Water: Who should drink? Who should less drink

The Ultimate Guide to Water: Types, Functions, Effects on the Body



Water, the elixir of life, is essential for our well-being. It sustains us, keeps our body systems functioning optimally, and supports numerous bodily functions. From quenching our thirst to aiding digestion, water plays a pivotal role in maintaining good health. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the various types and functions of water, explore its effects on the body, highlight its benefits, discuss the ideal intake, examine its relationship with diseases, and even touch upon the concept of functional water.



Types and Functions of Water

Water comes in various forms, each with its unique properties and functions. From pristine deep-sea water to natural spring water, the type of water you consume can impact your health. At its core, water facilitates essential bodily processes by:


  • Hydration and Cell Function: Water is the cornerstone of hydration, ensuring that cells receive adequate moisture for proper function. Well-hydrated cells are more resistant to pathogens and toxins, enhancing overall immunity.
  • Metabolism Support: Water aids in digestion by facilitating the movement of food along the gastrointestinal tract, promoting nutrient absorption, and helping to remove waste from the body.
  • Temperature Regulation: Sweating is the body’s natural cooling mechanism. Adequate water intake helps regulate body temperature and prevents overheating during physical activities or in hot weather.
  • Cognitive Function: Staying hydrated supports brain health by ensuring proper blood flow to the brain, which in turn enhances cognitive functions like concentration and memory.
  • Joint Lubrication: Water contributes to joint lubrication, reducing friction between bones and preventing discomfort or stiffness.
  • Detoxification: Proper hydration supports kidney function, allowing them to effectively filter waste and toxins from the bloodstream, which are then expelled through urine.


Effects of Water on the Body

Drinking ample water offers a multitude of benefits for overall health and well-being. While it’s not a magic cure for every ailment, maintaining proper hydration levels can:


  • Prevent Chronic Diseases: Adequate water intake is linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular issues and digestive disorders. While not a direct treatment, hydration supports overall health.
  • Boost Energy Levels: Dehydration can lead to fatigue and reduced energy levels. Drinking enough water helps maintain vitality and prevents unnecessary tiredness.
  • Support Weight Management: Staying hydrated can help control appetite, as thirst is sometimes mistaken for hunger. Drinking water before meals may reduce calorie intake.
  • Enhance Skin Health: Hydrated skin looks more radiant and youthful. Water helps maintain skin elasticity and suppleness, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Improve Exercise Performance: Hydration is crucial for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Proper fluid intake supports endurance, prevents cramping, and aids post-exercise recovery.


The Good Points of Water

Water boasts an array of advantages, making it a simple yet invaluable part of our daily routine. Some noteworthy benefits include:


  • Zero Calories: Unlike sugary beverages, water has zero calories, making it an excellent choice for those watching their weight or looking to reduce calorie consumption.
  • Readily Available: Water is easily accessible and cost-effective, making it a practical choice for staying hydrated regardless of your location.
  • Natural Detox: Drinking water regularly helps flush toxins from your body, supporting your liver and kidneys in their detoxification processes.
  • Digestive Health: Adequate hydration aids in maintaining smooth digestion by preventing constipation and supporting regular bowel movements.
  • Mental Clarity: Staying hydrated keeps your brain functioning optimally, helping you stay alert, focused, and mentally sharp.


How Much Water to Drink

Determining the right amount of water to drink can be a common query. While individual needs vary based on factors like weight, activity level, and climate, a general guideline is:


  • Daily Intake: Aim to replenish the fluids your body loses daily. An adult’s average daily fluid loss is around 2.5 to 3 liters.
  • Individualized Calculation: Multiply your body weight (in kg) by a factor of approximately 30 to estimate your daily fluid needs. Adjust based on factors like exercise and weather conditions.
  • Thirst as a Guide: Listen to your body’s thirst signals. Thirst is a reliable indicator of when you need to hydrate.


Water and Diseases

While water is generally beneficial, certain medical conditions require careful consideration of water intake. Here are a few examples:


  • Heart Conditions: Patients with severe heart conditions should limit fluid intake to prevent fluid overload, which can strain the heart.
  • Kidney Issues: Individuals with kidney problems may need to manage their fluid intake to avoid putting excess strain on their kidneys.
  • Diabetes: Diabetic patients should be mindful of their fluid intake, as excess water consumption can impact blood sugar levels.


Functional Water

Functional waters, infused with added minerals, electrolytes, or other ingredients, have gained popularity for their potential health benefits. However, many of these claims lack scientific backing. For instance:


  • Alkaline Water: Claims that alkaline water can prevent disease or slow aging are largely unsubstantiated. While slightly alkaline water can have a mild buffering effect, its impact on health is limited.
  • Hydrogen Water: Some believe that hydrogen-infused water can neutralize harmful free radicals. While studies show potential benefits, more research is needed to confirm its efficacy.
  • Electrolyte Water: Electrolyte-enhanced waters are marketed as post-exercise recovery options. While electrolytes are important after intense workouts, a balanced diet can usually provide what’s needed.


Illnesses that require less water





1) Severe hypothyroidism
If you drink a lot of water, you cannot excrete water well, resulting in hyponatremia. Severe hyponatremia requires sodium infusion injections. If it is not severe, you can limit the amount of water to less than 1L per day.


2) liver cirrhosis
When liver function is impaired, albumin is not produced. When the concentration of albumin in the blood decreases, the water content in the blood increases because water cannot be distributed to each organ and remains in the blood. The increased fluid flows into the abdominal cavity and can cause ascites to fill the stomach.


3) renal failure
You should drink the amount of water recommended by your doctor only when you feel thirsty. In stage 5 patients undergoing dialysis, the opportunity to produce albumin itself disappears as protein is lost through dialysis. Then, the water is not distributed to each organ and flows into the abdominal cavity.


4) heart failure
In heart failure, the heart function is reduced and the blood that enters the heart cannot be pumped out enough. Therefore, you should drink less than 1L of water per day. If you drink more than that, your blood won’t circulate properly, and it will be congested in your blood vessels. When blood pressure rises due to the increased blood volume, water can flow into the lungs and brain where the pressure is low, causing edema. Excessive fluid intake also causes hyponatremia.


5) Adrenal insufficiency
The adrenal hormone aldosterone is overproduced, which prevents the smooth discharge of water and salt. Therefore, excessive fluid intake causes systemic edema.


Illnesses that require drinking enough water

1) Pneumonia/bronchitis
If you suffer from a respiratory disease such as pneumonia or bronchitis, your fever rises and your breathing becomes rapid, so the excretion of moisture through the skin and respiratory tract increases. Drink small amounts of lukewarm water often to keep your respiratory system from drying out.


2) Inflammatory urinary disease
If you have a urinary tract infection, cystitis, or prostatitis, you need to drink enough fluids to flush out inflammatory substances in your urine. If waste products are not excreted and concentrated, they can turn into urinary stones. You should drink at least 500 mL more than your daily urine output.


3) diabetes
Diabetic patients who do not have renal failure complications should drink water frequently to suppress the rise in blood sugar. In particular, elderly diabetic patients who do not feel thirsty should consciously drink water every two hours even if they are not thirsty.


4) Hypertension/angina pectoris
When there is not enough water in the blood, blood viscosity increases and blood flow slows down. In this case, it is recommended to drink 1.5 to 2L of water a day, as there is a high probability that blood clots or fat will accumulate on the walls of blood vessels. Drinking enough water from the dyslipidemia stage helps to suppress progression to angina pectoris. However, salt intake should be strictly limited to less than 5-6 g per day.


5) Drink water to prevent a summer cold
Drinking enough water can help prevent summer colds. Water keeps the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract moist and increases the activity of the cilia of the bronchi and lungs to prevent viruses and bacteria from entering through the respiratory tract.



Water is the foundation of life, supporting our bodily functions, and contributing to overall well-being. From its role in digestion to its effects on skin health, the importance of staying hydrated cannot be overstated. By understanding the types and functions of water, recognizing its effects on the body, and acknowledging its benefits, we can make informed choices about our hydration habits. Remember, while water is essential, it’s only one piece of the puzzle in achieving and maintaining good health.




1. Can water intake affect cognitive function?
Absolutely! Staying hydrated supports brain health by ensuring proper blood flow to the brain, enhancing cognitive functions like concentration and memory.


2. Are all beverages equally hydrating as water?
Not quite. Water remains the best choice for hydration. While some drinks can contribute to fluid intake, beverages with caffeine may have a mild diuretic effect.


3. Can drinking water help with weight loss?
Yes, indeed. Consuming water before meals can help control your appetite, potentially leading to reduced calorie intake and supporting weight management.


4. Is it possible to drink too much water in a short period?
Yes, excessive water consumption within a short span can lead to water intoxication, causing an electrolyte imbalance and other health issues.


5. Does the amount of water needed vary based on the climate?
Absolutely. In hotter climates or during vigorous physical activity, your body loses more fluids through sweat, so increasing your water intake is essential.


6. How do I determine my daily water intake?
A general guideline is to replenish the fluids lost daily. Multiply your body weight (in kg) by about 30 to estimate your daily fluid needs, adjusting for factors like exercise and weather.


7. What should I do if I have heart conditions?
If you have severe heart conditions, it’s crucial to limit fluid intake to prevent fluid overload, which can strain your heart.


8. Can diabetes affect my water intake?
Absolutely. Diabetic patients need to be mindful of their fluid intake, as excessive water consumption can impact blood sugar levels.


9. What’s the deal with functional water?
Functional waters, while popular, often lack solid scientific backing. Claims about their health benefits should be approached with caution.


10. How can I prevent a summer cold with water?
Drinking enough water helps keep the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract moist, aiding in preventing viruses and bacteria from entering through the respiratory tract.

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