Have you ever heard the phrase “water is life”? Well, it’s true.
Water is an essential nutrient. Our bodies cannot produce enough water to survive, so we must obtain water from food and water to survive.
Staying hydrated is one of the most basic elements of good health. But many people don’t want to drink too much plain water. Fortunately, there are many other healthy ways to stay hydrated.
Why hydration is important
Water is essential for many aspects of bodily function. About half of our blood is “plasma” and more than 90% is water. Plasma is essential for carrying energy, nutrients, and oxygen to the cells in your body that need it most.
Water helps remove waste products through the kidneys. It also helps lubricate joints, function the digestive system, regulate body temperature, and keep skin plump and strong.
Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, constipation, and dry mouth. Being severely dehydrated can lead to kidney stones and urinary tract infections. increases the risk of
If you feel thirsty, your body is already mildly dehydrated.
How much liquid do you need?
The amount of water you need changes with age. Our needs decrease compared to our weight. Therefore, newborn babies have a higher need for water (per kilogram of body weight) than their parents, and older adults have lower water needs than young adults.
Fluid requirements are related to metabolic needs and vary from person to person. Normal water turnover in adults is about 4% of total body weight per day.
For example, if you weigh 70 kilograms (154 pounds), you lose approximately 2.5 to 3 liters of water per day (excluding sweating). This means that you need to consume that amount of water from food and drink to stay hydrated.
Eight cups (or two liters) a day is often mentioned as the amount of water you should aim for and is a good way to track your intake. However, individual differences based on age, gender, size, and activity level are not taken into account.
Alcohol has a diuretic effect. In other words, it dehydrates the body by promoting water loss through urine. This fluid loss is an important factor contributing to the severity of a hangover. Always have a glass of water between alcoholic beverages to help you stay hydrated.
Caffeinated drinks (such as tea and coffee) have only a mild diuretic effect. For most healthy adults, up to 400 mg of caffeine per day is fine. This is equivalent to 4 cups of coffee or 8 cups of tea. Drinking more than this can affect your hydration levels.
Check Australian guidelines for fluid intake to see specific requirements.
People who need special attention
Some people are at increased risk of adverse health effects from dehydration and should pay special attention to their fluid intake.
The highest priority groups are babies, young children, pregnant women and the elderly. These groups have a relatively high water requirement per kilogram of body weight, a low ability to detect and respond to dehydration, and barriers to regular fluid intake. higher risk.
Family and friends can play an important role in supporting loved ones in staying hydrated, especially during the warmer months.
10 ideas to keep your body fluid
- Download the hydration reminder app on your smartphone
This keeps you on track throughout the day and gives you a digital “high five” when you hit your water goals.
- add sugar free perfume
Try adding sugar-free fruit infusions to your water to make it more appealing. Prepare a jug in the refrigerator, infuse overnight, and chill the next day.
- add some fresh fruit
Add lime, lemon, berries, pineapple, or orange slices to your water bottle for a natural flavor. If you store the bottle in the refrigerator, the fruit will stay fresh for about three days.
- Make a jug of iced tea (not the bottled one)
There are many great sugar-free recipes online. Tea also contributes to hydration. For green and black teas, brew with boiling water, chill on a bench overnight, then refrigerate. Fruit tea can be made quickly with cold water.
- add some cordial to your water
Having a small amount of cordial in your water is a healthier alternative to drinking sugar-sweetened soft drinks or fruit juices. Diet cordial also has less added sugar.
- Make a fruit “slushie”
Drinking a mix of fresh fruit, ice, and water at home in the morning will increase your water intake throughout the day.
- buy home soda maker
Some people find that plain water tastes better when it has bubbles. Sparkling mineral water is also great, as long as it doesn’t have added sugar or sweeteners.
- Drink a glass of water before eating anything
Make it your rule to drink a glass of water before every snack or meal.
- eat watery fruits and vegetables
Many fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water. The best include berries, oranges, grapes, carrots, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, and melons.
- use a water bottle
Carry it with you during the day and keep it by your bed at night.
water bottle tips
Water bottles seem to be everywhere, sometimes providing not only hydration but also emotional support.
Having your favorite water bottle is a great way to stay hydrated during the day.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but go wash your emotional support water bottle
— Rio (@riomat7) August 28, 2022
Pay attention to the material of the water bottle and use something that you can get used to. Some people prefer metal water bottles because they keep the water cooler (some feel like camping).
Some people prefer glass bottles because the water is not affected by the flavor of the container (some fear the glass will break).
Also consider the practical side. Will it fit in your bag? Is it light enough to carry around? Can you “chuggle” it when you’re very thirsty? Does the lid need to be screwed on? How durable is the leak proof? Do your homework on the essential accessory, the water bottle.
Lauren Ball, Professor of Community Health and Wellbeing at the University of Queensland, and nutritionist and researcher Emily Burch, University of Queensland
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Please read the original article.