What are the Various Functions and Requirement of Water? – Explained!

Water is present in all types of foods like vegetables, fruits, milk etc. in varying proportions. But the water available from these sources is not sufficient to meet the body requirements; therefore water must be taken either plain or in the form of various drinks like tea, coffee, milk, juice, squash and other beverages. A small amount of water is also formed in the tissues as a result of metabolism.

Functions of Water:

1. Water is an essential constituent of body fluids like blood, lymph, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) etc.

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2. It helps in the regulation of body temperature by evaporation through skin and lungs.

3. It serves as a vehicle for solution and dilution of solid foods, whereby these are easily digested and metabolised.

4. It is essential to make up the loss caused by its excretion in urine, sweat, breath, milk in lactating mothers and to some extent in faces.

5. It helps in the transport of nutrients within the body.

6. It helps in excreting the waste products from the body.

7. It is important in building and repair of body tissues.

Requirement of Water:

The water requirement varies from person to person, atmospheric temperature and the manual labour done by the individual. With rise in atmospheric temperature and humidity of air the necessity of water intake increases. People living in hot countries like India need more water than people living in cold countries.

The requirement of water is more in manual labourers. The water intake and water loss must be equal in order to maintain the normal water balance. Inadequate intake of water creates circulatory disturbances, disturbance in heat regulation mechanism, retention of metabolic products and less secretion of urine. On the other hand abundant intake of water promotes the circulation of fluids and increases the activity of kidneys with free secretion of urine.

Excessive water loss from the body as in the case of severe diarrhea and vomiting leads to dehydration and water retention as in the case of kidney failure leads to oedema.

On an average a normal healthy person daily needs 6 glasses of water for drinking and it is estimated that about 2.27 liters of water enters the body as such or in the form of food or cold drinks etc. out of which about 1.37-1.81 liters is excreted in urine, sweat, faeces etc. Therefore to keep the body healthy plenty of water must be taken daily.


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