reporter wrote that three of the seven planets recently
discovered outside our solar system are "the holy grail
for planet-hunting astronomers." Thatís because thereís
a real possibility these three have water Ö and therefore
could support life.
Itís that important. No, really, itís that
this the next time you stand at your kitchen sink and take a
swig of the clear liquid from your faucet. No living thing can
subsist without water. Humans, animals, plants ó me, my
horse, and my herb garden ó all require water to sustain us,
than half our body weight (50 to 60 percent in most adults) is
water. Lose just 2 percent and bad things begin to happen.
Water losses greater than 10 percent become medical
does more than just quench our thirst, according to the US
Centers for Disease Control. It keeps our body temperature
normal. It lubricates and cushions our joints when we
exercise. It protects sensitive tissues like spinal cords and
growing babies. And it flushes unwanted waste from our
organs rely on water to function at their peak. Your brain and
muscles are 75 percent water, for example. Get low on fluid
and you wonít think or move very well. Severe dehydration
can cause major body systems to shut down.
maintain adequate hydration, say experts, we should ideally
take in the amount of fluids that we lose each day. For most
people, thatís somewhere between 2 to 4 liters (a liter is a
little over a quart).
total water needs can be met with plain water, water in food
(a tomato, for instance, is 95 percent water) and water
contained in beverages. We can even count coffee, tea and
other caffeinated beverages towards our daily fluid goals,
according to the latest guidelines by the Food and Nutrition
Board of the National Academies of Sciences.
count on alcohol to meet your daily water needs, however.
There are better hydrating choices out there.
get too much water? Yes, especially if we are slugging down
high amounts without added food or other sources of
electrolytes that keep water balanced within our cells. A
marathon runner, for example, who does not replenish sodium,
potassium and other electrolytes along with water, is in for
one of the earthís most effective solvents. It leaches
minerals from rocks; it turns boulders to sand. And itís
absolutely necessary for the proper breakdown and digestion of
nutrients from our food.
regulates how efficiently our bodies can produce energy and
may even help control the action of our genes, according to
researchers who developed our current dietary
liquid nutrient is truly essential for life Ö a holy grail
for health-hunting humans.