Reasons Why Our Bodies Need Water
The % of water in the human body is roughly 60%. It helps in homeostasis and is responsible for numerous other functions happening in the body. Some of the reasons why our bodies need water are:
- It helps the body in the transportation & absorption of nutrients into the body.
- It creates saliva, which helps in the digestion of food and avoids dryness in the mouth.
- Drinking water keeps us fully hydrated and it also boosts our immunity. We can perform our daily chores actively and efficiently if we are hydrated.
- Drinking water prevents constipation and helps in preventing different bowel problems. It also helps prevent kidney stones, urinary tract infections (UTIs), etc.
- It helps in reducing blood pressure, and it also enriches blood oxygen circulation. It exterminates excess body weight and helps us to stay energetic all the time.
- Drinking water can help in the lubrication & protection of the body’s tissues, joints, and spinal cord.
- Water helps the body with perspiration, urination and defecation. It keeps the metabolism and digestion process on track too.
- Drinking water can make our skin healthy and glowing, thus keeping our skin away from acne, rashes, allergy, or dark circles.
- It boosts cognitive abilities such as alertness, short-term memory and concentration. It keeps the mood regulated and helps in managing anxiety.
- You can prevent headaches and muscle spasms by drinking lots of water. Moreover, it also helps in the treatment of diabetes.
Where Does Water Go After You Drink It & How Does It Travel?
We all might always wonder where the water goes after we drink it. Surprisingly, water tends to take a long trip after we gulp it through our mouth. The first step it goes through is the process called hydration. On taking a few gulps of water, our body starts noticing it while the brain impulsively tries to convince our body that we’ve had enough! That regulation sent by the brain stands vital for our body as the water we drink will take much time to reach the cells and ensure we are sufficiently hydrated. Therefore, if our brain stops giving that instruction, we’ll keep drinking more than our body needs. The esophagus is the pipe that connects your mouth to the stomach. The water we drink travels through this pipe to the stomach, starting from the mouth.
Absorption and digestion are the two processes in which water participates inside our body. When we drink water and it reaches the stomach, it gets absorbed into the bloodstream. In contrast, the water our body extracts from various foods is through digestion. As we know, digestion occurs in the stomach, and absorption begins a bit later. It starts when the water travels through the stomach to the small intestine. Here the blood and water start functioning together and make nutrients for energy. From here, water travels to different organs in our body, tissues, and cells.
Most of our organs require water to function correctly as an essential part of life. Our kidneys require water, our brain needs water, and even our heart requires water to pump correctly. They all need water. Let’s explore more connection of water with our body and systems.
Explore the Connections: Between Water & Digestive System!
The water is not precisely digested because it comes in roughage in food that our stomach helps digest. Nonetheless, there is an association existing amongst water and our digestive system. Water aids digestion beginning from the start till the end. Digestion starts from our mouth. The saliva in our mouth stimulates moisture in our food, making it easier for us to chew and swallow the food eaten. Saliva produces the enzymes which are required in the chemical breakdown of fats and carbohydrates.
Before going to the small intestine, in our stomach, the food releases watery gastric juices, which contain the enzymes which help in breaking the proteins and carbohydrates. This juice permits the small pieces of proteins & carbohydrates to go to the small intestine for further absorption! The water in the stomach also helps produce mucus which protects the inside of the stomach from the highly acidic digestive juices. After the food moves to the small intestine, digestion needs a lot of water.
The intestinal lining, pancreas, and liver send waterier secretions to the small intestine. Here the water comes into action, and it starts helping the end product of digestion to get absorbed into the bloodstream!
Water plays a fundamental role in functioning when the digestive process moves further to our large bowel. The soluble fibers we consume start dissolving in water, and the insoluble ones attract water instead of absorbing it, making specific regular bowel movements. This is where our body also consumes different minerals from our food! Because of water, the absorption process becomes easier!
Explore the Connections: Between Water & Cognitive System!
Our brain needs water to function correctly. Many studies have proven that the connection between water consumption and improved cognitive performance among both children & adults is quite strong! Staying hydrated makes sure the brain is functioning correctly. When the water level in the body gets too low, the brain cannot function properly, which might lead to cognitive problems like mood instabilities, insufficiency in visual insight abilities, short-term memory loss, etc. Researchers have found that even a minimum of 2% decrease in brain hydration can lead to cognitive complexities. In fact, sustained dehydration may trigger the brain cells to shrink in mass and size. These conditions may lead to certain serious diseases.
Hydration helps in improving psychological well-being and helps to maintain an improved mood. Water boosts our cognitive system in various ways. It enables the brain to produce hormones and neurotransmitters and balance our hormone levels, specifically the cortisol stress hormone. This hormone helps maintain the fluid level in our brain that protects it from trauma & injury. Moreover, it helps wash toxins & metabolic waste accumulating in the brain by keeping the oxygen-rich blood flow to the brain on point.
Explore the Connections: Between Water & Cardiovascular System!
As stated by the National Institute of Health scholars, if our water intake is plentiful, there is a reduced risk of heart failure. Water keeps our heart at work, helps it pump blood actively and also aids in passing them through the blood vessels. Dehydration, which means a lack of water in your body, may allow blood to keep more sodium and start making it thick. These thick elements in the blood cease the blood circulation process altogether, resulting in high blood pressure. Drinking ample amounts of water might help us in refraining from these diseases. Drinking water helps in keeping a check on blood pressure, eradicating conditions like hypertension. Water keeps cardiovascular activities on when we are doing any exercise or exhausting work. Water reduces the chance of a number of cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure, congenital heart diseases, pericardial diseases, heart valve disease, and others. Definitely, a large amount of fluid in our body is required to produce 2000 gallons of blood per day, in which water plays an essential role!
Water Vs Other Fluids: Differences?
The most significant difference between water and other fluids is that water makes up all other fluids in the human body! The Blood, Gastric Juices, and Interstitial Fluids are all water! When it gets immersed into the intestine, the water we drink flows through the body through these fluids. The primary function of the body’s fluids is to help in the easy transportation of oxygen and nutrients, homeostasis and maintenance of a stable watery environment inside the human body. Body Fluids, a product of water, are responsible for some responsibilities. For instance, gastric juices combine hydrochloric acid, mucus, pepsin enzymes and water. Their purpose is to serve to break down food, thus preventing contagious germs from circulating in the body.
Water to Urine: The Journey!
The journey of water from the mouth to the bladder is quite fascinating. The urine comprises 95% water and only 5% waste products and undergoes the process of filtration, reabsorption, and secretion. When the blood enters the kidneys through our renal arteries, these arteries divide into nephrons, which filter the waste and help the bloodstream reabsorb the vital substances. The nephrons play an essential role here. They are the ones that regulate the concentration of water and other products within the body! Each nephron consists of a bunch of capillaries surrounded by a cup-like structure called Bowman’s capsule or Glomerular capsule. The bunch of veins is known as Glomerulus, from which the blood flows. The blood pressure pushes water and solutes from the capillaries into the Bowman’s capsule via a filtration membrane and from the glomerular, the urine formation process takes place!
With water, urine contains nitrogenous wastes such as uric acid, ammonia, urea, and creatinine. It also consists of sodium ions, potassium, calcium and hydrogen. If there is an excess amount of water in the body, it goes straight to the kidneys to be excreted because it is useless in the body. It takes about 9 to 10 hours for the water to turn into 2 cups of urine. In a healthy human, the daily urine production positions at about 800 to 2000 ml, varying on the water consumption and kidney functions.
About Bladder & How much a Bladder can hold!
The urinary bladder acts as a temporary storage area for urine. The urine reaches the urinary bladder by traveling down the ureters, where they remain until we pee. The urinary bladder is an empty muscular organ with a triangle shape. It can extend like an elastic sac according to the need for expansion or contraction of the bladder’s walls to store urine and empty them through the urethra. The bladder can keep nearly 500 ml of urine in females and 700 ml in males. It is because the brain sends signals regarding muscle coordination and subsequent contraction and expansion of the bladder’s walls.
According to the studies, a healthy human typically urinates about 6 to 8 times a day, in 24 hours! In babies, what happens is that the brain signals that the bladder is full by relaxing their sphincter muscles, opening the passage to the urethra. When the children grow old, they gradually learn to ignore these signals and keep the urine voluntarily until they find a good bathroom to pee in. Thus, it helps individuals avoid the reflex during sleep and wait until they go to the washroom.
How Many Glasses of Water does it Take to Fill the Bladder Until you Need to Pee?
Children of age groups ranging from 4 to 12 years have an average bladder of 7 to 14 ounces, requiring almost 2 to 4 hours to get their bladder filled. While if we talk about adults that have an average bladder 16 to 24 ounces and need approximately 8 to 9 hours to get their bladder filled. An infant (upto 12 months old) might take 1 hour to fill up the bladder as the bladder can hold 1-2 ounces, while a toddler (1-3 years) might take 2 hours to fill up the bladder as the bladder can hold up to 3-5 ounces.
The first call to go to the washroom for peeing means the bladder is only half filled. That is why we can wait for hours until an emergency runs. When the bladder is full, it should contract muscles contracted to stop the urine from leaking until we pee. However, it is hazardous to hold pee; in extreme cases, the bladder might burst. Also, peeing for less than 10 hours or more might lead to consistency in different bladder functions. And if it becomes a habit, the body might be vulnerable to UTIs from the body waste that stays inside and is not removed.
What can be the Standard Urination Frequency?
Depending on how much water one drinks every day, the urination frequency varies from person to person. Nonetheless, going as few as four times and as many as ten times is considered normal. The frequency may also vary in terms of present health condition. Different conditions might lead to a different frequency in urine which might be more or less. One must consult a doctor if the frequency is too high and is not normal.
Usually, before running the diagnostic test, doctors suggest that the patient drink 12-16 ounces because this amount of water can fill up the bladder, and one may hold it as long as he can.
Instruction on Keeping Your Bladder Full Before Diagnosis & Treatment
Most of the time, doctors say that some organs in the pelvis can move and change positions, affecting the bladder’s size and shape, which is why it is essential to keep the bladder full before a diagnostic treatment. If this is not done, the results might show some discrepancy. Different researchers say that doctors have given some instructions before the bladder diagnostic test, which are:
- We should empty our bladder before coming for the test or treatment. That is for around 45 minutes before the test or so.
- We should drink 1.5 to 2 glasses of water right away when we have decided to move inside the test lab or operation theatre.
- It is suggested that one must drink the entire 2 glasses of regular drinking water and not any other sort of fluid. If too much water is difficult to gulp at one time, one may shift to fresh juices.
- The bladder cannot be emptied before the diagnosis or treatment is complete.
- Suppose somebody faces difficulty holding the urine for at least 45 minutes. The person might inform the staff or other caregivers of the medical team.
- Different diagnostic tests like Transvaginal ultrasound, Pregnancy Ultrasound, & Renal Ultrasound need the bladder to be filled before the test.
Instructions on Keeping Your Bladder Healthy!
Nowadays, nobody gives too much importance to the bladder’s health, but in one way or another, we all are affected by it. There are some tips and tricks one may follow to prevent our bladder from different problems and also to keep it healthy:
- We should try our best to urinate at least every 3 to 4 hours, and we should not keep our urine on hold for too long as it can deteriorate the bladder muscles and make them liable to infections.
- We should be very calm while peeing as it becomes easier to empty our bladder. Also, take enough time in peeing and do not rush as some of the urine might be left inside!
- We should try to urinate after having sexual intercourse because sexual activities may impulse some bacteria from the bowel to the urethral opening. Therefore, it will help in reducing the risk of infections.
- We should drink enough fluids, especially regular water, at least 8 glasses daily.
- We should eat as much fibrous food as possible to keep the body’s water level on point and for the easy passage of stool.
- We should watch out for what we eat. Spicy foods, sodas, artificial sweeteners, etc., might affect the bladder and cause urinal infections.
- We should exercise daily and try maintaining a healthy weight, which may help prevent urine outflow.
- We should try wearing cotton underwear and loose clothes, which will help keep the urethra dry and out of the reach of infections. Nylon underwear may cause bacteria to multiply!
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