Drinking Water and The Importance of Staying Hydrated
Updated: Aug 23, 2021
This week I shared a recipe for Nimbu Paani which is a traditional salted and spiced lemonade found across India and Pakistan especially during the summer months to stay cool and hydrated.
Having enough water in your system is so important especially in this hot weather. I'm getting to the point however that I know I'm not drinking enough water being cooped up indoors in the AC and also having one two many grown-up drinks with summer celebrations, vacations etc. I definitely need to be drinking more water so wanted to share the importance of staying hydrated, mostly for myself, but for others like me who know they should be having more water!
Why should we drink water?
So why should we drink the clear stuff? Well adult humans are 60% water while our blood is 90% water. Having enough water in your body allows normal, healthy, bodily function such as:
Lubricating joints (cartilage, found in joints and the discs of the spine contain 80% water);
Forming saliva and mucus helping to digest food and keeping the mouth, nose and eyes moist;
Delivering oxygen throughout the body with blood being 90% water;
Boosting skin health (dehydrated skin is more prone to skin disorders and premature wrinkling);
Supporting the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Prolonged dehydration can interfere with thinking and reasoning;
Regulating body temperature (through sweating);
Digesting food. The bowels need water to work properly and dehydration can lead to digestive problems;
Removing waste from the body through sweating, urine and feces;
Maintaining blood pressure by keeping the blood from thickening;
Keeping the airways healthy and functioning (when dehydrated the airways restrict in an effort to minimize water loss);
Making minerals and nutrients available to the body since they dissolve in water;
Healthy kidney function. If they do not function properly, waste products and excess fluid can build up inside the body.
How much should we be drinking?
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.
However, how much water your body needs varies person to person, depending on things like age, body weight, activity level, if you're breastfeeding, have a fever, diarrhea or vomiting.
Another way to determine your water intake is calculating it from your weight. Take your weight in pounds and multiply it by 2/3, the result is your water intake in ounces. Add an additional 12 ounces of water for every 30 minutes you work out.
You'll know if you're drinking enough water if your rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow. A doctor or dietician can help determine how much water you should be drinking every day.
How can we increase our water intake?
There are so many reasons we should be drinking water during the day as listed above. Our body needs it to function normally, but it can get difficult to make sure we're getting enough water with busy schedules and unintentionally dehydrating ourselves with multiple coffee breaks and Happy Hours! Here are some ways to help you drink more:
Carry a water bottle during the day, making sure to drink and refill! I've seen some people with huge water bottles or have markings on them aiming to drink to those points by certain times in the day.
Have water with every meal and snack.
Make water infusions with cucumber, mint. citrus fruits and berries to make it taste better.
Eat more fruits and vegetables, their high water content will contribute to your hydration! Think lettuce, cucumber, melons...
Let me know how you keep yourself hydrated in the comments below!
Take good care of yourselves, stay hydrated friends! (go drink a glass of water now)