Three days after publishing Who I Trust for Health Information and Why I began researching water. Why, you ask?
In his “road map for health” book, The Seven Pillars of Health, board-certified Christian medical doctor and New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Don Colbert, begins his opening chapter asking the same question: Why Water? His answer: “I start our study…with water because it is the most foundational aspect of health.”1
In the summary section at the end of the first chapter, he goes on to say, “Water is the single most important nutrient for our bodies and is considered a ‘miracle cure’ for many health conditions. It is involved in every function of our bodies.” [Emphasis mine.]2
We all know that we need water to live. Every living thing on this planet relies on it. Even the most drought-tolerant plants and animals have to have at least SOME water at SOME point!
But the single most important nutrient? It’s involved in every function of our bodies? A “miracle cure” for many health conditions?
Have I been missing something? I mean…is water really THAT big a deal?
After studying this soggy subject for the past three months, I can definitively say YES! It is! And yes, I wasn’t just missing something, I was missing A LOT!
Why We Need Water
To get started, I want to talk about WHY we need water. Once you begin to understand its many roles in the functioning of our bodies, I think you’ll see why water IS a big deal.
Google the word nutrient, and you get this:
A substance that provides nourishment essential for the maintenance of life and for growth.
The OpenStax anatomy and physiology textbook I use further defines nutrient and then goes on to list some of the actions that take place in water or that water performs in our bodies:
A nutrient is a substance in foods and beverages that is essential to human survival. The most critical nutrient is water.
The body’s functional chemicals are dissolved and transported in water.
The chemical reactions of life take place in water.
Water is the largest component of cells, blood, and fluid between cells.
Water makes up about 70% of an adult’s body mass.
Water helps regulate our internal temperature.
Water cushions, protects, and lubricates joints and many other body structures.3
To show just how much water makes up some of our body parts, here’s another infographic from the same website:
Note, however, that the percentages vary somewhat among the “experts” and scientific sources. For example, this article at ThoughtCo.com cites a peer-reviewed journal article that says that the percentage of water in the human body ranges from 45%-75%, depending on age and body fat percentage.
Didn’t bother to click that last link? No problem. I’ll give it to you again. Click here to go to the article. Then, scroll down about halfway and you’ll find a short (1:32), very informative and VERY entertaining video on why water is so crucial to the body.
Finally, if you haven’t yet had enough of my water physiology 101 lesson and want to know more, check out this excellent article on one of my favorite health websites, Healthline: Why Is Water Important? 16 Reasons to Drink Up
More to Come
Whew! That’s a lot to take in, isn’t it? And I’m just getting started!
Therefore, rather than overwhelm you with one VERY long post, I’ve decided to make this into a multi-part series. What will I be covering?
Part 2 will be about what happens when we don’t get enough water. This is where I will talk about the many ways our bodies try to alert us whenever we start to become dehydrated.
Of all the things I dug up while doing the research, it was the danger of dehydration — particularly chronic dehydration — that I found most stunning.
For example, would you have ever suspected that chronic “under-hydration” may lead to conditions like allergies, asthma, constipation, diabetes, dry skin, heartburn, headaches (including migraines), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, back pain, joint pain, fatigue, insomnia, memory loss, chronic kidney disease, or urinary tract infections?
And that isn’t even the complete list! So, by all means, stay tuned!
Questions? Comments? Leave me a reply below. I always love hearing from my readers!
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The information on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Related Posts and Other Links:
- Don Colbert, The Seven Pillars of Health, 1st ed. (Lake Mary, FL: Siloam, 2007), 5, Kindle.
- Ibid., 7.
- J. Gordon Betts et al., Anatomy and Physiology (Houston, Texas: OpenStax, 2013), https://openstax.org/books/anatomy-and-physiology/pages/1-4-requirements-for-human-life.
- The article, The Water in You: Water and the Human Body, is provided by the U.S. Geological Survey and is an easy-read with links to a LOT of information. I highly recommend you check it out!