Water: A Miracle Drink
Water has always remained the most essential and basic component of life for all living creatures, since the beginning of the world. The survival of mankind is impossible without water. Water is essential to good health that keeps the functioning of every system in the body properly. Drinking enough water every day can prevent dehydration, a condition that can cause confusing thoughts, mood changes, overheating body, constipation, and kidney stones.
How Much Water Should a Person Drink a Day?
Every day a person loses water through breathing, sweating, urine, and bowel movements. So for the body to function properly, it is essential to rehydrate and replenish the water supply by consuming beverages and foods containing water.
The recommended daily water intake is:
It is recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. This is commonly called the 8x8 rule. But, it is not applied to everyone. Most healthy people can stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than eight glasses per day may be enough. Others may need more.
Who Are at Risk for Dehydration?
One may need to modify the total fluid intake based on several factors, including:
Exercise: People who do any vigorous activity that causes profuse sweating should drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It is essential to drink the right amount of water before, during, and after a workout for good hydration.
Environment: Hot or humid weather can cause excessive sweating and requires additional fluid.
Overall Health: The body loses fluids in health conditions like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, bladder infections, and urinary tract stones. Drinking more water or following a doctor's recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions can help replace the fluid loss in the body.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, may need additional fluid intake to stay hydrated.
Older adults: Older adults are at a higher risk of dehydration due to decreased thirst response, low fluid content in the body, decreased kidney functions, and health conditions and medications.
What Are the Health Benefits of Drinking Water?
Here are the reasons to drink enough water or other fluids every day:
1. Water Helps in Weight Loss: One of the major benefits that people can get is weight reduction. This is more helpful for persons who are obese and want to lose weight. Drinking one to two glasses of water 20 to 30 minutes before a meal helps reduce weight. Doing so reduces the quantity of food one can eat and decrease the appetite. Drinking water before meals results in an average reduction in intake of 75 calories per meal.
2. Water Keeps Muscles Energized: Like most things in the body, muscles also require a balance to function properly. Without enough water, the muscles do not get the electrolytes needed to maintain balance, which results in weakened strength and control, and even dehydration. Drinking the appropriate amount of water helps muscles become energized, makes a person more awake, and alert, and enhances performance.
3. Water Helps Improve Skin: Dehydration makes the skin look more dull, dry, and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration. Drinking adequate amounts of water not only helps keep the skin nourished and moisturized but also keeps the skin glowing and fresh. Water also flushes out harmful toxins from the skin in the form of perspiration.
4. Water Helps Keep Kidneys Healthy: The kidneys play a major role in cleansing and getting the body rid of toxins such as urea, creatinine, and uric acid. Water helps the kidneys eliminate wastes from the blood in the form of urine. In the presence of enough fluids, urine flows freely and it is light-colored and odorless. Insufficient fluids in the body increase urine concentration, color, and odor because the kidneys trap excess fluid for bodily functions. People who drink too little water may be at a higher risk for kidney stones, especially in hot climates.
5. Water Aids in Digestion: Drinking water during or after a meal aids in digestion. Water and other fluids help break down large chunks of food so that the body can absorb the nutrients. Water also helps in softening stool, which helps prevent constipation.
What Are Ways to Drink More Water?
Here are some tips to increase the fluid intake and get the benefits of water:
Choose beverages of your own choice.
Include more fruits and vegetables in the diet. The high water content in fruits and vegetables adds to hydration.
Always keep a bottle of water in the car or at the workplace. Refill it throughout the day.
Add flavor to the water for enhanced taste. Lemons, oranges, cucumber, watermelon, strawberries, and herbs are good options.
Take water while traveling.
Drink plenty of water instead of sweetened beverages.
Drink water when feeling hungry. Usually, thirst is confused with hunger. True hunger is never satisfied with drinking water. Drinking water can also contribute to a healthy weight-reduction plan. Research suggests that drinking water can help a person feel more full.
Stay hydrated during, and after a workout session.
Water is important to most bodily functions. Good hydration helps in better functioning of the digestive system, prevents constipation, flushes toxins from the body, promotes good kidney function, keeps the muscles energized, and improves skin. Since the body has no way to store water it is essential to rehydrate and replenish the water supply by increasing fluid intake.
Frequently Asked Questions