If you’ve ever jumped into a swimming pool or lake on a hot summer day, you know how great it feels to plunge into the chilly water. You cool off almost instantly, and that can be pretty amazing. But what if the feeling wasn’t so amazing? What if instead of cooling off almost instantly, you began feeling uncomfortably hot and sweaty? Why would your body react like this? It turns out that sweating is your body’s natural way of keeping cool when it gets overheated. So why does the water go through you? It’s because not all water is created equal. Most people have heard the expression “You can’t drink salt water because it will make you thirstier.” That statement isn’t completely true. If you recall from science class, saltwater has less density than freshwater. Saltwater also has a lower specific heat value than freshwater as well. All this means is that saltwater doesn’t retain heat very well, so when you drink it, your body temperature drops much faster than if you were drinking freshwater at the same time. The reason for this is simply because saltwater has far less energy stored within its molecules than freshwater does. So now you know why!
Why Does The Water Go Right Through Me?
- Density: The water in the lake is denser than my body.
- Specific heat: The water has a lower specific heat than my body does.
- Energy: The energy in the water is less than the energy in my body.
Importance Of Water For Our Body:
Water helps our body to maintain a normal temperature of the body. Because water is a good conductor of heat, it allows for heat to be transferred from the body to water.
Water helps in the growth and repair of body tissues
Water is essential for the growth and repair of all cells in our bodies, including those that make up our bones, muscles, blood plasma, and other fluids. Water is involved in almost all metabolic reactions that take place within the cells.
Water helps transport nutrients around the body:
Water is necessary for the transportation of nutrients and oxygen throughout our bodies. The red blood cells that carry oxygen around our bodies are more than 90% water. Without this fluid, we would die within minutes as we would not be able to transport oxygen around our bodies. Water also helps transport nutrients from one part of the body to another by acting as an ‘envelope’ for them.
Water helps in the removal of waste products:
Water is essential for the removal of waste products from our bodies. These include toxins (from alcohol, cigarette smoke, and drugs) and urea (a waste product of protein metabolism). The kidneys, which filter the blood to remove these toxins, need water to work effectively.
Water helps us to digest food:
Water is also essential for digestion. The digestive enzymes that help break down food into nutrients are water-soluble, which means they dissolve easily in water. Stomach secretions are largely water and the saliva in our mouths contains lots of it too. Without sufficient amounts of water in the body, our digestion would not function properly.
Water helps to lubricate our joints:
Water is also essential for the lubrication of joints, which allows them to move smoothly. Without water, our joints would crack with every movement.
What Disease Can Happen From Water:
If we do not drink enough water, we can become dehydrated. This is caused by a lack of water in the body and can lead to many health problems. Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, dry mouth and lips, dizziness, tiredness, and dark-colored urine.
Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body cannot cool itself down quickly enough. The temperature rises rapidly to above 40 °C (104 °F) and the sweating mechanism fails – leading to a rise in body temperature (hyperthermia). Heatstroke can occur when exercising or playing sport in hot weather without appropriate clothing or sun protection or if you are trapped in a closed space without air conditioning.
Hypothermia is a condition where the body temperature drops below 35 °C (95 °F). It is caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. The main problems associated with hypothermia are due to the effects of a lowered metabolism, which can cause heart failure and reduced blood flow to major organs.
4. Water intoxication:
Water intoxication occurs when you drink too much water in a short space of time, causing an imbalance of electrolytes in the body (particularly sodium). This can lead to brain swelling, coma, and even death.
5. Osmotic Diuresis:
Osmotic diuresis is caused by drinking too much water. It is often associated with a high intake of sugary drinks and causes the kidneys to release large amounts of dilute urine, which can lead to excessive fluid loss and dehydration.
Drinking too much water can also cause swelling (edema). This occurs when the body retains too much fluid, due to the kidneys not being able to process it quickly enough. Swelling mainly affects the legs, ankles, and feet but can also occur in other parts of the body such as the arms or hands.
Hypokalemia is a condition where the level of potassium in the blood becomes too low. It is caused by drinking too much water, which can cause potassium to leave the body through urination. The symptoms can include muscle weakness, fatigue, and cramps, particularly in the legs.
Q: What Happens if we drink too much water?
Your body will not absorb it and the excess water will be excreted. This means that your body is not storing the excess water and so you will urinate frequently.
Q: What Happens if we do not drink enough water?
You may feel thirsty, but there are other symptoms of dehydration such as dry mouth, headache, dizziness, constipation, and dark-colored urine. If these symptoms appear, you should increase your fluid intake immediately and talk to your GP if they persist.
Q: Why is water important?
Water is the most important nutrient for the body as it helps to maintain fluid balance, regulates body temperature and removes waste products from the body, and transports nutrients around our bodies.