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Water: How much should you drink?

Drinking is part of a healthy diet. Water is life. Water is the most important element for human beings. We cannot live without it. It is a well know fact that a human being can go weeks without eating any food but only a few days without drinking water.

Water: What is it?

Water (H2O) is a tasteless and odourless, transparent, clear and colourless fluid which is made up of 2 hydrogen atoms (H) and one oxygen atom (O). There is no life without water. Water is a vital fluid that is present in all tissues of the body. Water acts as a means of transport (blood, urine, sweat) and dissolver of all cell substances. Water regulates the body temperature by withdrawing heat from the body through the evaporation of sweat on the skin's surface.
About 60 to 65% of the human body is made out of water. Men have a slightly higher percentage of water in the body than women and younger people also have slightly more than older people.

How much water should a human being drink?

Water is not only consumed by drinking. Food also contains a lot of water. The following table assumes a well-balanced diet. If you do not eat a lot of vegetables and fruit, drink more water because fruit and vegetables contain a lot of water.


Drinking water

Water in food

Total amount of water




19 - 24




25 - 50




51 - 65




over 65




You should drink a lot more water when it is hot, if you are on a diet, have a fever, diarrhoea or are doing a lot of exercise. Many people are used to ignoring the thirst signals that their body gives them. They find that drinking a lot of water is simply irritating and the regular visits to the toilet even more so.

What happens if the body does not get enough water?

. If the body weight lacks 0.5 % of water: the body gives off a thirst signal. Thirst means that your body needs water.
. If the body weight lacks 2% of water: you get tired and weak and your concentration becomes less efficient.
. If the body weight lacks 4% of water: you get headaches and muscle weakness.
. If the body weight lacks 5% of water: you may get cramps and lose consciousness
. A loss of water more than 15% of the body weight can be fatal.

A water deficit in the body can cause the blood to thicken. This affects the blood circulation and which means that the organs do not get a sufficient supply of oxygen. This causes the heart to pump harder and beat faster. The consequence: the blood pressure plummets. Particularly older people have an increased risk of getting a stroke. The mucous membranes and skin dry up. The immune defences are weakened if the mucous membranes in the nose and the throat dry up as they can no longer efficiently protect the body from infectious bacteria and germs. The blood circulation in the brain is also affected which leads to a deficiency in concentration. Digestion slows down and harmful substances are not removed as effectively. If this water deficiency occurs over longer periods of time it can lead to kidney problems and the early development of wrinkles.

The body starts to save water if insufficient amounts are consumed.

  • It reduces the blood circulation of the skin and the excretion of sweat and urine.
  • A lack of water can cause constipation as water will be withdrawn from the content of the intestines. Healthy digestion needs a lot of water.
  • Kidney stones can develop if there is not enough water available in the kidneys to flush out the waste products.
  • The water stored in the skin is immensely reduced in order to prevent too much water from evaporating


Water: For Health, for Healing, for Life: You're Not Sick, You're Thirsty! 

Why is drinking a lot of water so important for beautiful skin?

How do you recognise a model? Correct - the fact that she always has a bottle of water handy. There is a good reason why models drink a lot of water.

Water is an indispensable component for functional skin cells. It is usually moisturising factors such as urea (a water binding agent) that helps to make sure that the skin is adequately moisturised. The internal moisture causes the skin to look rosy and elastic. If the body does not have enough water then it is particularly the water in the skin cells that is reduced. The resistance of the skin decreases as do the function of the enzymes. The structure of the corneal layer of the skin becomes worse and the skin dries up, becomes rough, scaly and chapped. The skin gets small creases which not only makes it lose its tension but also causes it to become supple.

For this reason, most body lotions and creams are made out of water and other water-binding agents which are good for the skin. The moisture depots which are found in the deeper layers of the skin get an internal supply of moisture. If they do not get a sufficient supply of water, the skin loses its elasticity which eventually causes wrinkling. Drinking water is therefore the best beauty treatment for your skin.

So it is possible to avoid some wrinkling simply by drinking enough water regularly. However you can help your skin by treating it externally. The regular use of aqueous body lotions helps to increase the amount of water in the skin.

Whoever does not drink enough water will soon notice it from their loose, flabby skin. If the body does not get enough water, it is the water depots in the skin that are emptied the most in comparison to other water storages in the body.

So be like a model! Drink a lot of water as it is the best beauty treatment for you and your skin.

How does the body lose water?

An adult excretes about 2.5 litres of water a day.

Water is excreted in the following ways:
- 1.5 litres of water as urine
- 0.5 litres of water through the skin
- 0.4 litres of water by breathing
- 0.1 litres of water in stool

Drinking Water

The extremely low level of harmful substances in the drinking water in Germany shows that it has a very high quality. However, some of these harmful substances get into the drinking water whilst travelling from the water works to the water taps. It would therefore be a good idea to have the quality of the water tested in an approved laboratory or at the local health authorities if the water is coming out of very old, possibly leaden water pipes.

Lead is almost always found in drinking water after longer periods of time if lead pipes and lead armatures are being used. Lead is poisonous. Lead stops the synthesis of blood cells and causes nerve damage. Lead is especially dangerous for pregnant women, babies and children under 6 years.

Nitrate is especially dangerous for babies because nitrite, which comes from nitrate, can cause nitrite poisoning. The water suppliers are responsible for controlling and observing the nitrate values (under 50mg/l) however there are authorised exemptions for some water suppliers who are allowed to have nitrate values above this limit.

Most copper contamination in drinking water happens as a result of the corrosion of copper by acidic water (PH-value less than 6.7). This kind of water contamination can have fatal affects on the livers of babies.

Mineral Water

Mineral water can get contaminated with germs if there is a longer period of time between the opening of the bottle and the drinking of the water. Opened bottles should be drunk as quickly as possible and stored in the refrigerator. This applies especially to still water and also if you are drinking directly from the bottle.


Your Body's Many Cries for Water,
F. Batmanghelidj

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