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The human body is mostly water.
We all consider the human body to be unique and it certainly is. In simple terms, it is actually a highly specialized, porous blob of water.
This watery bag is formed into shape by a protective skin with a little hair (more or less) growing from it. The amount of water in the human body averages about sixty-five percent by weight and about seventy-five percent by volume. It varies considerably from person to person and even from one part of the body to another. A lean healthy man may be as much as seventy percent water by weight. On the other hand, the average woman, because of her larger proportion of water poor fatty tissues, may be as little as fifty-two percent water. The percentage of water in a woman also oscillates with her menstrual cycle. A newborn baby is about ninety percent water, unless of course it is a chubby baby, in which case it is less.
Water is not only the most abundant compound in the human body but it is also the most abundant chemical in the human diet. We talk of breathing air, but what all living things really do is to breathe oxygen dissolved in water. Both the quantity and the quality of the water you ingest profoundly determines the quality of your tissues and their performance and resistance to disease. The purer the water, the better.
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Human cells are sixty percent water and also surrounded by water.
Every cell, the basic unit of the human body and every other living organism, contains about sixty percent by weight of this vital substance. No two cells in the body are actually touching as there are two large classes of body water: extra-cellular water, which is water that is outside of the cells; and intra-cellular water, which is water that is inside the cells. A precise balance of water outside and inside cells is essential for the maintenance of life. This is magnificently accomplished with the proper ratio of sodium and potassium intake. Trans-cellular water is water participating in the transport activity of specialized cells such as salivary and liver cells, spinal fluid, and fluids of the eye.
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Test confirms how water affects performance.
According to statements made in a recent issue of Nutrition and Fitness Magazine, (Vol. IX, No. 5, 1990) by Lesley Colgan, failure to replenish your bodys water will result in your performance suffering immediately. If a muscle is dehydrated by as little as three percent, there is a ten percent loss of contractile strength and as much as an eight percent loss of speed! In a recent test conducted at the Colgan Institute in Encinitas, California, a group of athletes were made to run a 5,000 meter race after fasting overnight. Their times were off an average of almost a minute in a run that ordinarily took less than twenty minutes. Failure to maintain their water level for only a few hours had cost these athletes a five percent loss of performance. That could be the difference between winning the race and last place!
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All animals and plants are largely water.
Not only is an adequate water supply essential for human beings, but it is also a matter of life and death for every form of animal and plant life, from the lowliest amoeba to the tallest redwood.
Not only is water the first requisite of our lives, it is a most thrilling subject. Its influence touches us constantly, every moment of every hour, from the first spark of life to the final breath and beyond.
Water is found in nearly everything, including stones and minerals, even coal. It constitutes about eighty percent of all living matter. Every living organism depends on water for at least fifty percent of its body weight, and must constantly replenish the water lost through evaporation and excretion. Fortunately, each has evolved an effective means of satisfying this need.
Most of the foods we depend on to sustain us are largely water; rich milk being 87% water, eggs 65%, beef 62%, even bacon is 22% water. Consider the following table:
Percent of Water in Common Animals Percent of Water in Common Food Plants Weevil (insect)
Sunflower seed 5% Rat
Apple seed 10% Fish
Corn kernel 70% Elephant
Apple (ripe) 80% Chicken
Pineapple (ripe) 87% Frog
Carrot 90% Earthworm
Tomato (ripe) 95% Jellyfish
Fruits and vegetables tend to increase their water content as they ripen. That is why they taste so much better when they are vine ripened or picked and used fresh from the garden. Fruits and vegetables do not die when they are picked. They do, however, begin to lose water and quality as soon as they are harvested. It is very important they be stored properly and used as soon as possible.
NOTE: To me, its an absolute miracle that an apple seed, which is only ten percent water, will eventually produce a nice red delicious apple, which is eighty percent water! Pure water is life.
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Animals must maintain a rigid percentage of water.
Animals, unlike plants, must maintain a fairly rigid percentage of water in their bodies in order to survive. Most animals have adapted their physical needs to match the water levels of their environment. The desert dwelling kangaroo rat, for example, can get along on an absolute minimum of water, but the jellyfish must remain immersed in water at all times. A donkey can survive in a hot desert for four days but would lose up to thirty percent of its body weight. The man riding the donkey will be dead when his water loss reaches fifteen percent! How much would a glass of cool, pure water (any water for that matter) be worth to that man?
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