Water is one of the most important resources found in nature, without which, life is not possible. Not only for us but even other living organisms from unicellular organisms like germs and bacteria to plants and the most complex living creatures i.e. mammals, each species depends on using water in some form to be able to live.
Water is a source of life and an irreplaceable one, but it can also be harmful in some ways, like when preserving food or perishable items. In those cases, water needs to be removed by using other techniques. Pharmaceutical desiccants are one example of the substances that can be used when storing chemical drugs.
More to know about water
Chemically, a water molecule is made up of two hydrogens and one oxygen atom. A chemical reaction brings these together under certain physical conditions, and then a water molecule is formed.
The geometry of a water molecule is bent in the middle, unlike some other molecules like nitrogen molecules or oxygen molecules, which are linear. The bent shape of the water molecule gives it a dipole moment.
Due to this dipole moment, water behaves as a dipolar molecule and dissolves almost every single polar molecule like salt in it. Apart from that, water is also known as a universal solvent as it is a liquid that dissolves the maximum number of solid and liquid solutes in it.
Water also functions as a good conductor of electricity, but distilled water is a poor conductor. Water mixed with some salt increases its conductivity by a large factor.
The water’s physical properties include its density that is 1 gram per cubic centimeter, the freezing point that is 0 degrees celsius, and the boiling point that is 100 degrees celsius.
Another fact about water is its specific heat capacity, which is the highest in all substances’ known world. This means that water requires the highest amount of heat for its temperature to be raised by 1 degree.
Benefits of water
Consuming water in the right amount is very important for us, failing which our body can develop several disorders either immediately or in the long run. If we consume enough water every single day, there are a lot of benefits that come with it:
- Lubrication: water provides a natural lubricant for our bones and joints. Over time, our joints tend to lose lubrication, and movement becomes stiff and painful. Consuming enough water every day will ensure longer health and painless movement along the joints. Our body generates water-based lubricants, and consuming more water can help the body produce enough lubrication for the bones. The deficiency of water can cause painful joints due to the loss of lubricants.
- Saliva and mucus: the salivary glands in the mouth create saliva to help with digestion, and the mucus lining in the nose protects us from infections. Consuming enough water every day ensures enough saliva in the mouth and mucus in the nose, both of which are very important for our bodies.
- Detox: being the universal solvent, water dissolves several compounds. This means that drinking water can also help with flushing out the toxic compounds and substances from our bodies.
Consuming enough water ensures the health of our kidneys and helps to dissolve the toxins and release them through urination. Not drinking enough water can be harmful to the kidneys’ health as without enough water, they need to work harder to remove the harmful toxins, and sometimes, it can also result in the accumulation of toxins in our bodies over time.
- Skin and hair: water is a natural source of moisture for our bodies. It is one of the most important things to consume if one wants to have hydrated and well-nourished skin and hair.
Our skin and hair are constantly exposed to the atmosphere and the pollution in the environment. Most external conditions rip our skin and hair off the natural moisture, and retaining water becomes even more important.
Consuming enough water can help bring a balance between the rate at which our skin and hair lose moisture and the rate at which water is absorbed into them. This can provide enough moisture and keep them hydrated despite constant exposure to the sun and the environment.
- Vital organs: having a healthy amount of water in the body ensures that our vital organs like the brain, heart, and kidneys function in good health and condition.
Harmful effects of water
Sometimes, water comes with certain consequences:
- Since water dissolves almost anything, it is also prone to be easily polluted. Consuming polluted water can bring many diseases and infections to our bodies and even cause damage to our vital organs, which can prove to be very dangerous in the long run.
Some major and fatal diseases can be caused by consuming polluted water like typhoid, cholera, and diarrhea. Even though our bodies fight major germs and bacteria that attack them, some bacterial or viral infections cannot be prevented even with vaccines.
Bacteria cause most of the diseases caused by contaminated or polluted water. It is important to consume water that is fit to be ingested.
- Water is necessary for all forms of life and also for bacteria, viruses, and fungus. This is a huge problem for storing food items and other things as even the slightest amount of water present in moisture can ruin it.
Pharmaceutical desiccants are chemicals that are used to absorb excess water and help in preservation. Some other things that help to lose moisture are oil, salt, and vinegar.
- Drinking too much water than normal in a day causes overhydration and can also be harmful to the body. It can cause nausea, disorientation, and fatigue in the body. Apart from that, sodium levels in the body may also decrease by overconsumption of water, which may cause even more serious issues like seizures, coma, unconsciousness, and muscle cramps.