Next to air, water is the second most important nutrient we take into our bodies. Depending on the source, experts say, water makes up around 75 percent to 90 percent of your body, depending on your phase of life. (We are born with a higher water content, which decreases as we get older.)
“You need water for everything your body does,” says Lisa Dorfman, Miami, Fla., registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “Water is an essential nutrient that helps your body do everything from breathing to digesting food to hormone production to lubricating joints.”
Water assists with metabolizing carbohydrates, fats and proteins; digesting food; creating enzymes, which support all body functions; insulating organs; protecting the fetus in pregnant mothers; dissolving vitamins; regulating the body’s temperature; supporting healthy skin and a host of other vital functions.
Everyone has different needs, though, says Dorfman, based on their individual chemistry and physical activity. If you are not getting enough water, she says, you body will let you know. Thirst is the first sign of dehydration. In addition, pungent, yellow urine is an indication that your system is low on water.