- Avni Kaul, Guest Editor
Everyone needs different amount of water to lead a healthy life depending on one’s general health and the level of activity one indulges in the place of residence or away from it.
A human body’s most important survival need is sufficient water. Water is needed by every cell, tissue and organ to work properly. Water helps get rid of body waste. It maintains the body temperature. It lubricates and cushions joints and other sensitive tissues. Dehydration caused by insufficient water in the body can lead to draining of energy making one feel sluggish and tired.
About 3.7 litres of fluids a day for men and 2.7 litres of fluids a day for women are recommended for an average healthy adult living in a temperate climate. It is important to replenish the fluids one loses through breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements from food and beverages including water. Generally, eight glasses of water every day vary from one individual to another.
WATER NEEDS ARE INFLUENCED BY VARIOUS FACTORS
The water requirement fluctuates according to the level of exercise one undertakes. It is important to keep oneself hydrated by drinking water before, during and after workout. A sports drink or a protein shake should be taken if the exercise lasts longer than an hour so that minerals or electrolytes lost through sweat are replaced.
Dehydration due to sweating in hot and humid weather or at high altitudes need to be looked into.
Ailments like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, bladder infections and urinary tract stones require those afflicted to drink more water than usual or in extreme cases, drink oral rehydration solutions.
PREGNANCY OR BREAST FEEDING
It is important for pregnant women and those breast feeding to remain hydrated at all times. That is why their fluid requirement goes upto 3 litres everyday.
OTHER SOURCES OF WATER
Many fruits and vegetables like watermelon and spinach provide sufficient fluids to the body. Milk, juice, tea, even coffee and soda keep us hydrated but water should be preferred over all of these because it is free of calories, inexpensive and easily available. Sports and energy drinks should be consumed only after an intensive workout.
It is important to stay hydrated all the time to prevent the onset of various ailments. The urine should be colourless or light yellow ideally. If it is not, then water consumption should be increased. Drink water before, during and after exercise. Also drink water or any other low calorie beverage with every meal and between meals too. Sometimes, thirst is confused with hunger pangs. Having sufficient water at regular intervals is the most effective way to maintain good health. So, here is to drinking more water. Cheers!!
Avni Kaul is a nutritionist and certified diabetes instructor. You can find out more about her out here.