Wednesday, July 19

Why hydration is vital for good health

Man drinking a glass of water

When looking for signs of life on distant planets, scientists initially check for water. After all, according to the rules of nature, for life as we know it to exist and flourish, water is a must.

We humans on Earth greatly benefit from drinking water. It aids in nutrition delivery to cells, controls blood pressure and body temperature, guards against infections, and maintains organ health. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that adults who drink plenty of water appear to be healthier and experience fewer chronic illnesses. On the other hand, chronic dehydration increases the risk of ailments like kidney stones, constipation, and urinary tract infections. Dehydration can also affect how well a person can pay attention and remember things.

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Do you need to drink more water?
Even though water is essential for life, older people often struggle to consume enough of it. According to Dr. Qi Sun, associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, "Part of the problem is that the sense of thirst diminishes with age, so many older adults can't always tell when they are dehydrated." And chances are good that they are already dehydrated when they become thirsty.

Dehydration symptoms include tiredness, weakness, confusion, loss of short-term memory, and an increase in irritability. The colour of your urine is one indicator of your level of hydration. Your urine should be clear or have a faint straw colour when you're properly hydrated. If your urine is a dark yellow or amber colour, you should drink more water.

The best way to avoid becoming dehydrated is to drink enough water each day. The National Academy of Medicine advises males to drink roughly 10 cups of water each day, assuming they will consume an additional 3 cups of food. This sum serves as a broad guideline rather than a daily objective. Still, according to Dr. Sun, "it's a good number to aim for for the average person."

When you workout and sweat a lot or when it's hot outside, you may need to drink more water. (As a general rule, you should consume two to three cups of water every hour in these circumstances, or even more if you're perspiring severely.) When someone vomits or has diarrhoea, they also need to drink more water.

According to Dr. Sun, drinking plain water is the best option. However, coffee and tea, as well as all beverages containing water, help you meet your daily needs. It's a myth that drinking these beverages with caffeine will cause you to urinate more frequently, which will cause you to become dehydrated. (After consuming two or three cups, you'll need to go to the toilet due to their water content rather than the caffeine.)

However, if you are caffeine-sensitive, you should watch your intake because too much caffeine might make you restless or prevent you from falling asleep.

Unsweetened carbonated water is also acceptable to consume, but you should avoid using sweetened drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and "vitamin waters" as your main sources of fluids because they can contain a lot of sugar. Otherwise, consider the following advice to stay hydrated:

Have water on hand. When water is readily available, you are more inclined to drink. Four times a day, fill a 20-ounce bottle with water and sip throughout the day.

Plan regular drinking hours. To remind yourself to drink, set alarms on your computer or phone.

When you eat, drink. With every meal and snack, sip on a full glass of water. Water should be consumed at room temperature as well. According to research, serving water at room temperature encourages people to drink it more frequently.

Boost the flavours. Water can be made more appealing in several ways. For instance, add natural flavours to a pitcher of water like ginger, cucumber, crushed fresh mint, or slices of citrus fruit (lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit). A splash of fruit juice can also be added to a glass of water as an alternative.

Consume foods high in water. Foods with a high water content contribute to your daily requirements as well. Leafy greens, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, berries, and melons like watermelon and cantaloupe are among the examples. These are at least 90% water, if not more. As a general rule, consider half the serving to be water. One cup of watermelon, for instance, has around half a cup of water in it.

In some health situations, it is possible to consume too much water daily. You may experience these if you have issues with your thyroid, kidney, liver, or heart, or if you use prescriptions like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, opiate pain relievers, and some antidepressants that cause you to retain water. Others, like some laxatives and blood pressure medications, can worsen dehydration. Consult your doctor to find out how much water you should drink each day if you fall into one of these groups.



1 comment

  1. Drinking water is so important, and I'm always trying to be better about it!

    Make Life Marvelous

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