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Water makes body organs work well to keep you healthy

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By Faith Kariuki | March 13th 2016

Water is vital for life and proper functioning of all body organs.

In its absence, your body would stop functioning properly.  Inadequate water intake slows down all functions of body organs.

Water is essential for transportation of nutrients, removal of waste from the body, temperature regulation and lubrication of joints. It also acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord.

Children have a higher proportion of body water and can lose it faster than adults, making them more susceptible to dehydration, especially when playing outdoors in hot or humid weather.

Even its mildest form, dehydration can have adverse effects on the mental and physical performance and learning ability of children.

By the time you or your child feel thirsty, dehydration has already occurred.

Studies show that by the time one is thirsty, mental performance, memory and attention has dropped by approximately ten per cent.

Since thirst can be quenched before the body has fully restored all the lost fluids, adults and children should make it a habit of drinking water before thirst develops.

They should again drink more water even after the thirst has been quenched.

Mild or moderate dehydration, even for a single day, can result in exhaustion and cause headaches, mood changes, constipation, muscle cramps, slowed response and urinary tract infections. In its severe form, dehydration makes people highly irritable, causes confusion, low blood pressure, hallucination and one can ultimately lose   consciousness.

With such symptoms, it is very hard for a child to concentrate in class, understand what is being taught or retain learning instructions.

If dehydration is not corrected through adequate fluid intake, urination stops and kidneys fail, and the body will cease to remove toxic waste. In extreme cases, dehydration causes death.

An average adult requires approximately two litres of water per day.

School-going children need between 1.2 and 1.8 litres of water per day.

This quantity can increase or decrease depending on the weather, one’s health, body weight/ size, rate of metabolism and physical activity.

Even though all drinks  contain water, some may also provide sugar and other chemicals which could cause weight gain over time.

Some of the chemicals dehydrate the body further because the body has to use more water to flush them out.

The type of bottle in which you put water  is very important so ensure that you buy a good quality water bottle.

Most of the re-usable bottles are made of plastic that contain chemicals like Bisphenol-A (BPA) and bisphenol-S  which are potentially harmful.  

High temperatures  could increase leaching of these chemicals into the drinking water, hence the need to keep your water bottle away from direct sunlight or other sources of heat.

Growth of bacteria is not uncommon in reusable water bottles.

The contact of the mouth with the bottle can easily transfer bacteria from the mouth and contaminate both the bottle and the water.

These bottles need to be cleaned thoroughly before reuse. If not well-cleaned, bacteria and fungi can grow in bottles and cause health problems.

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