Healthcare Solutions have completed research on the importance of water and is going to share
Are you sure you are drinking enough?
Before starting the reading, I offer you a quick test to take to see if your body is well hydrated.
The test is very simple, and consists of evaluating the color of your urine throughout the day.
What color do they have? If the answer is “transparent” (except when you wake up or after
training) your hydration status will most likely be adequate.
In case they tend towards a dark
yellow, you will definitely have to force yourself to drink more.
The functions of water
Within the human body, water performs some fundamental tasks, namely:
● Gives structure to our body
● Allows metabolic reactions inside and outside our cells
● Adjust the cellular volume
● Participates in the regulation of plasma pressure
● Allows body thermoregulation (through sweating)
● Fluidifies the digestive system and promotes digestion
● It allows to excrete metabolites and waste substances through the urine
Dehydration has disastrous consequences for the body ranging from dizziness, drowsiness,
palpitations, cognitive disturbances, to death (when the blood volume drops to 3.5 L).
Water breakdown and water retention
The water of our organism can be schematically divided into 2 compartments; intracellular
(67%) and extracellular (33%). The first includes water contained within all cells, while the
second refers to that contained in interstitial fluids, plasma and transcellular (eye lubrication,
Having a correct intracellular hydration favors the carrying out of all the metabolic
reactions that participate in the life of the cell. Through bioimpedance analysis it is possible to
calculate the percentages of intra- and extracellular water, values that are otherwise difficult to
Sometimes it happens that there is an imbalance of hydration that involves the increase of
extracellular water, which is not correctly internalized in the cells or expelled, becoming
responsible for the famous phenomenon of water retention.
This imbalance can be attributed to
various causes (hormonal, environmental, food, etc.), but it can still be improved through the
regulation of hydration, nutrition, the ratio of mineral salts introduced (sodium, potassium,
magnesium) and exercise. The right amount of carbohydrates and proteins, as well as mineral
salts, allow water to enter the metabolically active cells.
This results in a more toned, full and dry
appearance, thanks to the reabsorption of subcutaneous water, which generally gives the
muscles a tarnished appearance. On the other hand, it is very normal that women and the
elderly naturally have a higher percentage of extracellular water than men and young subjects.
Thirst and water balance
Within our organism there is a continuous turnover (replacement) of water. Part of the water
introduced is eliminated through urination, defecation, sweating, breathing and some metabolic
reactions, and is then subsequently reintegrated. Since our body, as mentioned above, is not
able to synthesize enough using other molecules, it is easy to understand how this element
must absolutely be supplied from the outside. The water we consume is absorbed in the
intestine, in the tract that goes from fasting to the colon.
Human physiology has endowed us with sophisticated mechanisms by which diuresis is
stimulated in the case of high hydration, while if hydration is not sufficient, its excretion is limited.
This is because the lack or abundance of intracellular water both have deleterious effects on our
body. In fact, if an uncontrolled amount of water entered the cell (hypervolemia), it would literally
explode, while if it lost most of the accumulated water, it would dry out (hypovolemia). So just
think about what the explosion or drying of a neuron cell would entail (do you know sun-dried
tomatoes?), To understand how the human body is obliged to regulate the water (and
The lack of water, due to its scarcity in the environment or to an altered perception of thirds,
leads our body to activate some physiological mechanisms in order to limit urinary elimination.
The decrease in the flow of fluids in the juxtaglomerular apparatus and / or the state of
hyponatremia induce the production of renin by the kidney. This transforms angiotensinogen, a
molecule produced by the liver, into angiotensin I, which is then converted to angiotensin II by
the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). The role of angiotensin II is to stimulate the secretion
of two hormones.
The first is aldosterone, produced by the adrenal cortex. The second is the
antidiuretic hormone (ADH or vasopressin), produced by the supraoptic and paraventricular
nuclei of the hypothalamus and secreted through axons that reach the neurohypophysis.
Vasopressin, also produced following stimulation of hypothalamic baroreceptors (plasma
pressure receptors) and osmoreceptors (solute concentration receptors), induces the
hypothalamic stimulus of thirst and vasoconstriction of the arterioles, together with angiotensin
For this reason, the aforementioned hormones also increase during sports, especially
long-term sports, such as half marathons or marathons.
ADH and aldosterone increase renal reabsorption of sodium (and excretion of potassium) and,
as water follows the movement of this solute, they limit dehydration. ADH also increases the
expression of aquaporins in the distal tubules and in the nephron collecting ducts. Ethyl alcohol
and catecholamines cause dehydration by inhibiting the secretion of ADH, with a consequent
increase in diuresis.
Conversely, in case of excess water or sodium, there is an increase in the secretion in the heart
of the atrial natriuretic peptide, which acts by increasing the renal elimination of sodium, and
therefore of water. Brain natriuretic peptide also contributes to this, albeit to a lesser extent.
How much water should you drink?
A good rule of thumb for an active person is to drink 1 ml of water for every daily kilocalorie
introduced. If, for example, I consume 2500 Kcal per day, it is advisable to introduce about 2.5 L
of water / day.
The quantity also rises considerably for sports subjects, especially if engaged in long-lasting
endurance sports, such as the marathon (it easily reaches 5-6 L). The indications in this case
are to drink 900 ml of water / h during the competition, to be taken as a solution containing
simple and compound carbohydrates. In order not to feel a heavy stomach, it is recommended
to introduce 250 ml every 15 minutes. However, drinking water alone after a workout tricks the
body into considering itself overhydrated, and causes it to excrete more of it in the urine. For
this reason, along with the water, the mineral salts lost through sweating must also be
Drinking more helps you lose weight
It would appear that angiotensin II activates the a-adrenergic receptors of adipocytes, the
response of which is a decrease in the release of fatty acids in the plasma. Conversely,
hydration stimulates the atrial natriuretic peptide, which activates the hormone sensitive lipase
and thus the release of fatty acids into the blood. This mechanism could result in an increase in
weight loss through proper hydration.
A trick to drink more:
The stimulus of thirst depends on the frequency with which we drink. This means that by
decreasing the amount of water we introduce, it also decreases, and our body is forced to
struggle to retain as much water as possible. Contrary to popular belief, people who complain of
fatigue or forgetting to drink don’t retain fluids better, but are often dehydrated instead.
This is the advice of Mr. Cholin, a researcher at Evoking Minds Organization, says that every
time you drink, force yourself to swallow at least 5 sips. Once you reach this goal, go to 10, until
you get to drink AT LEAST 2.5-3 liters of water per day.