The Importance of Hydration: Understanding the Nutritional Value of Water

We all know that water is essential for life. But have you ever stopped to think about why it’s so crucial and how it truly benefits us? Keep reading to discover the amazing significance of water.

When you hear “nutrition,” you probably think of foods like fruits, vegetables, or meats. But water, even though it’s calorie-free, is vital for our nutrition. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, water plays a crucial role in “nearly all body functions.” For this reason, some studies suggest that humans can live without drinking for 3 to 7 days, depending on the circumstances. However, they can survive several weeks without food. That’s how vital water is for life.

Water serves as a mode of transportation, carrying nutrients and oxygen to our cells. Without water, our cells wouldn’t get what they need to function correctly. It also regulates our body temperature. For instance, when it’s hot or after exercising, we sweat. That sweat is a way to cool down our body, and it’s all thanks to water.

Water has an essential role in our digestion. Digestion is the process by which our body breaks down food and absorbs nutrients. Water is like the “oil” of this machine. Saliva, which contains water, starts the digestion process in our mouth. It helps us chew and swallow our food. Water also facilitates our intestines absorbing the nutrients from the food. Imagine water as an elevator taking nutrients where they need to go!


The Dangers of Contaminated Water

Clean water is good for us, but dirty or contaminated water can be very hazardous to health. Sometimes, poor sanitation conditions in certain regions can jeopardize our well-being, as contaminated water might contain germs that cause diseases like cholera or diarrhea. At times, water can be tainted with harmful chemicals that come from factories or pesticides used in farms.


Drinking water is vital for our health. Not only does it keep us hydrated, but it also helps our body function correctly. Ensure you drink the amount of water you need according to your requirements and that the water you drink is clean and safe.


With that said, the next time you grab a glass of water, think about all the fantastic benefits it’s bringing to your body! There’s nothing better than water.

Written by Irisvette Lagoa and Elizabeth C. Shephard



Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2021, July 6). Water. The Nutrition Source.

Popkin, B. M., D’Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition reviews, 68(8), 439–458.


Elizabeth Shephard, Family and Consumer Science Agent with UF/IFAS Brevard County
Posted: March 19, 2024

Category: Food Safety, Health & Nutrition, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Food Safety, Hydration, Nutrition, Water

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