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Word Count: 1,147
Water is the most abundant yet possibly the most overlooked substance in the body The bodys fluid status is a truly delicate balance so much so that experts rank water second only to oxygen as essential for life Water plays a vital role in all bodily processes by providing a universal medium for chemical reactions lubrication nutrient delivery waste disposal heat dispersion and temperature regulation In order to consider what fluids to drink when to drink and how much to drink it is first necessary to consider the basis of fluid regulation Water represents 45 to 60 of an adults total body weight The variation is explained by the difference in body tissue proportions between individuals with muscle comprising 80 water compared to fat which is only 20 water The lower a persons percentage of body fat the higher their percentage of body water Women will therefore tend to have a lower percentage of body water compared to their male counterparts In order to maintain the fluid balance within the body water gain needs to equal water loss Fluid loss is heavily dependant on a persons activity level as well as environmental temperature and humidity but for a sedentary adult in this country an expected total water loss would be approximately 2500 ml per day and would comprise of - 1500 mlday excretion by kidneys in the form of urine 500mlday evaporation and perspiration from the skin 300mlday from the lungs 200 mlday from the gastrointestinal tract In order to main a constant body fluid volume these water losses have to be matched by water gain Only a small amount of water 200mlday is produced within the body through metabolic reactions thus leaving 2300mlday which has to be ingested in either liquid or food form Exercise increases muscular work and consequently the demand for oxygen Three quarters of muscular activity is lost as heat
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