Water is the one nutrient that is absolutely essential to our survival. We may be able to go months without food, but a human will typically only be able to survive for 3-4 days without water!
When we consider that our bodies are made up of 50-70% water, this starts to make sense! Add to that the fact that our bodies lose water through expiration, sweating and waste elimination and it soon becomes evident that if we don’t replenish the water, there won’t be much of us left!
Water is the major component of most body parts. It allows our body cells to grow, reproduce and survive . It keeps the joints lubricated and facilitates the transportation of vitamins and minerals around the body. The saliva in our mouths is essentially water! Since chewing is the first step in the digestion process, it's pretty important!
The Earth is 70% water. So, theoretically, we shouldn’t be in short supply. However, not all available water is potable. For example, it is a pretty well-known fact that drinking sea water doesn’t actually aid in replenishing the fluid that we need due to the salt (which actually causes our cells to release more water). While water can generally be sourced from lakes, rivers and springs, some bodies of water are stagnant and therefore contain bacteria and other organisms, so while drinking the water from them may quench thirst, it could also result in illness.
You don't always drink it!
We require 2-3 litres of water per day. Some of this will come from our food, so we don’t necessarily have to drink that amount if our eating habits include a lot of fruit and vegetables!
Most water consumption in the Western world is from tap water or bottled water. Tap water is generally treated between its original source and the tap. What it is treated with and how much, will depend on where you live. In most cases, it is safe to drink tap water without any adverse side affects to your health.
Bottled water is generally sourced from springs, but there are so many different companies producing bottled water that it wouldn’t be appropriate to make any general statements about them and I could dedicate a whole article to comparing waters!
One other source of water worth mentioning is rain water. Rain water is a very pure form of water and contains very little mineral content. The major factor as to the safety of drinking it is how it was captured and where it is stored.
Rain water from a heavily polluted area may contain elements that are not safe. Likewise, rain collected in the country and stored in a tank for a long period before use, may also contain contaminants