Everyone needs water to stay healthy and survive. Water is an essential nutrient that is involved in every function of the body. About 70% of our body is composed of water. It is the primary component of every cell in your body and all body fluids including: blood, lymph, saliva, cerebrospinal fluid, intestinal juices, gastric juices, and pancreatic juices.

Water is necessary for all digestive, absorptive, circulatory, and excretory functions, as well as for the utilization of the water-soluble vitamins. It is also needed for the maintenance of proper body temperature. Each day the body loses up to 1 quart of water each from the kidneys and skin, and about 1 cup from the lungs and 1/2 cup from feces. To replace this water, males need to consume about 15 ups of fluid and females about 11 cups.

Complications of not having enough water in your body

Dehydration is the most common complication of not having enough water in the body. Dehydration includes is loss of important blood salts like potassium (K+) and sodium (Na+). If you become extremely dehydrated, damage can occur to the kidneys, brain, and heart.

Dehydration can occur when a person has episodes of severe vomiting or diarrhea.

The most common signs of dehydration are: thirst, dry lips, sunken eyes, cold hands, cold feet, rapid breathing, and a rapid weak pulse.

If you are severely dehydrated, it is important that you get to a hospital immediately. Intravenous fluids (IVs) will quickly reverse dehydration.

Substitute coffee and soda for water?

Coffee and soda are not substitutes for water. In fact, if you drink too much coffee, you can make your body dehydrated. Dehydration may occur because coffee is a diuretic and causes your body to lose water.

Are you thirsty?

Thirst is a signal to your body that you need water. However, in most cases, thirst occurs after your body has already become dehydrated. It is best to keep your body hydrated with water before you become thirsty.

Is carbonated water bad for you?

Carbonation is not harmful in and of itself. It is often sugar and other ingredients that are added to the carbonated water that are harmful. Drinking carbonated water offers many of the same benefits as drinking plain water. It keeps you hydrated which helps prevent constipation. Drinking carbonated water may reduce your appetite and help you eat less at meals.  Also, depending on the source of the carbonated water, it may contain minerals that help strengthen your bones and teeth.

Is carbonated water better for athletes?

During or immediately after exercise, non-carbonated water is best. Flat water is recommended over carbonated water because carbonation may cause bloating during physical activity and can prevent an athlete from drinking enough. Non-carbonated water is also best for anyone recovering from gastrointestinal surgery.