The value of water for the body

Alessandro Zanasi, expert at the Sanpellegrino Observatory, illustrated the value of water for the human body at the Open Factory exhibition

MILAN - Presenting to the general public about a hundred companies eager to share their story, reveal their secrets and build a showcase to present Italian manufacturing capabilities. These are the aims of Open Factory, the initiative promoted by Italy post and L’Economia-Corriere della Sera, and supported by the Sanpellegrino Group which opened the doors to Acqua Panna to raise awareness of the value of mineral water. Among numerous other speakers, Alessandro Zanasi, expert at the Sanpellegrino Observatory and member of the International Stockholm Water Foundation, spoke on this subject during the Open Factory exhibition.

The value of water

it is essential to the many functions of the human body:

•          it acts as a solvent and by participating in the main chemical reactions, promotes the absorption of nutrients contained in food;

•          it is a rich source of mineral salts;

•          it regulates body temperature and cell volume;

•          it promotes the elimination of metabolism waste, toxins and also any drugs ingested (diuretic action);

•          it promotes proper functioning of the liver and digestive system (constipation action)

Needs and losses

Water needs vary depending on an individual’s climate conditions, physical activity and type of diet. An adult requires about 1 g / kcal per day while children require about 1.5 g / kcal per day.

There are two types of water present in the human body:

  • Exogenous: water that is introduced by drinks and food
  • Endogenous: water that is produced by cellular metabolism but which does not adequately cover the daily requirement

Our body loses water on a daily basis through known and other functions of which we are often unaware. Water losses can be divided into two categories:

  • Renal: between 1,200-1,500 ml of water is lost a day through the urine
  • Extrarenal: 500 ml on average is lost through sweating while about 400 ml is lost through breathing

To keep the body properly hydrated it is essential that the input and output are the same.

The consequences of dehydration

Just a 0.5% loss of body weight through liquids sets off an alarm bell in the body that manifests through thirst and the water deficit, (when the water loss is greater than the water entering the body), can lead to dehydration, the consequences of which should not be underestimated. Two of the most serious consequences are that: the cell volume of the blood plasma is reduced so that the distribution of oxygen and nutrients to the brain and other tissues is impaired; temperature control is lost and therefore the body temperature increases, since the evaporation of water from the skin is the way in which heat is removed from the body.

by Prisca Peroni

12, 3 - 2018