The Forgotten Nutrient
Need of Water
Water is an essential nutrient that must be replaced every day. Depending on your state of health, you may be able to survive 8 to 10 weeks without food. Without water, however, you can survive only a few days.
Vital Functions of Water
Water is in every body cell. Presence of water determines the shape, size, and firmness of cells. Most adults, body weight is about 50 to 70 percent water. That equals roughly 10 to 12 gallons.
Keeping Fluids in Balance
You can think of fluid balance at two levels. In the cells, there needs to be a balance between the water inside cells and the water outside cells. Throughout the body, there needs to be a balance between water intake and water excretion.
Effects of Water Loss
Because fluids make up a high percentage of your body weight, when you lose water, you lose weight. Someone who wants to drop a few pounds may think this is good news. However, the weight you want to lose is fat, not water. Water weight is quickly regained when body fluids are replenished.