Throughout the semester I have been introduced to a plethora elements, molecules, and bodily functions. As I began to assess an appropriate topic for this paper, water seemed to spark the most interest. While cell membranes, heredity, gene expression, evolution, cellular metabolism, and chemical reactions are all appealing, water is undeniably more relevant. I decided to dissect the article entitled, “Water: The Science of Nature’s Most Important Nutrient” In this article Len Kravitz Ph.D. discusses the importance of water for human survival. The article does an excellent job of revealing the mystery as to why this colorless, tasteless, liquid oxide of hydrogen is universally significant. Despite there being no argument that water is essential, scientist have been challenged with discovering a method of directing the general public on a daily consumption amount that will preserve adequate health. Water accounts for the majority of body mass, in fact more than half of the body’s is made up of water. Water helps the body function in various ways; it is responsible for transporting oxygen, nutrients and waster products.
The colorless, tasteless liquid is used as a coolant for the body during exercise and vigorous activities which allows it to replace the electrolytes that vanish during work outs. Electrolytes are significant because the heart and muscles rely on them to carry electrical impulses across themselves and other cells. This is very relevant to my everyday life because I have recently started a new workout regiment which requires me to exert muscles that aren’t accustomed to strenuous activity, and my heart rate has also reached unfamiliar levels which have been causing fatigue and muscle cramping. In recent weeks I have been going to class, working, exercising, and of maintaining my duties as full-time mom. The mom part has long hours, no benefits, and no sick time off the job. My schedule is very demanding on my body, so it is very pertinent that I stay hydrated. I asked the trainer at my gym was there a specific reason for the muscle spasms that I have been experiencing and he said during extensive exercise, electrolytes diminish in sweat, predominantly sodium and potassium.
These electrolytes must be replaced in various forms and water is an essential component in rebuilding the body after physical activity. I like to throw a Gatorade in the equation every now and again because I am not a huge fan of the tasteless quality of water. The invisible liquid is also used as a protection between joints in the spinal cord and brain. Water is stored in two main fluid compartments; it is either stored in the intracellular fluid (ICF) or the extracellular fluid (ECF), nevertheless they are equally important and is responsible for transporting waste and nutrients throughout the body. The ICF is the larger compartment and is responsible for nearly three quarters of the body’s water, but the ECF on the other hand is a yellowish fluid that carries lymphocytes. The same sodium and potassium that are lost during exercises help maintain the ECF and ICF levels which receive theses messages from the brain and kidneys.
If either of the two compartments are forced to work excessively it will began to pull water from its counterpart which to adulterate itself. The article give the example of how pizza often makes people thirsty because the sodium from the sauce and cheese accumulates in the ECF pulling water from the ICF. The brain is alerted by cell sensors the dehydration is lurking. Ironically pizza is one of my favorite foods and I couldn’t fathom for the life of me why I wash it down with any beverage in reach. There have been massive amounts of studies and reports done to indicate an adequate amount of water intake to prevent the body from dehydrating. What I did not know is that we lose close to 1 liter each day just from breathing, perspiring, and bowel movements.
The article also stated, “Water and beverages represent 81% of the total water intake with 19% of water being provided by foods”. The institute of medicine seems to think the appropriate daily intake of water to prevent dehydration is 3.0 liters for men and 2.2 liters for women. This article has for the most part raised my awareness as to how important water is in maintaining bodily functions and preventing dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heart stroke. After reading this article I will undoubtedly change my dismissive attitude toward the importance of 2 hydrogen atoms bonded with a lonely oxygen. It is scary to think that I absolutely despise water but it is essential to my health.
Water has a direct influence on preventing bladder cancer, kidney stones, and other hazardous diseases. I plan to pre-hydrate myself before working out so that I won’t be faced with the challenge of rebuilding a massive amount of electrolytes. I will do as the article mention and take the initiative to begin hydrating at least 4 hours before my activity. I will also hydrate during my exercises which are very important in preventing excessive water loss and maintain electrolyte balance. Water is the most universal substance in the universe and life would not be the same without it, in fact there would be no life.