By Dr. Nirvana S. Pillay, Medical Scientist & Founder of Nirvana Natural Bliss
Water is my favourite drink followed by herbal teas.
I grew up being told to drink water because it is healthy for me and so with every meal I was given water. But was only allowed to drink it after food. It was only on occasion, at restaurants,that I would be allowed to choose a fizzy drink. Through the years, what now seems like early childhood conditioning this formed a healthy and sustainable habit.
I had never known the true importance of drinking water until I had studied human physiology and became aware of all the systems within the body that required water to function optimally. In fact, water is a vital nutrient to the life of every cell single in the body. Nearly all the major functions of the body require water including thermo-regulation, digestion, circulation, neuronal conduction and respiration.
According to an article published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79% and the skeletal system 31%.
The human body comprises of an average of 60% water.
Drinking water is key to good health as it is an essential component that;
1. lubricates joints your body (forms the synovial fluid)
2. forms saliva in your mouth which aids digestion
3. acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord (forms the cerebrospinal fluid)
4. assists waste removal through urination
5. metabolises the carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food and transported by water in the bloodstream
6. regulates our internal body temperature by sweating and respiration
7. maintains optimum skin moisture and delivers essential nutrients to the skin as well as replenishes skin tissue increases its elasticity. This helps delay the appearance of signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines.
Our bodies continuously lose fluids from skin evaporation, breathing, urine and stools. Fluid loss can also be exacerbated in hot climates, high altitudes and during strenuous exercise. So it is important to replenish fluids at regular intervals by drinking water.
Homeostasis is a feedback loop in the body used to regulate bodily systems.
For instance, the pituitary gland in your brain signals your kidneys to tell it how much water to excrete or retain in your body. If you are thirsty this is communicated to your brain, and is a cue to drink more fluids.
My advice is that we should always "listen" to our bodies' cues.
Drinking water has also been advocated as a weight-loss strategy and so if you are the type of person who enjoys carbonated drinks this is a great substitution as your caloric intake will be reduced.
As I grow older, I have become more conscious of the frequency and timing of drinking water. I try to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, before going to have a shower or bath, before and during exercise and nowadays before a meal because this helps to create a sense of "fullness".I also always have a water bottle on my desk and have small sips throughout the day.
A word of advice never drink water before an acupuncture as I had once done on my first visit- you are literally "pinned down" for that session.
I really believe that there really is nothing to lose by drinking water and everything to gain and to encourage this really healthy simple habit , we will be giving out free Nirvana Natural Bliss BPA-free Water Bottles in association with our wonderful Influencers.