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How Your Muscles Put Water and Other Nutrients to Use

Updated on November 1, 2012
Water is necessary for living, but it is actually responsible for quite a few more bodily process than you might think.
Water is necessary for living, but it is actually responsible for quite a few more bodily process than you might think.

Without water, life simply cannot be sustained. While the body can go for a month or longer without anything to eat, not having access to water for as little as 2 to 3 days is enough to literally kill a perfectly healthy man or woman.It's called dehydration, and even though you already know that, there may be some other things that you don't. Like exactly how does your body use water?

The following page will cover the relation of water to your skeletal muscles, and exactly what happens to these muscles when they lack this hydration by way of various scientific and practical explanations. This knowledge could prove useful for anyone, but it would be especially wise to hunker down and read all the way through if you are a sports player or athlete who relies on their body to the utmost degree on a very regular basis.

How many Cups of Water Do You Drink Per Day?

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I've Heard that Our Bodies are Made of Mostly Water, So Where Does all this Water Go?

Well, in a word, everywhere. The blood that runs through our bodies and is responsible for delivering all of the necessary nutrients to the varying parts of your body is made up of roughly 83% water. Your muscle tissue is made up of about 75% water, the brain 70%, your lungs 90%, and an average man's weight will consist of up to 60% water weight.

Even your bones consist of 22% water. As you can see, we wouldn't amount to much at all without all of this water. Every single cell in your body requires water to live function, or be created in the first place.

Obviously, no single person can drink anything near 60% of their body weight in a day, nor should they. Your body uses water to consistently build tissue and monitor performance throughout the body, and it is able to calculate and manage the water in your body down to the very last drop.

The "water" that courses through our bodies constantly isn't just water, but rather a extremely delicate mixture of water and various electrolytes. Your body needs this electrolyte solution to be EXACT if it is to work, and a great deal of commands can be sent out by the brain to ensure that the balance of water and various electrolytes in your body are exact.

Another important thing to note is that while having enough water in your body is absolutely essential, providing your body with too much liquids or water can actually be very damaging. Your bladder will do its best to disperse of the excess liquid, but continually forcing more water into your system can actually mess up your electrolyte levels and cause some serious harm to your body or its essential organs. Head to the next section to learn more about how water is used by your body, and when or why it is unable to be used.

What do Our Bodies do With Water?

Our muscles make us move - duh. Energy that is made up of carbohydrates and fat cells that we eat is the fuel that drives these muscles, much like the gasoline does a car, but turning carbs and fat into actual energy for our muscles to burn during physical performance is a process that requires WATER, among other things.

The air we breathe in usually is by no means perfect or pristine, especially if you live in or near a big city, but our bodies aren't completely defenseless to this pollution. Water in our body is responsible for cleaning particles out of the air that we inhale. We also rely on the water found in our bodies and bloodstream to carry essential nutrients to all parts of our body.

Water is what the body uses to carry waste out of your system, and 25% of our daily water requirements go towards digestive system functions (which might explain why many people who don't drink much water find themselves struggling with weight issues or laziness). For every gram of glucose in your body, roughly 2 and a half grams of water are required to create glycogen, which we use for energy.

Blood clots and low blood pressure can be a result of not having enough water. Constipation is not only possible but very likely among those who don't get enough water every day, and urinary tract infections become all the more dangerous and likely for those who don't get enough water. Dry skin is another definite possibility.

Your Muscles and Your Water

Without reliable muscles in your body, you pretty much can't rely on yourself for anything. Even a task as simple as typing, like the one required to write this article, would be impossible without the healthy muscles that exist in my fingers, wrists and arms, as well as in my back and legs that are keeping my body upright.

The functionality of your calf or back muscle might not be quite as important as the functionality of your heart or lungs, but it is in our muscles that we can most directly see the positive and negative affects of water at work. If you've ever seen a professional or amateur athlete get a muscle cramp, you might have seen an individual who did not properly hydrate or lacked sufficient water in his system for some other reason and was paying the consequences.

If you are regularly forced to perform physically, either for leisure or because of work, it is extremely important that you understand how your muscles use water and just what symptoms you will experience when you are lacking this amount.

The first and most apparent symptom of your muscles when you lack hydration is muscle cramping and spasms. Extended soreness in your muscles after use is another sign of possible lack of hydration, as is general muscle fatigue or weakness.

Your muscles don't use water on your own, meaning the water that reaches your muscles within your body is not the same as the water that was in the bottle or cup you were drinking it from. An extremely delicate electrolyte solution is created using the water you ingest and other nutrients, and this solution flows through your body and travels to each of your muscles.

How Else Does My Body Use Water?

In each of our joints, synovial fluid is required as a lubricant. Water is a very important ingredient in this fluid, and having a low amount of hydration in your body can lessen the amount of protection that your joints have, even if it just for a short time.

Another sometimes overlooked role of water is to act as the medium in which most or all bodily reactions occur. When a muscle moves, it is the result of a nerve responding to the muscle through a chemical reaction that can only occur in water. Water is also acts as a cooling agent for the body, forcing it out through our skin by perspiration and cooling us off. Without enough water for your body to sweat, heat stroke and other heat-related ailments can occur as a result.

The cells that make up our entire body simply cannot survive without hydration. A human without any water would simply be a pile of bones and skin - water makes us us.

Final Thoughts

I hope that I have provided as much information as you could possibly ask for concerning water and how it is used by your body. I may be adding to this article in the future if I discover any information that was left out, but I'd love it if you informed individuals out there could chime in with the comments section below and let me know about any aspects I might've left out!

Have a nice day, and remember: drink your fill.


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