Importance of Staying Hydrated
Staying hydrated is of paramount importance to health. We get about 20% of our total water intake from the food we eat. Fruits and vegetables are particularly good for hydration as they contain 80% of water.
Water is necessary for your body to function, it plays a vital role in digestion, blood circulation, and skin health, as well as helping your body absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins. It can be easy not to drink enough, one in five people drinks less than their recommended daily intake but this can negatively impact health and daily activities.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Health professionals frequently advise persons to consume eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Though it might not apply to everyone.
How much water you need depends on some factors and varies from person to person. The general recommended need for an adult is
- 11.5 cups (2.7 litres) a day for women
- 15.5 cups (3.7 litres) a day for men
This is not narrowed to only water. Beverages, Juice, Smoothie and foods are other sources that can keep you hydrated. 20% of water is gotten from the food you eat.
How much water you need depends on the following factors;
- State of Health: If you lose fluid through vomiting or diarrhoea, you will need to drink more water to replenish and avoid dehydration. If you have health conditions like diabetes, you will need more water. Some medications, like diuretics, can make you lose more water, drinking water to stay hydrated while on such medication is necessary.
- Activity Level: If you do intense activities like exercise, water will be lost through sweating, and you will need to drink more water than someone who is sedentary.
- Diet Choice: If you eat less hydrating food like fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking more water becomes a necessity for you. Drinking caffeinated beverages makes you lose water through urinating. Spicy, salty, and sugary food makes you thirsty for water. Drinking more to stay hydrated is important.
- Temperature/Season: As season changes, so your fluid requirement also changes. You may need more water in the summer season than in the winter season.
Tips For Staying Hydrated
It’s never too late to get back on track and put yourself in a position to benefit from the health advantages of staying hydrated. The following tips will help you stay on track.
- Consume your Quota
Fluid requirements vary for each individual and are dependent on your age, gender, and activity level. As a rule of thumb, women should aim to drink around 2litres of water each day, and men 2.5litres. This should come mainly from water and foods but herbal teas, tisanes, and milk are other good choices and provide additional health benefits including an increase in energy level, ease of digestion, elimination of toxins, and improved skin health.
- Prioritize Water
The only drink that contains no sugar, calories, or additives in the water, it is the best choice to help you stay hydrated. Keep a large bottle or jug with you and sip from it throughout the day to keep you energized and your skin nourished, which in turn helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines.
- Drink First in the Morning
Your body is mildly dehydrated after sleep, so make sure that you drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. This also helps your body flush out toxins before your first meal, keeps your skin supple and radiant, and boosts your energy for the day ahead, reducing the temptation to snack unnecessarily, which can help you cut down calories and aid weight loss.
- Limit Tea and Coffee
Caffeinated drinks contain water, so can contribute to your daily fluid intake, but be aware that they have a mild diuretic effect. This means that they cause your body to produce urine, which can lead to dehydration. Tea and coffee also contain tannin, a chemical that blocks the pores of cells. When consumed in large amounts can cause dry skin, stomach irritation and other health complications.
- Drink Regularly
If you feel thirsty, it’s a sign that your body has been craving water for some time, drink a little and often, and don’t wait to feel thirsty before drinking. If you urinate infrequently or in small amounts, or if your urine is dark yellow in colour, these are other indications that your body is lacking water. When you’re adequately hydrated, your urine should be a pale, straw-yellow colour.
- Drink for Exercise
Drink plenty of liquids before and during exercise to stay hydrated and keep your skin glowing and boost your energy. Your body can lose up to 1litre of water per hour during exercise through sweating to regulate body temperature and breathing more heavily than usual. Don’t drink too much just after you’ve finished exercising, as this may cause your muscles to cramp.
- Check your Hunger
The hormones that trigger hunger and thirst are the same, which means that you can mistake long-lasting thirst for hunger. Next time you feel a hunger pang, try drinking a glass of water instead of reaching for a snack.
- Drink for Digestion
Drink a glass of water for at least 30 minutes before eating a meal. This will help you avoid overeating and keep your digestive system healthy, maximizing the uptake of beneficial nutrients. However, make sure you don’t drink just before eating because the water can dilute your digestive juices, hindering the breakdown of food in your digestive tract.
- Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol is a diuretic that causes your kidneys to produce large quantities of urine, depleting the body of vital and nourishing nutrients and causing havoc to the body. Drinking just one alcoholic drink can cause your body to lose a disproportionately large quantity of liquid, and the effects continue even after you’ve stopped drinking.
- Hydrate Before Bedtime
Make sure you’re hydrated before going to sleep to keep skin nourished during the night, help the body get rid of unwanted toxins and reduce the appearance of fine lines, help relieve stomach cramps or pain, and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Drink a glass of water shortly before going to bed. The nighttime is usually the longest period your body will go without a drink, so your hydration levels must be topped up beforehand.
Note From TheHealthi
Drinking more water and staying hydrated keep you healthy and prevent health problems like constipation, urinary tract infection, and dry skin.
The recommended health expert rule says to drink 8 glasses of water a day, but this varies with individuals based on health, environment and diet.
You can keep it simple and smart by following these guidelines;
- Drink water first in the morning
- Drinking often enough throughout the day
- Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal
- Drink water when thirsty or hungry
- Having diarrhoea/vomiting, drink water to compensate for lost fluid
- Drink water while exercising and more during summer
- And drink water before bedtime