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Why Is Water So Important?

 Water is the most abundant substance in the body

 Average healthy adult is 45–75% water depending on
• Age
- Percent of water declines with age
• Composition of fat and muscle
- Muscle is ~65% water
- Fat is 10–40% water
• Gender
The Composition of the Body

Figure 11.1
Why Is Water So Important?

 Water is a polar
• Excellent
solvent in the
• Neutral charge
• Essential in

Figure 11.2
 Body is more than 45% water
 Muscle tissue has more water than does fat tissue
• Men have more body water than women
• Younger individuals have more body water than older
 Water is polar
 Water serves as an acid-base buffer
Functions of Water in the Body

You can survive for weeks without food,

but you can survive only a few days without water
Functions of Water in the Body
 Commonly known as a universal solvent
 Polarity allows it to attract charged particles into solutions
and dissolve a variety of other polar substances
• Important to digestion
 Helps transport dissolved nutrients and other substances
throughout the body
 Blood is composed of water and red blood cells
• Water allows blood to transport oxygen, nutrients, and
hormones to cells
• Water helps transport waste products away from cells to
be excreted
Water Helps Regulate Body Temperature

Figure 11.3
Functions of Water in the Body
 Lubricates joints, sensitive eye tissues, mouth, and
intestinal tract
 Provides a protective cushion, bathing certain organs with
• During pregnancy the fetus is surrounded by watery
amniotic fluid
 Provides a structural component to cells
Functions of Water in the Body
 Water is essential for most chemical reactions in the body
• During digestion water hydrolyzes the bonds holding
- Carbohydrate molecules
- Protein molecules
- Fat molecules
• When smaller molecules combine through condensation
water is formed
 Water
• Universal solvent
• Transports oxygen and nutrients throughout the body
• Absorbs and releases heat to regulate body temperature
• Acts as a lubricant
• Provides a protective cushion for organs
• Adds structure to cells
• Participates in chemical reactions
- Hydrolysis
- Condensation
Maintaining Water Balance
 Fluid homeostatis
• Is necessary for
normal reactions
within the cells
• Is maintained by
adaptation to
changes in water
intake and water
• Water balance

Amount consumed = Amount excreted

Figure 11.4
Sources of Body Water
 Largest source comes from beverages
 Food is an additional source
• Except for fats, all food contains some water
 Metabolic water – water generated during metabolism

These sources contribute to an average daily intake of

2,550 mL (about 2 quarts)
Water Excretion
 Majority of fluid is excreted through the kidneys
• More water that is ingested the more urine that is
 Excreted through intestinal fluids in the stool
• Dependant on dietary intake of plant fibers and presents
of diarrhea
 Evaporated through exhalation and through the skin
Water Excretion
 Loss through sweat
• Varies based on
- Environmental factors
- Temperature
- Humidity
- Wind
- Sun’s intensity
- Clothing
- Amount of physical activity
Water Balance between Fluid Compartments
 Body fluid is located
• Intracellular – within
the cells
• Extracellular – outside
the cells

Figure 11.5
Electrolytes Participate in Fluid Balance
 Electrolytes
• Minerals with electrically charged ions
- Potassium - Calcium
- Phosphate - Chloride
- Magnesium - Sodium
• Help maintain water balance between compartments
- Sodium has greatest effect on fluid balance
Electrolytes Participate in Fluid Balance
 Osmosis
• Strongest factor influencing water balance between
• Water moves from a diluted concentration to a more
concentrated area
• Osmolarity of a solution indicates total concentration

Figure 11.6
Electrolytes Participate in Fluid Balance
 Sodium-potassium pump
• Sodium and potassium play a key role in water
concentration inside and outside of the cells
• Healthy cells
- Low concentration of sodium ions
- High levels of potassium inside the cells
• Water is attracted to sodium and moves toward it
• Transports three Na+ ions out of the cell in exchange for
two K+ ions
- Keeps the cell from swelling and bursting
How Do Water and Sodium Affect Blood
 If the body retains too much fluid, blood volume increases
and blood pressure will likely rise
 Kidneys help regulate blood volume and electrolyte balance
through tightly controlled hormone signals
How Do Water and Sodium Affect Blood
 Three hormones and one enzyme work together to
orchestrate the retention and excretion of water and
electrolytes base on blood volume
 Hormones
• Antidiuretic hormone (ADH), also called vasopressin
• Angiotensin
• Aldosterone
 Enzyme
• Renin

 Blood volume drops

• Hypothalamus detects decrease in blood pressure and
increase in concentration of salts
• Thirst mechanism and fluid intake are stimulated
• Hypothalamus stimulates pituitary glands to release ADH
• ADH stimulates the kidneys to reabsorb water and
decrease urine output
• Blood volume increase and osmolality returns to normal

 Blood pressure falls and sodium concentration is reduced

• Renin is secreted by the kidneys
- Enzyme splits off a protein called angiotensin I from
the protein angiotensinogen found in the blood
- In the lungs angiotensin I is converted to angiotensin II
- Angiotensin II is a powerful vasoconstrictor

 Renin-angiotensin system adapts to changes in dietary

sodium intake
• Consume too little sodium
• Osmolality drops in extracellular fluid (ECF)
• Fluid shifts from the blood to the interstitial fluid
• Blood volume and blood pressure decrease
• Angiotenson II triggers the adrenal glands to release
 Aldosterone
• Signals kidneys to retain more sodium
• Indirectly leads to water retention
Blood Volume Regulates Blood Pressure

Figure 11.8
How Much Water? What Are the Best
 Water needs depend on
• Physical activity
• Environmental factors
• Diet
 Recommendations
• 80% intake from beverages and 20% from food
• Adult women: approximately 9 cups of fluid per day
• Adult men: approximately 13 cups of fluid per day
• A well-balanced 2,200 kilocalorie diet that includes
beverages at all meals and snacks will provide about 12
cups of water
Daily Beverage Recommendations

Figure 11.9
How Much Water? What Are the Best
 Drinking bottled or tap water, milk, and juices throughout
the day can help meet the body’s needs
 Most foods can also contribute to daily water need
• Fruits and vegetables can be 70% or more water by
Do Diuretics Like Caffeine and Alcohol
Affect Water Balance?

 Alcoholic drinks, regular coffee, and tea contribute to total

water intake
 Alcohol and caffeine are considered diuretics
• Contribute to water loss
• Overconsumption can upset fluid balance

 Mild diuretic that blocks the action of ADH in the kidneys

 Research unable to confirm that this mild diuretic actually
results in dehydration
 Caffeine doesn’t cause a significant loss of body water over
the course of the day compared to noncaffeinated beverages

 Inhibits ADH
 Can induce urination as quickly as 20 minutes after
 Can be dehydrating
 Effects electrolytes, especially potassium
 Older drinkers are less effected than younger drinkers
 To prevent dehydration
• Reduce alcohol consumption
• Drink water after consuming alcohol
Diuretic Medications Can Help Treat

 First line of treatment for hypertension

• Often pharmaceutical diuretics
- Promote diuresis by inhibiting the reabsorption of
- Increased sodium excretion increases fluid excretion
- Reduces blood volume and lowers blood pressure
 Some diuretics increase potassium loss and the risk of
Effects of Too Much Water

 Water intoxication
• Rare in healthy individuals who consume a balanced diet
• Drinking fluid too fast without adequate sodium
replacement depletes sodium and increases the rate of
urine production
- Results in hyponatremia
• Can cause swelling in the brain
- Fatique
- Confusion
- Disorientation
Effects of Too Little Water

 Dehydration can result from

• Not drinking enough water
• Losing excessive amounts of water due to diarrhea,
vomiting, high fever, or use of diuretics
• As little as a 2% loss of body water can trigger
- Loss of short-term and long-term memory
- Lower attention span and cognition
- Reduced ability to maintain core temperature
- Increase risk of urinary tract infections and fatigue
 Consequences of dehydration can be severe for children,
elderly, and athletes
Thirst Mechanism Signals Dehydration
 Thirst is often the first
sign of dehydration
 Urge to drink is important
in preventing dehydration
and restoring water
 Less circulating blood can
lead to
 Reduced blood pressure
 Hypotension if severe

Figure 11.11
Thirst Mechanism Signals Dehydration

 Hypovolemia and hypotension can

• Reduce cardiac output
• Impair digestion
• May cause fainting and blacking out
 When dehydrated
• Water is depleted from extracellular fluid and
intracellular fluid
Monitor Water Intake to Avoid
Overhydration and Dehydration

 Measure body weight before and after long bouts of

vigorous physical activity or labor and note changes
• If weighs less after an activity the change is due to loss
of body water
• If weight gain is noted overhydration is likely
- Consume less fluid before next activity
Monitor Water Intake to Avoid
Overhydration and Dehydration

 Urine color can be used to assess hydration

• Individuals who are dehydrated produce less urine due to
the release of ADH
• With dehydration urine is more concentrated and darker
in color
• Darker urine indicates possible need to increase fluid