Water's Role as a Nutrient: Importance & Dietary Need

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  • 0:01 Water Everywhere
  • 0:29 The Importance of Water
  • 2:36 Water Sources, Loss, and Needs
  • 4:54 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Water is an important thing for the entire world and the world inside your body. This lesson will point out why it's important for you and how much you need on a daily basis.

Water Everywhere

A common fact mentioned in geography classes is that the earth is covered by about 70% water. That's a very big percentage - almost as large as the percentage of water in you. The human body is approximately 60% water!

The water found on Earth plays important roles in transportation, our food supply, and even the weather. The water that's in your body is just as critical for just as many different reasons.

The Importance of Water

Let's get right to the major stuff water does for you that I think many of us don't bother to think about on a frequent basis.

Water keeps the mucous membranes of our body moist. Mucous membranes include those reddish-looking areas of your body that are commonly moist, like your lips, inside of the mouth, nostrils, and eyelids.

If you've ever had the pleasure of cracked or painful eyes, lips, or nostrils, it may have been as a result of not getting enough water into your body.

Water is also important for lubrication. If you're into cars, then you know that if you don't use enough lubrication between gears, those gears would wear away really quickly and the car would break down. Water is used to help lubricate our joints. Joints are the places where two or more bones connect. If there was no water, we'd be in extreme pain as we walked about hither and thither.

An even bigger reason we drink water is to help get rid of stuff out of our body and into urine. You knew that. Urine has water in it; that's why it's a liquid. But the urine contains all sorts of waste products made by our body that are dangerous to our health if not urinated out. Basically, the water in your body is like the water in your toilet bowl that helps to get rid of some unpleasant unmentionable things - in a really good way, though.

But there's so much more to water than what I just said. Water helps to make up a large chunk of your blood. Within the blood is oxygen that you inhale. It is carried all over your body to ensure you function normally. Water is like a highway for important products zipping around back and forth inside of us.

And if that doesn't sound important enough, then maybe this will. Water is found in cerebrospinal fluid, a fluid that surrounds your brain and spinal cord and protects the brain from trauma by acting like a shock absorber, kind of like struts in a car.

Anyways, I think you get the picture. Water does a lot of important things in your body.

Water Sources, Loss, and Needs

Now, where to get this important water? Well, the answer is obvious I think. But beyond getting it from the tap, remember that water is found in everything from fruit drinks to vegetables to fruit.

It's important you get enough water, too! That's because you lose plenty of it all of the time. Not only do you lose it in the urine I discussed before, but also through sweat when you exercise or have night sweats. You also lose some of it in feces, especially if you have diarrhea. If you vomit, you lose lots of water too. Another way people lose water is just by breathing. As you breathe, water is lost by evaporation. Under normal conditions, this doesn't present much of a problem. But in extreme conditions like hot deserts or even cold, dry, mountain peaks, this can cause some serious dehydration.

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