Effects of Water on the Human Body

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Effects of Hydration on the Human Body
Rebecca St. Clair
January 9, 2011
Ms. Katherine Jones, Ph D

Water is an essential nutrient that provides health maintenance by regulating body temperature, providing lubrication and shock absorption, and is essential to maintain proper physiologic functioning. Over half of the human body weight is comprised of water. Water helps to regulate many human body functions such as: body temperature, and the amount of water lost through kidney functions. Electrolytes are tri-fold and are comprised of Sodium, Potassium, and Chloride. Electrolytes assist with balancing body fluids. Dehydration can be life-threatening, and occurs when water loss exceeds water intake, and ultimately results in a negative balance. “Body temperature is the level of heat manufactured by the body”. Body heat is primarily created through the metabolic break down of food. Heat is lost from the body through the following processes: evaporation of sweat, convection, and radiation. When heat is lost through the body in the form of sweating the body is actually being cooled, and an individual may have a rosy look on their face as blood flows close to the surface of the skin. Water is also expelled from the body through our lungs and skin. The term used to describe the loss of water through the body is Thermoregulation. Thermoregulation can be studied in great detail through varied environmental settings and through extreme physical demands such as marathon running. Runners need to be keenly aware of the impact of proper fluid balance. Low body fluid levels can compromise heat loss (sweating) through exercise, and can increase thermal strain. Early indications of dehydration can include: nausea, vomiting, and headache. Water is also a solvent. Substances needed by the body are dissolved with the assistance of water. These substances include: amino acides, glucose, and minerals. Water helps to keep acidity levels at...
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