Water, indispensable ally of our body

The water of life ... This figure is still amazing but our body is 60% water. After oxygen, this is the element we need most immediately. May the water run out and the whole body suffers. Headache, fatigue, constipation ... Here are some tips to learn how to hydrate well.

Christine Baudry

Water is the main component of our organs: brain, heart, blood, lungs ... They contain about two thirds of water, which represents for example about 45 liters for a 70 kg person . But water is also a dynamic element, always moving. It distributes nutrients in the body, recovers cellular waste, regulates temperature and intestinal transit ...

As soon as the volume of water in the body starts to drop, a series of malfunctions occur. Around 1 to 2% of dehydration, the physical and intellectual performances weaken. Fatigue creeps in, memory and reaction abilities diminish. Towards 4-6% dehydration, the concentration becomes cloudy and headaches may occur. At 10%, the functioning of the organs is disturbed and beyond 15% of dehydration, the vital prognosis is at stake.

For the body to maintain its water balance, the two and a half liters of water that the body loses through perspiration, urine and stool, must be compensated each day by an equivalent contribution.

How can water affect constipation?

"The drink helps to fight against dehydration, which itself promotes constipation," says Dr. Laurent Chevallier, nutritionist and chairman of the Food Commission of the Environment Health Network. "But in reverse, the drink has not directly a deconscious effect: most of the liquids are indeed absorbed by the body during digestion well before arriving at the colon.It is also the interest of dietary fiber to retain water in the saddles, which weighs them down and improves the transit. " But the impact of hydration on constipation is mostly global; when the body is well hydrated, the intestinal mucosa too.

For this general purpose, a mechanical phenomenon is added. "When a liquid passes through the esophagus, it triggers a remote reflex on the digestive system," notes Dr. Christophe Delong, specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Hospital Sainte Périne in Paris, "half an hour later appears a desire to go to the toilet.This physiological phenomenon quite clear in the infant becomes more discreet in adulthood, it must be attentive to promote it.

Note that this same gastro-colonic reflex is observed in the morning when you drink a large glass of fresh water or a fruit juice on an empty stomach. An effective gesture especially if you take this drink as soon as it wakes up.

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