the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Kimi Weng ’24
Cells, the little things that make up all living organisms, are mainly composed of water molecules. Water actually takes up 70% or more of the total cell mass.
Us, human beings, are 60% water.
So, water is crucial for life on Earth.
H₂O, aka water, is a polar molecule and is a “universal solvent” that is extremely good at dissolving polar compounds like sodium chloride, or table salt.
In addition to its solubility, water molecules also form hydrogen bonds with each other, accounting for its high heat capacity. This means that water has a high boiling point, and it takes a lot of energy to raise its temperature.
Now, recall. When you boil water by putting it in a kettle on a stove, it takes quite a while to boil even under blazing flames.
Given its high boiling point, water is very helpful in regulating the body temperature of animals. We sweat when it’s hot, and the evaporation of water through sweating helps to cool off our bodies.
Notably, water is also essential for plants, as they require water during photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen.
Even 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water.
Earth relies on this simple molecule.
Dehydration prompts you to want to drink water, but it can cause symptoms like fatigue and dizziness.
So drink water!
While the conventional recommendation is to drink 8 cups of water per day, the National Academy of Medicine suggests, instead, to drink about 13 cups and 9 cups for men and women, respectively.
Abiding by this suggestion will keep you healthy and hydrated.
The best source of water is, quite surprisingly, water! However, other drinks like juice, milk, and tea can also contribute to your daily water intake.
Even though beverages like soda and sweetened tea can do the job as well, the added sugar might increase your daily calorie intake.
Remember, water is the key to life.
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Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, October 14). Dehydration. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, October 12). How much water do you need to stay healthy?. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256
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