In the past few days, I’ve heard a few common complaints around me: feeling dizzy, getting tired easily and a general feeling of sluggishness throughout the day. On probing people further about their diet and lifestyle, it turned out that all of them had one thing in common — they didn’t drink enough water!
As summer gets harsher and the mercury levels soar in the city, you are going to sweat more. So, it is especially important that you ensure that your body gets all its important fluids and stays hydrated.Hydration is the process of replacing water in the body.This can be done through drinking water, eating ice chips, eating foods that have high water content, drinking other fluids or an intravenous or IV line.
Drinking enough water may seem like an obvious and quintessential summer tip, but I think most of us need reminders on it every now and then; otherwise, we tend to let its importance slip out of our mind.
Whether you stepping out in the sun every day or are comfortably cocooned in your AC office, here are a few things about your daily water intake that you need to know.
What Does Water Do For Your Body?
On an average, all adult human bodies are made up of 60% water, while a newborn baby’s body has almost 75% water. For all of us, it is present in our kidney, liver, stomach, bladder and even in the spinal cord, in the form of spinal fluid.
Our brain and heart, two of the most important functioning organs, are actually made up of 75% water. We also need water for every breath that we take — our lungs have about 83% water!
There is a lot more water in our body than we actually realize. Our bones may appear strong and solid, but even they have 31 % water. While water forms an integral part in the functioning of major organs, most of it is stored in our body in the form of cells.
So, water is a basic necessity for all the organs in our body to be able to function properly. If we are not giving our body enough water, our overall functioning will get affected by it.
It affects our energy levels as well, because one of its functions is to transport oxygen and glucose to all parts of your body. It is a fine lubricant for our muscles and joints.
Our muscles have strength and are flexible only because water gives a base to facilitate these functions. Similarly, our joints require water to avoid stiffness.
Additionally, it also helps us to get rid of toxins and regulates our stress and anxiety levels. It also boosts our metabolism; so water indirectly helps us with weight loss.
Our brain requires water to be able to communicate; so if the body temperature needs to be regulated, our brain will be able to send messages across only if it has sufficient water at its disposal.
So, we may go for hours without eating anything, but we can’t function normally without drinking water for a long time. Water is like a magic potion for our body and we need to understand the importance of water.
A lot of times, all that our body needs, is enough water. While we may not understand it, our body has different ways of communicating that it requires more water.
What Happens If Your Body Doesn’t Get Enough Water?
Our body’s subtle signs may not seem directly related to our intake of water, but a lot of times, a glass of water is all that’s needed to fix it all. Some of these signs include:
- Muscle weakness
- Dry Mouth
- Lack of concentration
- Poor sleep
- Bad skin
How Much Water Does Your Body Need Every Day?
The general belief is that all of us require 8 glasses of water. But other lifestyle factors should also be taken into consideration when answering that question. If you have a sedentary lifestyle and work in an air-conditioned office, then two to two and a half liters of water per day should be enough for you.
If your job requires you to roam out in the sun, or you are exercising regularly, then you should consumer at least 3-4 glasses of extra water.
You need to drink water throughout the day, but it becomes especially important when you’re involved in physical activity. For every 20 minutes of exercising, you must drink at least one glass of water.
This will help your body replenish all the water that it is losing with perspiration.
Also, it is important to drink two to four glasses of water right after you wake up. After a long gap of no food and water, if you drink water, it will help in clearing out your colon and renewing cells.
Can you substitute water with energy drinks?
I believe that there is absolutely no substitute to water. Energy drinks contain a lot of caffeine which actually dehydrates your body. They are also known to make your heart pump faster which increases your blood pressure.
This, in turn, opens up the risk of heat stress. If you’re exercising, your heart rate is already raised, so I absolutely would advise you to pick water over any energy drinks available.
Drinking enough pure water and juices is one way of ensuring that you’re getting hydrated well, but that’s not all. You can incorporate water-rich foods in your diet too to make your body’s requirements.
In general, it is believed that your food should be contributing roughly 20 percent to your daily water intake. Consuming cucumber, lemon, watermelon, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, cantaloupe, celery, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, cabbage and cauliflower can contribute a large amount of water to your body.
Now that you know how important water is for your body, reach for a refreshing glass of water already! You need to make a conscious effort to ensure you are drinking enough water.
If you need reminders, just download apps in your phone that will remind you to drink water. Don’t wait for your body to send you warning signals, just drink water at regular intervals throughout the day.