My favorite drink is water. What about you?

I had dinner in a restaurant recently after an especially active day that included about five km of running, 20 minutes of gym and full on household work. I drank only half a glass of water and no other drink with my meal.

I paid attention to the fact that I never used the washroom that night. The next day I woke up exhausted and tired..that seemed a little strange. A quick morning jog and some floor exercises made my throat parched and very soon I was panting like ‘Amaya’ – my dear Labrador. I dragged myself to the water dispenser and drank three glasses of water in one go. I suddenly felt like a new person all together. My throat didn’t feel like sand paper any longer.

It seems mild dehydration was my problem, and the experience prompted me to take a closer look at the body’s need for water under a variety of circumstances.

.  .  .

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Let’s start with some facts.

? Water is the single most important substance we consume. You can survive for about two months without food, but you would die in about seven days without water. Water makes up about 75 percent of an infant’s weight and 55 percent of an older person’s weight.

?In most cases, thirst is a reliable signal that more water is needed. A main job of the kidneys is to excrete just enough water to keep cells properly hydrated. However, contrary to myth, dark urine does not necessarily mean you’re dehydrated. Urine can be discolored by many types of foods.

?Another popular myth: To moisturize skin, prevent wrinkles and produce a glowing complexion, you need to drink eight glasses of water a day. Drinking extra water doesn’t improve skin in people who are otherwise well hydrated. Better to use a moisturizer to counter dry skin.

?Good hydration definitely protects against kidney stones, and there is evidence that it counters constipation and exercise-induced asthma. It may also help protect against vascular diseases, like stroke, an elevated heart rate or sudden drop in blood pressure and is especially important for people with diabetes.

Despite the vital importance of water, there are relatively few good studies of how much is needed, by whom and under what circumstances. We do not truly understand how hydration affects health and well-being, even the impact of water intakes on chronic diseases.

There are no formal guidelines on how much water people need each day. The amount is affected by what people eat, their weight and activity level and even the environment in which they live.

The World Health Organisation, which issues time to time recommendations on the amounts of nutrients we need, states that an “adequate intake” of water ranges from 700 milliliters (about three cups) a day for newborns to 3.8 liters (16 cups) for lactating women. Still, the organisation concluded that “individuals can be adequately hydrated at levels below as well as above the adequate intakes provided.”

 Inadequate hydration can have debilitating effects. Many peer reviewed studies showed that dehydration can adversely affect vigilance, concentration, reaction time, learning, memory, mood and reasoning and can cause headaches, fatigue and anxiety.

 Older people are among those at greatest risk of poor hydration. The mechanism of thirst becomes less effective with age, and many older people cut back on how much they drink to limit how often they need to get to a bathroom.

So to sum it up on has to know ones own body and decide how much of water to drink to keep ourselves healthy and comfortable.

Start your day with a glass of water, and never lose sight of it, because out of sight is out of mind.

Finish two to three liters by the end of the day. Do it, till it becomes your habit. 


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