Water for the Win!
1. The importance of good hydration
- Approximately 60 to 75% of our body consists of water.
- Approximately 1-1.5L of water is lost on a daily basis through the skin, lungs, and gut and via the kidneys as urine.
This mechanism is important in order to ensure that waste substances are eliminated from the body. An adequate water intake is necessary for optimal bowel function. Water plays a vital role with regards to weight loss, as water is one of the components that are necessary for fat oxidation. The oxidation of 100g of fat yields 107g of water. Dehydration will slow down fat oxidation which can affect weight loss. Dehydration (2% of body weight) results in impaired physiologic and performance responses. Beverages that can lead to dehydration include: alcohol and caffeine containing drinks
2. How much water an adult must drink a day?
Aim to drink 6-8 glasses daily, even more when exposed to extreme environmental conditions and when participating in physical activity. Thirst is not a good indicator of fluid requirements as we do not actually get thirsty when we do not drink enough water. We also often mistake thirst for hunger. If we are properly hydrated our appetites tend to be better controlled.
3. How will I know if I am dehydrated or someone is dehydrated?
2 Stronger thirst, vague discomfort, loss of appetite
3 Decreasing blood volume, impaired physical performance
4 Increased effort for physical work, nausea
5 Difficulty concentrating
6-7 Failure to regulate excess temperature
8-9 Dizziness, labored breathing with exercise, increased weakness
10 Muscle spasms, delirium and wakefulness
11 Inability of decreased blood volume to circulate normally; failing renal function
4. Practical tips to increase water intake
- Add lemon or mint to your water
- Drink Soda water or plain sparkling mineral water can also be used
- Drink Herbal tea or Rooibos without sugar and milk can be used to increase your fluid intake.
- Aspartame-free, sugar-free cordials such as Brook’s Low-Cal and Sweeto can added to water to enhance the flavor.
- Add water enhancers
Yours in health ,