We've All Heard It By Now
"The body is 70% water." But what's significant about that, exactly? What difference does it make? And, most importantly, what does all of that water do for us?
The human body, as with virtually all organisms, is composed of cells. These are the most basic units of life, and while their inner and outer contents can differ drastically, they all contain cytoplasm - a solution composed of 70% to 80% water.
Animal cells in particular, to the most prototypical extent, are spheres made of fat and filled with a very watery, protein and sugar-rich liquid. This cytoplasm competently houses the components of themselves used by cells to reproduce and stay alive.
Outside of individual cells, there also responsibilities water is tasked with managing. Consider your circulatory system - the ubiquitous, complex and, at times, densely packed network of blood vessels. The blood flowing through your veins and arteries is mostly made of a liquid called plasma, which is mostly - you guessed it - water.
Due to an exceptional ability to facilitate the formation and dissolution of salts and other biologically important compounds, water is the best base liquid for transferring oxygen-bound red blood cells.
Outside of the blood vessels, your eyes, nose, and mouth are other locations where the presence of water is critical: when irritated, the eyes release tears from ducts to potentially flush out toxins and irritants.
Similarly, the nose releases mucus in an effort to remove undesirable foreign matter from your insides; this mucus is composed of, among other things, water and dead white blood cells. The saliva in your mouth is based on water. This liquid improves the ability to consume food by using enzymes to break down compounds such as carbohydrates as the food is chewed.
Throughout an organism's constitution, water keeps a multitude of factors appropriately within range: pH, temperature, hydration (it is possible to over-hydrate) and more.
While the body does produce a certain amount of its own water, such as by combining hydrogen obtained from carbohydrates with oxygen we've inhaled, we need to consume about 164 ounces of water every day - that's eight glasses of eight ounces each.
The quality of this water is paramount. Communities with a history of consuming unsafe drinking water can fare poorly for decades or generations. In the United States, some companies provide excellent water filtration systems. Products such as the Berkey water system are adept at tackling bacterial, viral, and inorganic threats such as dissolves pharmaceuticals and heavy metals.
If We Are Carbon-Based Lifeforms, Then We're Water-Based Too
More is still being discovered about the liquid and how its properties make it uniquely useful in facilitating life. The presence of water is even one of the initial factors considered when appraising other planets for past signs of life or a potential future home for mankind.
It can't be denied that water plays an instrumental role in normal bodily function. Everyone should make sure a healthy lifestyle is their priority and that starts with drinking enough every day.