Water & Life ~ The Intertwined Circle.
Updated: Oct 16, 2022
“Thousands have lived without love, but not one without water” these lines were penned by
Mr. W.H Auden, a British-American poet says an ocean about the significance of water and its impact on life as we know it.
It is something so abundant that our entire planet is encompassed with it. In the form of clouds above us, as the oceans that surround us, like glaciers, rivers, streams, aquifers, and lakes. Most forms of peace, tranquillity, and relaxation that the human mind craves, are subjected to the presence of water in one form or another. In a way, we are adamantinely dependent on water, and rarely do we realize the depth of that dependence until confronted with the actuality of its absence.
The correlation between water and life is so prolific that it's nearly impossible to even faintly define the chance of life’s occurrence without citing water. From the telescopes that are pointed up into the sky, to the satellites that scan the stars and to the curious eyes glued in search of the faintest of the faint cues of life beyond the horizons, all are primarily in the pursuit of one thing and one thing only – the presence of liquid water. Water is not only significant to us but for any form of carbon-based life to ever exist anywhere in the galaxies.
Why is Water Important to Life?
Coming back from the galaxies to the blue pebble that we call home, and to the species who are reading this, 70% of our body is made from water. This is without considering the amount of water that occupies the form of body fat, which varies from person to person. The significance of water lies basically in its property to dissolve nutrients and substances that a living being requires. This dissolution property is critical for all sorts of biochemical reactions including photosynthesis and cellular respiration. No other form of matter or liquid is capable of doing that and hence it is vital for survival. Life as we know it, simply cannot exist without water.
For example, just 4% of water loss from our body will result in dehydration and anything above 15% on the water loss scale will turn out to be fatal. We can somehow endure weeks without food but we won't last more than a few days without water. This brings us to another question – What is it that makes water so crucial for us? Why can’t we devise a substitute to sustain life?
The Science of Water
To answer that question, let's start with some molecular basics, shall we?
Water is made-up of two positively charged hydrogen atoms and one negatively charged oxygen atom. When the positively charged hydrogen atom binds with a negatively charged oxygen atom, it results in an asymmetrically charged structure with a positive charge on one side and a negative on the other. This variation is known as polarity and this is the reason why water is capable to create bonds or connections with other molecules around it. This bonding is what makes water molecules stick together which we call fluid in nature, and this property is known as cohesion.
It’s the cohesion of water molecules that allows it to be absorbed by plants through their roots and animals to form blood. This very property enables water to bond with molecules, effectively breaking and bonding with the nutrients which we can visibly observe if we add a spoon of salt into a glass of water and stir it. This is called solvency, and this ability fosters the transfer of molecules like oxygen, vitamins, nutrients, and medicine within our bodies. Water is important for every living thing because of this and why we cannot invent or rely on something to supersede water is because it’s the only thing that could do all these vital functions naturally.
Health Benefits of Natural Mineral Water
We have covered the geeky science stuff behind water, now let’s see what are the practical flanks and good practices that are associated with water and its consumption.
Water helps to create saliva
Saliva is essential to break down food. It comprises enzymes, mucus, and electrolytes and our body can produce saliva only through regular water intake.
Water protects our joints and tissues
A generous amount of water helps to cushion our tissues and joints, thereby lessening the discomfort caused by movements.
Water helps to keep our skin good
Enough water obliges the production of collagen which keeps our skin moistened naturally.
Water assists in cognitive functions
Lack of proper hydration influences our short-term memory, focus, and alertness.
Water helps to boost energy
An ample amount of water helps our body to boost metabolism, which in turn positively impacts our energy levels.
Water helps to combat illness
Certain medical conditions like kidney stones, constipation, urinary infections, and hypertension can be thwarted by drinking enough amount of water.
Water assists in oxygen circulation
Water helps to carry essential nutrients throughout our body including oxygen. Drinking enough water ensures that this circle is maintained properly.
Water helps to absorb nutrients
Vitamins, minerals, and nutrients need water to get dissolved so that they can reach their plotted destinations in your body, and water is the only thing that could do this.
Water regulates body temperature
Sweating keeps our body cool and supplementing that lost amount of water with ample hydration is the key to staying clear from the perils of dehydration.
Water helps to purify our body
Water helps our body to filter waste in the form of excretions. This helps the body to stay toxin-free and healthful.
The bottom line
It is astonishing to realize how something so simple and small like two atoms of hydrogen and an atom of oxygen found a way to integrate itself into something so fascinating to form all the forms of water that we see around. Its versatility and adaptability are the things that keep life alive. Even as we are so intensively dependent on water, there is also a lot to learn from it, starting from its versatility and adaptability.