Approximately How Much Water Do You Need Each Day to Stay Healthy?

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Chapter 9
1)Approximately how much water do you need each day to stay healthy? Water constitutes 50% to 70% of the human body. Its unique chemical properties enable it to dissolve substances as well as serve as medium for chemical reactions, temperature regulation and lubrication (found in the knees and other joints of the body); it also aids in regulating the acid base balance in the body. It helps remove waste from the body and is the basis for saliva, bile and amniotic fluid.

It is clear that obtaining the proper daily intake of water is extremely important. For adults daily water needs are estimated at 2.7 liters (11 cups) for adult women to 3.7 liters (15 cups) for adult men, total water is a combination of fluids and food. For fluid alone this corresponds to at 2.2 liters of water (9 cups) for women to 3 liters water (13 cups) for men per day. (Fluid intake does not have to be derived from water alone).

Identify at least two situations that increase the need for water. Dehydration: Dehydration is triggered after the loss of water due to illness and drinking alcohol. The following are signs of the early stages of dehydration: dry mouth and lips, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, headache, elevated heart rate and fatigue.

Thirst: If you do not drink enough water your brain lets you know by signaling thirst. Your brain communicates the need to drink. Thirst mechanism can lag behind actual water loss after a prolonged exercise and illness, as well as in older people.

Children that are ill especially those with fever, diarrhea, vomiting and increased perspiration should be encouraged to take in adequate fluids.

Then list three sources of water in the average person’s diet. Liquids: Beverages that we consume, such as water, milk, coffee, tea, soda and fruit juices. Beer and wine are also considered forms of water however – these should be consumed within healthy daily guidelines (2 for men and 1 for women). Plain water is considered by many experts to be the best source as it provides water intake without adding any calories – even though it doesn’t provide any other nutrients.

Foods: Much of the food we consume has water. Many fruits and vegetables are more than 80% water.

Metabolic Water: Water as a byproduct of metabolism.

2)What is the relationship with sodium and water balance, and how is that relationship monitored as well as maintained in the body? Sodium is the major positive ion found outside cells and is essential to fluid balance and nerve impulse balance. The North American diet provides abundant sodium through processed foods and table salt. Table salt is chemically known as sodium chloride, it is 40% sodium and 60% chloride.

The human body absorbs almost all sodium consumed. Once absorbed it becomes the major positive ion found outside of cells in extracellular fluid and is a key factor in retaining body water. Fluid balance throughout the body depends partly on the variation of sodium and other ion concentrations among the water containing components in the body. Sodium ions also function in nerve impulse conduction and absorption of nutrients like glucose.

Both deficiency and toxicity can occur with sodium; the greater concern lies with toxicity. Sodium deficiency is less common than excess sodium since it is so readily available in the diet; many health problems can occur when either happens. Kidneys are essential for regulating the volume and composition of bodily fluids.

Water balance is achieved by ensuring that the amount of water consumed and generated by metabolism equals the amount of water excreted by the body. Consumption side is regulated by behavioral mechanisms which include thirst and salt cravings. Urine is produced not only to eliminate cellular waste products, but also to control the amount and composition of extracellular fluid. Controlling the amount of water and sodium as well as other chemicals is essential to...
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