Water – The Building Block Of Life
“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” – Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)
Water is just but a colourless fluid which flows in streams and forms the oceans. A water molecule is simply one oxygen atom covalently bonded to two hydrogen atoms. While water refills the earth’s supply through rain, it also exists as snow, fog, dew and cloud. Approximately 70% of Earth is filled with water and the majority of water on Earth is sea water. On average, sea water (or salt water) in the world’s oceans has a salinity of about 3.5%.
While it has no calorie or other nutrients, safe drinking water is essential to human beings and other lifeforms. The access to safe drinking water has improved in recent times, but about one billion people in the world still lack access to safe water. Water fit for human consumption is called drinking water or potable water. Water that is not potable may be made potable by filtration or distillation, or by a range of other methods.
Water is vital both as a solvent in which many of the body’s solutes dissolve and as an essential part of many metabolic processes within the body. Water is also central to acid-base neutrality and enzyme function. Pure water is considered to be neutral, with a pH value of 7. Acids have pH values less than 7 while bases have values greater than 7.
The human body contains from 55% to 78% water. To function properly, the body requires between one and seven litres of water per day to avoid dehydration. Most of this is ingested through foods and beverages other than drinking water. Most specialists agree that approximately 2 litres (6 to 7 glasses) of water daily is the minimum to maintain proper hydration.