Water

image source: everyday health

While reading this article, we should put Fela’s ‘Water no get enemy’ song on replay. Water is life. It is vital to our very existence. Cleaning, washing, cooking and of course drinking. You may survive days without food, but you can’t confidently say that for water.

We all know we should drink loads of water, we hear about it everyday. But really, why? What’s the main reason behind doctors and specialists telling us to always drink water?

Did you know water makes up 90 percent of brain weight? It also makes up 60 percent of your body weight. Adequate hydration is essential for your body to function. Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it’s important to re-hydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. The amount of water you need depends on a variety of factors, including the climate you live in, how physically active you are, and whether you’re experiencing an illness or have any other health problems.

Nutritional Components of water:

  • Calories: 0
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g

Water has no nutritional value beyond itself, but that’s no game changer.

Here are some reasons why:

  • It helps weight loss: Water helps you feel full longer, without adding any additional calories. Drinking it or eating foods with a high water content can be a big help in managing your weight.
  • It aids in digestion: It aids in constipation and other abdominal issues, especially those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. It helps to move the digestive process along and through the system.
  • It boots energy: It delivers important nutrients to all of our cells, especially muscle cells, postponing muscle fatigue.
  • It hydrates skin: Forget expensive creams and cure-alls, water is the best defense against aging and wrinkles in the skin.
  • It detoxifies: Moves toxins through your system faster, and optimizes kidney function. Inadequate hydration means inadequate kidney function.

Now the question; how much water should I drink?

The guideline recommended amount is eight glasses per day, though this varies from person to person. Those who exercise regularly, work outside, or have chronic medical conditions should consume more hydration to compensate for more water loss.

There’s no rule cast in stone actually. Many individuals meet their daily hydration needs by simply drinking water when they’re thirsty, according to a report on nutrient recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. In fact, most people who are in good physical health get enough fluids by drinking water and other beverages when they’re thirsty, and also by drinking a beverage with each of their meals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’re not sure about your hydration level, look at your urine. If it’s clear, you’re in good shape. If it’s dark, you’re probably dehydrated.

As with most things in life, too much of a thing is bad. You can actually drink too much water, and this can be detrimental. Drinking way too much water too quickly leads to a condition called hyponatremia or ‘water intoxication.’ When that happens, the sodium levels in your blood drop way too fast and will make you sick. This is a medical emergency and can be fatal.

It’s easy to avoid hyponatremia by drinking a glass or two at a time and spread your water intake throughout the whole day.

Tips:

  • Get a water bottle on the go. Using a personal water bottle handy is a good way to keep up your water intake. Take a sip or two while you work, travel or exercise.
  • Add flavors to your water. It can get boring drinking just water all the time. Add lemon, cucumbers, strawberries or fresh herb.
  • If you want some fizz, buy a bottle of sparkling water.