bottled and cannot match the freshness of spring water. Maybe this is why a large number of bottled water companies claim to have obtained water directly from natural springs and even use pictures of natural springs for commercial purposes on their products.
River water is also a natural source of pure water and perhaps it is the major source of drinking water around the world. With the help of modern technology, water from the rivers is transported to far flung areas through pipelines, where it is filtered to be delivered as tap or bottled water. Thus, drinking water is available to us either in the form of tap or bottled water in urban areas or in places where natural sources of drinking water are not available.
Bottled water has replaced tap water to a great extent in urban areas for various health reasons. According to a study conducted by BMC public health—- “ Most participants believed that compared to tap water, bottled water conferred additional health benefits.” (Ward, Cain, Mullally, Holliday and Wernham, 4) Most people have reservations about drinking straight from taps as they are not sure about how often the pipelines are cleaned or how well the water filters are performing.
Whether this belief is true or not, bottled water promises to deliver all the goodness of water to their clients; however, it is expensive as compared with tap water. Almost all companies of bottled water claim that the water they supply is free from impurities and distilled according to the standards outlined by the health departments. To a certain extent, bottled water companies exploit the mindset of their consumers by labeling their bottles with the information that appeals to the consumers.
Moreover, the marketing of bottled water is carried out in such a compelling way that many people willingly pay more for drinking water, which is actually available free of cost in the form of tap water. In the absence of any sort of information of tap water, consumers turn away from the cheaper source of drinking water. Tap water in no way can compete with the packaging of bottled water that claims to be filled with water of natural springs.
Though tap and bottled water have different pros and cons; but it has been found out in a report that drinking tap water is also beneficial for teeth, as it contains fluoride.
Fluoride is a common ingredient in toothpaste, but it’s also found in water. Most bottled water takes out most of the fluoride. Without the nutrient, teeth are more prone to decay. Experts suggest drinking more tap water, especially for younger children, that’s because younger children have teeth that are still developing. (Michael Clouse)
Thus, apart from being a cheaper alternative to bottled water, tap water contains an important mineral called Fluoride, which is important for maintaining dental health. The presence of fluoride in toothpaste does not undermine its importance in tap water. One is likely to drink water more frequently than to brush one’s teeth. Thus, water from tap can become a major source of providing fluoride than toothpaste! Therefore, fluoride-rich tap water shall take care of our teeth in a better way than fluoride-rich toothpaste.
Treatment of dental health problems is time consuming and expensive but this problem can be avoided by drinking fluoride-rich water from taps to a great extent. Dental health problems are not only suffered by adults but a great number of children are also prone to it, due to high intake of candies and sugary drinks. Drinking pure water is also beneficial for our teeth as it does not leave any residue or stain on our teeth like other drinks like tea, coffee, colas, artificially colored drinks, fizzy and carbonated drinks, and alcoholic drinks.
Therefore children should be encouraged to drink more water rather than colas and sodas and artificially prepared drinks, as water is more friendly to their dental and oral health. Even other healthy drinks like milk and fresh juices are good for health but our teeth need brushing after taking such drinks, especially if they are consumed before bed time. Water not only washes away any residue of food or drinks but gives a refreshing breath and feeling.
It is important for parents to inform their children about the benefits of drinking water and the adverse health effects of sodas, colas, and artificially flavored drinks. Whether parents prefer tap or bottled water, the benefits of water outweigh the benefits of artificially prepared fizzy drinks, or sodas and colas. Carbonated drinks are playing havoc with our health and it has become part of our lifestyles to take carbonated drinks with food or at any other time of the day.
The major ingredient of carbonated drinks is carbon- which is not healthy at all. It also has dehydrating effects and the high amount of sugar in such drinks trigger weight gain problems. On the contrary, water contains oxygen which is essential for the sustenance of life. The primary function of water is to hydrate the body and to normalize body temperature and other functions of the body. Other drinks might quench thirst but they do not necessarily fulfill the purpose of hydrating our bodies.
Staying hydrated with water is advantageous for many reasons… drinking adequate amounts of water maintains bodily fluid balance, organ function, and blood viscosity, which allows for the effective transport of nutrients. And because the body loses water by way of sweating, breathing, and waste discharge, drinking water prevents dehydration. (Campos, 176)
Human bodies are dependent on water for various functions. Organs like kidneys work to filter impurities and waste from our bodies in the form of urine. Thus water serves as a purifying agent that circulates throughout our bodies and collects and removes all the undesirable contents. If there is adequate amount of water in human bodies, all organs can function properly and the fluid balance can easily be maintained. Blood viscosity and blood also pressure have a direct relationship:
Arterial blood pressure depends on a variety of factors… These factors include the pumping action of the heart, blood volume, resistance to flow, and the viscosity (thickness) of the blood. If any of these factors change, the blood pressure will also change so the flow of blood can continue as normally as possible. (www.nsbri.org)
Drinking adequate amount of water regulates blood viscosity and maintains blood pressure in a normal way. Blood volume also needs to be maintained by continually hydrating our bodies. Blood plays a highly important role in delivering oxygen and nutrients to each and every part of human body. Thus, one of the benefits of drinking water is that it regulates blood volume and viscosity which is essential for the proper functioning of all organs.
Water, when applied at a proper temperature- any temperature less than 98°-not only diminishes the production of heat, but removes the superfluous heat by conduction… Water is a much more effective sedative, and its use is never followed by poisonous effects, as is the use of sedative drugs... Used in various ways, water is very effectual in producing movements of the bowels… (Kellogg, 59-61)
One of the chemical properties of water is heat conduction. “Heat energy can move through a substance by conduction.” (BBC, GCSE BiteSize) Water transfers heat energy from the body and give a cooling effect. People living in hot climates can derive great benefits from drinking water as there is no better drink that can bring relief from the scorching heat. Water also gives relief in the form of home-made drinks like lemonade or fresh lime with mint, which give cooling relief to our bodies. Naturally made homemade drinks are also beneficial for health and should be preferred over carbonated and fizzy drinks.
Water has been proved to have sedative qualities which help in soothing the nerves of a person. Other forms of sedatives might have side-effects or poisonous effects but water is free from any such after-effects and can be used regularly as a sedative. The worries and tensions in our everyday lives take its toll over our mental and physical health.
Thus, it is natural for people to turn to sedative drugs to soothe their nerves and to calm down. At the same time, it is inevitable to avoid the after-effects of using such drugs over a long period of time. If water is used as sedative, one would not have to worry about the after-effects, as drinking water only calms down the nerves and promises good sleep.
The excretion of waste from our bodies is important for our health and in this regard, water plays a major role. Water does not only play a functional role in digestion and assimilation of food but is vital for our bowel movements. As our diet is mostly based on solid food, therefore water is essential for our digestive system to work.
It is common for people to turn to colas and soda drinks, as they are believed to aid in digestion. However, it is a wrong assumption as no drink can beat the goodness of water which naturally aids the digestion process. Even if alcoholic drinks are taken with our meals, they will absorb moisture from our bodies; but water simply hydrates and helps the digestion process in a natural way.
Drinking less than the required amount of water may cause problems in digestion and may also result in constipation. Constipation is not only painful for the person suffering from it but also triggers further health problems. Drinking adequate amount of water regulates bowel movements and alleviates constipation and other related problems.
It is not possible for the human body to discharge solid waste without the presence of water. Even in case of diarrhea, huge amount of water is discharged from the body which may lead to dehydration. Drinking water in such situation helps re-hydrate the body and brings the bowel movements back to normal. Water can be effective in the treatment and cure of major health problems like hypertension as well as low blood pressure. Both problems are related to the constricting action of our blood vessels.
Those with high blood pressure should drink more to bring the blood volume back to normal and allow the vessels to abandon their state of chronic defensive vasoconstriction… Those suffering from low blood pressure need the additional water intake to compensate for the weakness of the vasoconstricting capabilities of the vessels. (Vasey and Graham, 50)
Drinking water can help bringing the blood volume to its normal state, which in turn ensures smooth functioning of the vessels. Constricted vessels result in hypertension and its reversed state results in low blood pressure. If the blood volume is maintained at a proper level, then both problems can be alleviated and this can be achieved by drinking plenty of water.
People suffering from hypertension and low blood pressure have to depend on drugs for treating their chronic problems but a healthy lifestyle can help improve their health to a great extent.
Drinking pure water is an essential part of a healthy diet and it can naturally take care of our health with its amazing remedial properties. In our everyday diet plans, we tend to include even those fluids or junk food that is detrimental to our health. To aggravate this problem, additives and preservatives lower the nutritional quality of the food we eat every day. Drinking water can wash out the poisonous effects of eating unhealthy food in a much better way than many artificially prepared drinks.
It is for this reason that Patrick Hafner advises: “First thing in the morning, boost your metabolism with a big drink of water, around 8-12 ounces or more.” (46) An active metabolism can keep a person energized and healthy and drinking water in the morning is a great way to boost metabolism.
Metabolism refers to all the physical and chemical processes in the body that convert or use energy, such as: Breathing, Circulating blood, Controlling body temperature, Contracting muscles, Digesting food and nutrients, Eliminating waste through urine and feces, Functioning of the brain and nerves. (National Institute of Health)
Human body is busy in executing and controlling different kinds of functions throughout the life span of a person. Water plays a highly important role in the execution of all types of body and brain functions. It boosts all the physical and chemical processes in the human body from respiration to the slightest movement of the muscles. A healthy metabolism is important for people belonging to all age groups from children to adults to aged persons. The food requirements of each age group may vary with the passage of time but water remains an essential part of their diet throughout their life spans. Drinking plenty of water continually replaces the loss of water while breathing, sweating and urination etc.
Even those people that do not have an active lifestyle lose water through these natural processes; while those with active lifestyles lose even more. Even little children need lots of water to hydrate their active and growing bodies all the time. In case they fall sick, or are vomiting or suffering from diarrhea, every step should be taken to hydrate their little bodies.
Similarly, school-going children need to drink water to stay fresh and energized throughout the day. Their daily activities at school and home require that their bodies are well hydrated to cope with their busy lifestyle. In order to make their play-time and study-hours happy and cheerful, they should drink lots of water to stay energized.
During play time, children sweat a lot and thus it is important to keep their bodies hydrated. As it has been explained earlier, lack of water lowers the blood volume which is dangerous for the health of children or even grown up athletes. Children should be advised to keep sipping water from their water bottles at different intervals because it is important to replace the water loss through sweating, immediately.
Drinking plenty of water is advantageous for pregnant and lactating mothers, because their little ones are dependent on their diet and water intake. Pregnant women go through the different phases of pregnancy and each phase demands special attention. The bodies of pregnant women are doing a lot and they need water to carry out each and every activity of their biological systems. Pregnant women are also prone to anemia, dizziness, fatigue and weakness, which can be taken care of by drinking plenty of water.
Whether pregnant women are working or not, they need to maintain their energy levels by drinking pure water. Adequate amount of water maintains their blood volume and ensures proper blood circulation, which is essential for their health.
Adequate hydration can prevent or minimize some of the symptoms of anemia such as dizziness, fatigue, and/or weakness. Additional benefits of drinking water during pregnancy include healthier skin, less constipation, reduced nausea, less acne, and the washing away of unnecessary sodium. (American Pregnancy association)
Pregnant women also have to face numerous other issues like acne, nausea and constipation. Due to lack of water, their skin and hair might also look dull and dry. It is possible to retain healthy skin by hydrating their bodies which would also fight acne problem and constipation.
Even the baby in a mother’s womb survives in a water-bag whose water is replaced every now and then. In this process, the mother’s body is bound to get dehydrated which may lead to constipation, dizziness etc. in order to replenish the water loss, pregnant women should drink plenty of water to fulfill the demands of the growing fetus and their own health.
Human body does not need only need water for its growth and development but also to fight the inevitable aging process. Our bodies go through different stages of growth and development until our biological systems begins to show symptoms of old age. Aging is a natural process but it is not necessary that it should be accompanied with illness and chronic diseases. However, over-aging is a phenomenon that should be defied as much as possible by taking care of our bodies and health. This can be done by taking nutritional diet and drinking plenty of pure water.
Dr. Sang Whang, the author of the Reverse Aging, says the aging process is basically the accumulation of acidic waste in the body. The burning of nutrients in the body produces acidic waste that needs to be eliminated through urination and perspiration. When we do not drink enough water we cannot get rid of this waste matter and it accumulates in the body, causing all kinds of degenerative diseases.
Though it is impossible to avert aging, which is a natural phenomenon, but we can definitely fight the ills of aging in the form of various degenerative diseases. Aging is generally viewed as that time of a person’s life when most of his bodily and mental functions go slow. This is not what aging is supposed to be as there are ways to age with grace. However, maintaining health is a great challenge for older persons and they need to adopt a healthy lifestyle in order to age well.
It is as important to hydrate our bodies in old age as in childhood and in adolescence. Well hydrated bodies can support all the bodily functions and help the organs to perform well. As a person ages, so does his body but a healthy lifestyle can definitely help a person stay active even in old age.
Water is the key to an active and energetic lifestyle as there is no other drink as water that can serve so many functions. The most important function apart from hydrating our bodies is eliminating unnecessary waste and toxins from our bodies, which according to Dr. Sang Whang results in aging.
The benefits of drinking water go beyond our personal health to our communal health. Drinking water is celebrating one of the greatest gifts of nature and it represents a truly natural and healthy lifestyle.
Water symbolically represents life and everything centers on the phenomenon of life. “The most central themes of meaning- water as the essence of life, as the substance of social and spiritual being, as a matter of life and death- are clearly integral to assessments of its quality.” (Strang, 213) The advantages and benefits of drinking water are tremendous for our physical and mental health.
Its benefits as a relatively cheaper and more beneficial drink than other available options have profound effects on our personal and family budgets. Yet, what is of paramount importance is that it must be made sure by the responsible authorities that the drinking water being delivered to the public in the form of tap or bottled water is of high quality and free of any impurities or toxic substances. The quality of the water we drink actually increases or decreases its benefits.
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