Downing fluids is a health benefit known by many, but how many of us actually drink the recommended amount of water verses other beverages daily? The value of fluids to our health is greater than most people realize. 

Here are three important facts about the body to keep in mind. 

The most abundant compound in our body is water.

Every system in our body utilizes water.

Water is the most important, yet most forgotten nutrient.

The human body consists of 55 to 75 percent water. Children’s body percentages are even higher, which may explain why kids are constantly asking for a drink of water at bedtime. Water percentages vary from body to body, mainly because of body fat composition. Muscle tissue is about 70 percent water while fat is 25 percent water. Therefore, the more muscle mass a body has, the more water. Bones are 22 percent water. 

Water utilizes every one of our 11 major organ systems. Transportation of everything, including oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and enzymes, happens through our blood, which is 83 percent water. Water lubricates our organs and joints creating easier function with more movement and less friction. Digestion uses mucus, salivary juices and digestive juices to breakdown food, which you guessed it, are mostly water. This incredible material plays a role in keeping our bodily systems functioning. If you are experiencing headaches, dizziness, depression, or fatigue, your brain may just need more water. Muscles tend to cramp or lose coordination when dehydrated. Kidneys, which remove toxins and waste products from urine, can work too hard when not properly hydrated. One of the most overlooked practices when losing weight is consuming more water. Water contains no calories. It can reduce appetite since our thirst sensor can often be mistaken for hunger. In addition, water assists the body when metabolizing fats. Try increasing your daily water intake before trying another fad diet. 

We all need food and water to survive. Consuming fluids, specifically water, is the most important part of our health. The average human can only survive three days without water, while most of us could go over three weeks without food; water is key to survival. For your own copy of “Liquid Assets: The Value of Fluids to Your Health” fact sheet by Barbara Ames, visit your local K-State Research and Extension-Leavenworth County office at 613 Holiday Plaza in Lansing.

Contact Chelsi Myer, family and consumer sciences agent, at 913-364-5700 or chelsim@ksu.edu