5 water functions in human body

   
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Hydration is one of very few primary needs for human beings. But what role does water play in our body?

A healthy sedentary adult living in a temperate climate should drink 1.5 litres of water per day. This threshold of drinking water enables to balance water losses and keep one’s body properly hydrated. Water is a major constituent of our bodies and vital organs. It provides five vital functions in our body :

The 5 functions of water in our body

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  1. Cell life
  2. Chemical and metabolic reactions
  3. Transport of nutrients
  4. Body temperature regulation
  5. Elimination of waste

The Functions of Water

Water is involved in many of our body’s vital functions

  1. Cell life
  2. Water is a carrier, distributing essential nutrients to cells, such as minerals, vitamins and glucose.

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  3. Chemical and metabolic reactions
  4. Water removes waste products including toxins that the organs’ cells reject, and removes them through urines and faeces.

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  5. Transport of nutrients
  6. Water participates in the biochemical break-down of what we eat.

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  7. Body temperature regulation
  8. Water has a large heat capacity which helps limit changes in body temperature in a warm or a cold environment. Water allows the body to release heat when ambient temperature is higher than body temperature (1). The body begins to sweat, and the evaporation of water from the skin surface very efficiently cools the body.

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  9. Elimination of water
  10. Water is an effective lubricant around joints. It also acts as a shock absorber for eyes, brain, spinal cord and even for the foetus through amniotic fluid.

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    Water is at the center of life. This is why nobody can live more than 3 to 5 days without any water intake.


    Source: Montain et al. (1999). Mil Med 164 : 502-508


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