The importance of water for health

The practice of healthy eating includes a dietary pattern appropriate to individual needs as well as sufficient daily water intake. Food is an essential habit for human life because we do not eat just because we need to ingest nutrients for the functioning of our body, but more and more for sociocultural reasons and personal satisfaction and we forget such an essential good: water .

Several studies on the importance of water in human physiology have shown that the water present in food is not sufficient to suppress individual daily water needs. Since it sometimes becomes a forgotten recommendation it is important to make sure that hydration is a topic exposed to the population to encourage its consumption. 

According to the New Food Wheel, developed in partnership by the Faculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences of the University of Porto and by the Consumer Institute in 2007, water is not included in any individualized group, but prominently in the center of it and still represented in all groups because in addition to being one of the constituents of each foodstuff it is also often necessary in the making of them. Since this is essential to life, it is essential that it is ingested in abundance daily. Thus, it is recommended, for healthy adult individuals, the intake of about 1.5L to 3L per day for optimal functioning of the human organism.

Although water is the best drink to drink to satisfy your thirst, you can also use other types of liquids without adding sugar, alcohol or caffeine, such as barley, tea or infusions.

Water is essential to maintain the balance of the organism and also has the following functions:

  • Being an essential component of blood, lymph and all bodily secretions;
  • Intervene in the body’s digestion, absorption, metabolism and excretion processes;
  • Maintain body temperature.

The amount of water the body needs derives from the need for individual body fluids. There are several factors that influence daily water needs, namely age, pregnancy and lactation, physical activity, the type of food, the climate and the increased losses that may occur due to vomiting, nausea, among others.

However, we also lose fluids through urine, feces, perspiration and breathing and when these exceed the intake ingested, the osmotic pressure increases and cell dehydration can occur. For this reason it is necessary to remember the importance of staying hydrated.

On the other hand, the consumption of sugary drinks has been increasing, mainly in children and adolescents, as a means of fluid intake. The increase in the consumption of sugary drinks to maximize water intake will lead to a consequent increase in carbohydrates with rapid absorption, which will consequently cause an increase in blood sugar spikes, which is considered one of the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, Diabetes Mellitus type II, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity.

The sensation of thirst is the body’s way of showing us its need for water. Often we do not pay attention to it and throughout life we ​​lose it, so it is essential to create the habit of drinking water throughout the day.

Thus, it is necessary to practice a complete diet , through the different groups of the food wheel, including balanced water ingestion  , allowing a greater consumption of the groups with a larger dimension, and varied, through the variety and seasonality of the food.

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