Dehydration: the Importance of Water

Topics: Dehydration, Salt, Water Pages: 4 (1343 words) Published: April 6, 2008
Dehydration: The Importance of Water
Dehydration is defined as a loss or insufficient levels of water and important blood salts like potassium and sodium in your body. Important organs like the kidneys, brain, and heart can not function properly without water and salt. Dehydration is most common in underdeveloped countries, were diseases like cholera and dysentery kill millions every year. Unfortunately infants and small children are the most likely victims. Still, if the right conditions are present like severe vomiting or diarrhea even those in modern countries like the U.S. can become dangerously dehydrated. Water is the single most important element in the world. It is the very basis for all life on Earth. When we are babies, water accounts 70 to 80% of our body mass ( ). The older we get the more this percentage decreases, eventually balancing at approximately 60 to 65% for men and 50 to 60% for women ( ). The most important organ in the body, our brain, consists of 80% water ( ). The amount of adipose tissue in our bodies determines the natural percentage of this element. Women tend to have more of this fatty tissue thus decreasing the amount of water present. The chemical make up water, hydrogen and oxygen, are crucial to sustaining life because of the weak chemical bonds made with other molecules. This allows water to act as the primary solvent for many bodily functions like digestion. Water is also an incredibly efficient conductor of electricity. Our brain heavily relies on its ability to conduct electrochemical impulses to our neurons. These high level brain functions are the foundations for everything ranging from intellectual thought to more mundane actions like breathing. In addition to these characteristics, water, can be a great dietary aid. This is accomplished by its ability to suppress your appetite, reduce sodium levels, and eliminate waste and toxins. If we do not have sufficient levels of water in our systems our bodies will naturally...
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