Are you unsure if you should drink more water and wonder if it actually helps you in improving your overall health? You are at the right place. As British poet W. H. Auden once said:
“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”
W. H. Auden knew what he was talking about. Without water, the human body can’t survive. Body temperature becomes a problem, the joints begin to lose lubrication and the muscles start tiring easily.
Your body – every single cell, tissue and organ – needs water to function properly.
An adult male needs about 3 litres per day while women need to drink 2 litres of water.
Are you drinking enough?
If you’re consuming enough water, urine flows freely, is light (colourless to pale yellow) in color and free of odour. If it begins to turn yellow, it’s the first sign that points towards lesser consumption. Feeling thirsty means that you are already dehydrated; just a glass may not help.
We give you six reasons to start drinking up more water.
#1 It helps maintain the balance of fluids in the body
About 60 to 70 percent of your body weight is actually water. This fluid is involved in a variety of critical tasks, including circulation, digestion, absorption, transport, creation of saliva and maintenance of body temperature.
#2 It keeps your kidneys in fine fettle
Body fluids are what keep your cells going as they transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin, blood urea nitrogen, is a water-soluble waste that the kidneys throw out through the urine. But only if you’re drinking enough water.
#3 It makes, err, the morning ritual easier
Ample consumption of water keeps things moving along the gastrointestinal tract and maintains normal bowel function. If you don’t drink enough water, the colon pulls water from the stools to maintain hydration. What happens next? Constipation.
#4 It can help control calories
For years, water has been used by those on a diet. Whether you substitute it for higher calorie beverages or drink up a glass before a meal to feel satiated (and consequently eat lesser), water can aid your weight loss efforts.
#5 It helps energise your muscles
If your cells don’t have the correct balance of fluids and electrolytes, they tend to shrivel up and cause muscle fatigue. But naturally they don’t work well and performance suffers.
#6 It helps your skin look its best
The skin contains a lot of water and works as a natural barrier to prevent excessive loss of fluids. Drinking ample water ensures that your skin stays soft and supple. But be warned; over-hydrating doesn’t work as an anti-ageing supplement!
The importance of tracking water
You think you’re getting the recommended quota but majority of the times most people tend to undershoot it. It’s important to have water when your body needs it the most – when you wake up, before a meal, never during a meal as this affects the digestive juices. Sip water through the day instead of consuming it in a few hours.
How to do it?
Put reminders on your phone. Keep separate bottles for everyone in the home and ensure that people get habituated to toting them around. Put sticky notes and notices on the refrigerator to remind yourself and others. Give children at work or play a glassful in their hand so they drink enough. At work, always keep a bottle at hand.
Keep in mind
- You may need to top up with water if you sweat a lot, pass more urine or have frequent bowel movements.
- Juices cannot be considered water by any stretch of the imagination; they contain sugar and so calories.
- Coffee and tea are dehydrating; they tend to toss out water from your body. Add an extra glass for every cup you consume.
- Make your water more interesting by adding seasonal fruits and herbs. A chunk of watermelon, a slice of apple, some mint…fruit waters taste great and have zero calories.