Water is the most important substance on the planet. Life was born in water and it is the basic substance that we enter into our body. From all the water on Earth, only 0.4% is available as drinking water. Ecological changes, due to industrialization and global warming, represent a great danger to the preservation of water and our health. That’s why we need to think about water intake, its quality and prevention of pollution of our environment on a daily basis.
Water makes about 80% of our body at birth, and about of 60% in adulthood. The total amount of water varies depending on body weight, age, gender and presence of fatty tissue. A obese person may have up to 30% less water in the body than a person with normal weight at the same age.
Water is a key factor in maintaining the structure and function of all tissues. Approximately 2/3 of the total water in our body is found in cells, and the 1/3 is outside the cells. Daily, 1/7 of intercellular fluid of an adult is regenerated, and ½ of the children. Because of that, water from the body is constantly lost through urine, sweat, stool and breathing in the form of water steam. It is best to to compensate it in the correct time intervals (2 to 3 hours) during the day.
The roles of water in the body are numerous: it is the main solvent and carrier of nutrients, plays an important role in circulation, participates in all metabolic processes and in taking away harmful substances from the body, helps digestion and regular discharge of the intestine, plays a key role in thermoregulation and participates in maintenance balance of electrolyte and acid-base equilibrium.
Adult women should consume at least 2 liters, and men 2.5 liters of fluid per day. Microclimate conditions also affect water needs. In the case of high temperatures during the summer, more water is needed, because we are sweating. Sweating is the most important mechanism of the body’s defense against overheating. If the air is dry, more water in the form of steam goes outside when we are breathing, and in this case also, more fluid is needed in relation to the stated needs. During physical activity, recreation and sports, several liters of sweat can be lost, so a much larger amount of water than average should be entered in this case. Athletes have special protocols for hydration before, during and after training to ensure the best physical performance and durability.
The brain contains about 80% water, so mental abilities depends a lot on this valuable liquid. In fact, the first signs of dehydration are problems with concentration, mood, sleepiness, headache. Many people think that only physical work requires regular water intake, but that’s not true. Especially if mental activity is followed by drinking coffee, some teas, beverages that contain a lot of sugar. All these beverages increase extracting water through urine, and the body even dehydrates faster. It still remains that the water is the healthiest and best drink, and that the complete hydration makes us very capable for fulfilling everyday, not small demands of life.
Thirst is not always a reliable signal to reach for water. When the thirst comes, the body is already slightly dehydrated. Many adults and children avoid fluid intake because of the insufficient accessibility of the toilet or the type of activity they perform. This habit can change the feeling of thirst. People older than 60 years, can also have reduced this feeling. Because all of that, we should drink a glass of water several times a day and even when we are not thirsty.
Regular water intake brings a number of positive effects to the body. It provides normal brain activity and muscle function, good circulation, cell nutrition, detoxification, normal digestion with regular stool, increased joint mobility, reduced risk for urinary tract stone, normal moisture of skin and mucous membranes, improves skin appearance.
The choice of water is also of great importance. Many people think that the tap water is the best. However, not all towns have water of the same quality. Even the pipes are not well preserved everywhere. Tap water is chlorinated and contains more or less chemical impurities. Fortunately, Serbia is rich in natural mineral waters, which have been used for centuries to improve health and even for medical treatments. That’s why we can choose underground waters which are extremely quality from the ecological point of view.
The composition of water is also important. For unlimited use we can consume water with low content of soluble mineral substances. They are suitable for all ages. However, it should be emphasized that among these waters, the best are those that contain a balanced ratio of inorganic matter (natrium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, chlorine and bicarbonate). Natural mineral waters that contain more minerals can be used less often, and show extremely important physiological effects, primarily in improving digestion and metabolism.
People with high blood pressure should avoid water that contain too many natrium. On the other hand, natrium is more needed for those who sweat a lot due to physical activity or during the flight. Minerals from natural mineral waters make an important supplement to the daily intake of minerals through food, and the choice of water depends on physiological factors and health condition.
In an era of irregular nutrition and a modern lifestyle, full of speed and stress, the organism at the cell level creates more harmful substances – free radicals. In order to prevent cell damage, it is important to feed properly, to enter as much water, vegetables and fruit as possible, and as little as possible refined foods. Water is extremely important for the processes of exchange of useful and harmful substances in the cells. On water also depends the efficiency of circulation and the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. If the cell is well hydrated, all processes are optimally carried out.
Some of natural mineral waters can enhance the detoxification process because of their composition. In our country was done a clinical testing of the natural mineral water Heba Strong, rich with bicarbonates and sulphate. It has been found that this water helps organism to release from free radicals and raises the ability of the body to defend against antioxidants. It is important for many people to drink alkaline water, thinking that this is the key of improving their health and of slow aging. They are, of course, useful for the neutralization of excess gastric acid, but the alkalinity of the whole organism depends primarily on bicarbonates. Clinical studies worldwide show that mineral waters that contain high concentrations of bicarbonates increase the alkaline reserve of the organism (including the Heba Strong water), keep the acid-base balance in the body and in this way they affect the entire metabolism, and especially the improvement of the bones and teeth strength.
Dr sc.med. Nina Bulajić