As your baby grows inside you, its demand for water or fluids also increases. Water helps in easing constipation, rids you and your baby’s body of toxins, waste products, reducing excessive swelling as well as reducing the risk of urinary tract infection and pre-term labor.
During pregnancy your body needs fluids more than ever. Since pregnancy pumps up fluid volume significantly, water fulfills the additional need of oxygen and nutrients for intra-uterine activities. Hence, proper hydration is crucial for you.
Why is water so important?
Water is part of tissues: Water constitutes a part of all tissues and is essential for growth. In fact, water contributes to about 50-60% of our total body weight. Medium of all cell fluids, water is also the universal solvent. Fluids like digestive juices, lymph, blood, urine etc. are all composed mainly of water with constituents like electrolytes, hormones, enzymes, RBC’s, WBC’s, nutrients etc. floating in it.
Water acts as a catalyst: It works as a facilitator for many regulatory processes in the body. Water initiates numerous essential reactions like hydrolysis, digestion etc that occur in the body. It also helps in regulating the electrolyte balance of the body. All the electrolytes are dissolved in water and transported across the membranes of cells, thus facilitating the maintenance of electrolyte balance.
Transportation of nutrients: The nutrients especially the water soluble vitamins dissolve in water and thus get transported to all the tissues.
Elimination of waste products: Water helps to remove the waste products from the body by carrying them to lungs, kidneys, gut and skin where are excreted out of the body.
Lubrication of joints and tissues: Water act as lubricants in various parts of the body, especially within joints. This makes movements easier and minimizes the wear and tear of cartilage and bones.
Regulation of body temperature: Our body continuously generates heat due to various metabolic processes and the work it performs. This heat is effectively lost from the body through either sensible or insensible perspiration, which is actually a form of water evaporation. Sensible perspiration occurs when we work out and exert our body to perspire excessively. Insensible perspiration occurs under normal circumstances when the body is continuously cooled down by evaporation of water as perspiration from the surface of our skin.
Source of dietary minerals: Water contains significant amount of minerals such as calcium, sodium, zinc, copper, and fluoride.
Besides the overall benefits mentioned above, if you get dehydrated it can cause electrolyte imbalance in the body, resulting in muscle fatigue, leading to a general feeling of exhaustion. If unattended, it may lead to more serious consequences like dehydration. So, the better hydrated you are, the less tired you are going to feel. A well hydrated body is also less likely to develop stretch marks. Experts recommend taking about 8-10 glasses (2- 3 liters) of water daily to stay healthy.