Knowing that about 70 percent of planet Earth is covered by oceans should give us a solid indication of just how important this element is in our daily lives.
Think about it: Scientists are continuously searching for signs of water on other planets to help determine whether life can be sustained on those planets.
No water, no life.
Another good clue about how important water is: 65 to 70 percent of our bodies are made up of it. When we become deprived of it, dehydration takes place. Most of us are dehydrated to some degree and don't even realize it. By the time we feel thirst, our body has lost 1 percent of its water.
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Here's a sobering statistic for both children and parents to know: A 4 to 5 percent drop in body water can result in a decline of 20 to 30 percent in work performance. That might mean slower processing of information, impaired short-term memory, weak visual tracking and attention deficit.
As a physical education teacher, I try to emphasize to my students the importance of hydration. I would go so far as to suggest that classroom teachers should also pay attention to whether their students are hydrated as well.
Medical studies suggest that we drink at least eight cups of water a day. The maximum amount of water a body can absorb is about one liter an hour or 30 milliliters every 20 minutes.
Too much water consumption can lead to what is called water intoxication, where sodium levels in the bloodstream dilute and cause an imbalance of the water in the brain. But that's a rare occurrence.
Water has many benefits that most of us don't stop to think about. Here are some:
* Helps keep body temperature normal
* Transports oxygen
* Eliminates waste and toxins that poison our bodies
* Helps maintain a healthy body weight by increasing metabolism and regulating our appetites
* Helps increase energy levels
* Helps alleviate headaches
* Moisturizes the skin and ensures proper cell formation
* Cushions joints
* Helps prevent constipation
* Is the primary mode of transportation for all nutrients in the body and is essential for circulation
* Enhances brain activity.
As parents and as educators, we want our students to be as productive as possible. That's why we all should encourage kids to keep their brains hydrated.
Water will help them to think clearer and stay focused so that learning is taking place at all times of the day.