Around 71% of the planet's surface is covered by water. Adult bodies are made up of about 60% water, while our blood contains about 90% water. Babies and children have a higher percentage of water than adults. When babies are born, they are about 78% water, but this falls to 65% by the age of 1 year. In adults, fatty tissue has less water than lean tissue.

We cannot survive without enough water. Water is an essential nutrient your body needs, present in liquids, plain water, and foods. It helps deliver nutrients to our cells and get rid of toxins and waste. It is important to consume water to fuel the body, build energy, and ensure the proper functioning of all vital organs. Water is crucial for many bodily functions, such as lubricating the joints, delivering oxygen throughout the body, preventing kidney damage, and more. Water is essential for the kidneys and other bodily functions.

When dehydrated, the skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and wrinkling. Some of the water required by the body is obtained through foods with a high water content, such as soups, tomatoes, and oranges, but most comes through drinking water and other beverages. During everyday functioning, water is lost by the body, and this needs to be replaced. We lose water through sweating, urination, and even when breathing. Drinking water is the best source of fluid for the body.

The amount of water needed each day varies from person to person, depending on how active they are, how much they sweat, and so on. There is no fixed amount of water that must be consumed daily, but there is general agreement on what a healthy fluid intake is. For men, it is around 3.5 litters, and for women, it is around 3 litters. Around 80 percent of this should come from drinks, including water, and the rest will be from food. Fresh fruits and vegetables and all non-alcoholic fluids count toward this recommendation.

Times when it is most important to drink plenty of water include:

  • If you have a fever.
  • When the weather is hot.
  • If you have diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • When you sweat a lot, for example, due to physical activity.

Why do you need water?

Water is important for most processes the body goes through in a day. Benefits of drinking water include:

  • Keeping your body temperature within a normal range. Water stored in the middle layers of the skin forms on the skin's surface as sweat when the body heats up. As it evaporates, it cools the body.
  • Providing physical resistance and absorbent properties. Having a lot of water in the body may reduce physical strain if heat stress occurs during exercise.
  • Lubricating and cushioning your joints. Cartilage, found in joints and the disks of the spine, contains around 80 percent water. Long-term dehydration can reduce the joints' shock-absorbing ability, leading to joint pain.
  • Protecting your spine and other tissues. Dehydration can affect brain structure and function. It is also involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Prolonged dehydration can lead to problems with thinking and reasoning.
  • Helping you eliminate waste through urine, sweat, and bowel movements. Water is needed for the processes of sweating and the removal of urine and feces.
  • Forming saliva and mucus. Saliva helps us digest our food and keeps the mouth, nose, and eyes moist, preventing friction and damage. Drinking water also keeps the mouth clean. When consumed instead of sweetened beverages, it can also reduce tooth decay.
  • Delivering oxygen throughout the body. Blood is more than 90 percent water, and blood carries oxygen to different parts of the body.
  • Boosting skin health and beauty. Dehydration can make the skin more vulnerable to skin disorders and premature wrinkling.
  • Supporting the digestive system. The bowel needs water to work properly. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation, and an overly acidic stomach, increasing the risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers.
  • Maintaining blood pressure. A lack of water can cause the blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.
  • Supporting the airways. When dehydrated, airways are restricted by the body to minimize water loss, potentially worsening asthma and allergies.
  • Making minerals and nutrients accessible. These dissolve in water, making it possible for them to reach different parts of the body.
  • Preventing kidney damage. The kidneys regulate fluid in the body, and insufficient water can lead to kidney stones and other problems.
  • Enhancing performance during exercise. Consuming more water might enhance performance during strenuous activity.
  • Aiding in weight loss. Water may also help with weight loss if it is consumed instead of sweetened juices and sodas. Drinking water before meals can help prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness.
  • Reducing the chance of a hangover. When partying, alternating unsweetened soda water with ice and lemon with alcoholic drinks can help prevent overconsumption of alcohol.


Your body is constantly using and losing fluids through actions like sweating and urinating. Dehydration happens when your body loses more water or fluid than it takes in.

Symptoms of dehydration can range from being extremely thirsty to feeling fatigued. You may also notice you aren't urinating as frequently or that your urine is dark. In children, dehydration may cause a dry mouth and tongue, a lack of tears while crying, and fewer wet diapers than usual.

Dehydration may lead to:

  • Confusion or unclear thinking.
  • Mood changes.
  • Overheating.
  • Constipation.
  • Kidney stone formation.
  • Shock.

Hyponatremia Drinking too much water may be dangerous to your health as well. When you drink too much, the extra water can dilute the electrolytes in your blood. Your sodium levels decrease, which can lead to what is called hyponatremia.

Symptoms include:

  • Confusion.
  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Irritability.
  • Muscle spasms, cramps, or weakness.
  • Seizures.
  • Coma.

Staying hydrated goes beyond just the water you drink. Foods make up around 20% of your total fluid requirements each day. Along with drinking your 9 to 13 daily cups of water, try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

Some foods with a high water content include:

  • Watermelon.
  • Spinach.
  • Cucumbers.
  • Green peppers.
  • Berries.
  • Cauliflower.
  • Radishes.
  • Celery.

Tips for drinking enough water

Try carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go, including around the office, at the gym, and even on road trips. You don't have to drink plain water to meet your hydration needs. Other good sources of fluid include milk, pure fruit juices, tea, and broth. Skip sugary drinks. While you can get fluid from soda, juice, and alcohol, these beverages have high calorie contents. It's still smart to choose water whenever possible. Drink water while out to eat. Have a glass of water instead of ordering another beverage. You can save some cash and lower the total calories of your meal, too. Add some flair to your water by squeezing in fresh lemon or lime juice. If you're working out hard, consider drinking a sports drink that has electrolytes to help replace the ones you lose through sweating.

What happens when you don't drink enough water? Not drinking enough water can make you very ill. Severe dehydration can lead to dizziness and collapse. If you are showing any signs of dehydration, drink some water right away and seek medical advice if you still don't feel better. Older people are at greater risk of dehydration because they naturally feel less thirsty, and their kidneys may not work as well. Memory problems, taking some medicines such as diuretics and laxatives, and not being able to move around to fetch a drink all make it harder to stay hydrated. For older people, not drinking enough water in the long term can lead to serious problems such as constipation, a decline in memory, not being able to function as well, having a fall, and having a stroke. These are the signs that you need to drink more water: dark urine, light-headedness, tiredness, irritability, feeling thirsty, loss of appetite, and fainting.

When your water intake does not equal your output, you can become dehydrated. Fluid losses are accentuated in warmer climates, during strenuous exercise, at high altitudes, and in older adults, whose sense of thirst may not be as sharp. We are mostly composed of water, which, as it seems, is essential for our well-being. In the next article, we'll talk mostly about healing with water. Until then, cheers and stay hydrated!