We cannot deny that 70% of our body is made up of water and all cells and organs in the body need water to function and carry out their respective processes. Deep down, we know that water is important for overall health and well-being but a lot of us either forget or ignore our daily water intake.
Drinking water throughout the day helps to increase metabolism (the sum total of all chemical processes involved in maintaining the living state of the cells and the organism) and improves digestion, which results in better absorption of nutrients from the food that we eat.
Keeping ourselves hydrated helps us stay away from unwanted snacking on junk food and reduces hunger pangs. Re-hydration and detoxification are not only good for the body but also helps to keep our hair lustrous and skin glowing!
The human body loses water through sweating, urination, and breathing and if the body water balance is not right, one wouldn’t feel too great. Dehydration (a condition in which there is excessive loss of fluids in our body) or lack of water in the body can lead to parched skin, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, irritability, and muscle cramps.
A well-balanced diet along with good hydration levels ensures absorption of water-soluble vitamins (vitamins that dissolve in water) that are not stored but excreted and are a part of various metabolic pathways in the human body. They are namely, Vitamin B1(thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cyanocobalamin), and Vitamin C.
How Much Water Should One Drink Every Day?
Drinking 8 to 10 glasses per day is considered a standard recommendation but how much water should one actually be drinking? The amount of water intake for every individual depends on their age, height, weight, physical activity level, humidity, and temperature of the area in which they stay in and also medical conditions like renal or liver disorders, pregnancy, etc., or illnesses like vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea.
Considering this, the standard 8 glasses for water may be too little for some and much more for others. Since drinking water is a great habit to abide by in general, one should not cut back in case one is already having 8 glasses of water or more per day.
The recent recommendations by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), says that women should consume about 2.7 liters and men should consume about 3.7 liters of total water per day coming from plain water and foods and beverages throughout the day.
Yes, our food contains water too. Including foods with high water content in our diet like watermelon (92%), muskmelon (90%), berries (91%), oranges (88%) cucumber (95%), cabbage (92%), tomato (94%), capsicum (92%) and cauliflower (92%) helps in maintaining the water balance in the body.
One should also avoid frequent and excess consumption of alcoholic or caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee, iced tea, and cola in order to maintain their hydration.
Alcohol and caffeine are diuretic (these increase the amount of water and salt expelled from the body as urine) and lead to excess elimination of water from the body and cause dehydration.
Opting for non-caffeinated beverages like coconut water, vegetable juices or soups, smoothies and milkshakes, water infused with fruit, lemon, basil, or mint leaves and herbal tea with spices like cardamom or cinnamon can be interesting ways to make our experience of drinking water more enjoyable. Thus, it can be said that drinking plain water is not the only way to stay hydrated.
5 Easy Ways to Drink More Water Every Day
As difficult as it is, keeping track of our daily water intake may sound like extra work but here are 5 easy and doable ways to remind ourselves to stay hydrated:
Drink a glass of water one hour before or after your meals and every time you use the washroom.
Carry a water bottle EVERYWHERE and fill it up once it's empty.
Set an alarm or install a tracker app on your tablet/phone. You can download a ‘Daily Water Reminder App’ and set a daily water intake goal. Next, you will have to log every ounce (or milliliter) with just a tap. The app will show a detailed stats update after every glass to see how close you are getting to your daily goal.
Make opportunities to drink water. Have a glass of water if you are going out or coming home, eating something, brushing your teeth, or getting out of bed.
Setting personal goals for the day, for example drinking X bottles of water within Y amount of time will help keep you motivated. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you hit your set target.
With that said, let’s make it a point to give our body the hydration that it needs. Old habits die hard and new habits take time to form but persistence is the key! It is okay to drink less on some days and more on others as long as you are consistent.
After all, isn’t it a good practice to keep a track of something that is vital for your overall health and well-being? Stay hydrated to stay healthy!
Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.