The earth is ¾ water similarly the adult body is at least 60% water.
Water is our lifeline. It is the primary component of all body fluids like blood, lymph, digestive juices, tears, urine and sweat. Water is also involved in the most important body functions like digestion, absorption elimination, circulation etc. Besides this, water also carries the important electrolytes; mineral salts that help convey electrical signals in the body. Well hydrated skin looks younger and make hair shinier and less brittle.
With the summer months approaching water becomes even more important to prevent the chances of dehydration. Generally, if you are thirsty enough to drink water means you are already dehydrated. So it becomes important to keep drinking water periodically to ensure proper cell hydration. We hear that 6-8 glasses are a must everyday. This is a great baseline, but the amount of water your body needs depends on many more factors. Some of these to consider are:
- Your activity levels: the more active you are and sweat more, the more water replenishment you will need.
- Your size: the bigger you are the more you need.
- Climate or temperature: Hot, humid climates cause more water loss from the body.
- Special circumstances: like fever, diarrhea, constipation, kidney diseases which cause excessive water and electrolyte loss from the body, call for more water consumption.
- Diet: also plays an important role. If you consume dehydrating items like sodas, alcohol, coffee you need to replenish your water supply. Some foods like cucumbers and melons are a great source of water on a hot humid day. They are cooling to the body too.
Water is best consumed at several intervals throughout the day. Since I was a child, I am in the habit of drinking 1-2 glasses of warm/ tepid water first thing in the morning upon awakening. It’s an excellent way to start your day.
Heavy liquid consumption with meals should be avoided, as they tend to dilute the digestive juices and reduce food digestion and nutrient assimilation. Drinking about an hour before each meal is better.
I personally am not in favor of flavoured water, as it’s a source of added colors, sugars and preservatives to the body. Nothing like a fresh glass of water to rehydrate and recharge the body! But for those of you who are making the switch from sodas to water and crave some taste, I suggest adding some cucumber slices, or orange / lemon slices. strawberry slices or even some mint leaves to a big canister of cool water. It adds a great subtle taste without any added disadvantages of flavoured drinks.
So bottoms up folks…..to a cool glass of water!