Water is crucial for survival, even as the harmattan season draws near.
It functions to transport substances within the body of living organisms, and also to transport organisms from one place to another, as about two-third of the Earth is covered by water.
For this reason, the importance of water cannot be overemphasized or misplaced. In the human body, water is essential for regulation of normal functioning of all substance, cell, tissue, organ and system.
The amount of water within the body is maintained in a close range by the kidneys. Hydration is the process of increasing the amount of water available or present. It is useful to facilitate the replacement of lost water.
Hypothalamus, a part of the brain, is responsible for thirst regulation and trigger for hydration.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF TAKING WATER
Because of its immense importance for normal functioning, the health benefits of water ranges wide, some include;
- Regulation of body water. If body water drops below normal acceptable parameter, it can lead to shock or death.
- Regulation of blood pressure.
- Regulation of salt balance.
- Regulation of sugar balance.
- Transportation of substances within the blood, e.g. uric acid.
- Regulation of urine output.
- Regulation of kidney function.
- Regulation of production of digestive enzymes, e.g. saliva.
- Regulation of body temperature.
- Lubrication of joints and movements.
- Reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.
- Assists in digestion.
- Prevention of constipation.
- Regulation of volume of blood
Situations of underhydration or dehydration (taking/having less water) and overhydration (taking/having more water) exists and predisposes to health conditions like;
- Heat injury. Just as overheating of a car.
- Shock as a result of low blood volume.
- Infections of the urinary tracts.
- Muscle cramps.
- Kidney failure.
UNDERHYDRATION OR DEHYDRATION
There are a number of things that can result to dehydration, genetic or acquired, but the focus here is ‘not drinking of water’.
In dry season, to conserve water, the body is supposed to sweat less and make less urine.
But it tries to regulate temperature by making sweat and keeping the skin moist and cool, thereby losing water.
This loss triggers the thirst centres in the hypothalamus to make us desire water, therefore, we drink.
If the body is deprived, it can slip into dehydration and some of the conditions listed above will begin to manifest.
Hydrate and rehydrate regularly. We are advised to take at least 1 litre in a day. DRINK WATER, water is life and the absence of it is eventual death.
Read also: 5 Astonishing Facts About Harmattan Season