It’s been almost imprinted in our brains that we should consume at least 2 litres of water a day, because that’s what is required for proper bodily functions. Our body is constantly losing water due to environmental factors, therefore, experts suggest that one should keep sipping on water even if we aren’t thirsty. Science suggests that our body is made up of 60% water which is used to flush out toxins, carry nutrients to cells and provide a moist environment for our ears, nose and throat. Needless to say, water is essential and there is no need to conduct a class 4 science class on the importance of water.
So the real question is… how much water is enough water? According to the Institute of Medicine, a male needs 13 cups of water a day while a female needs 9 cups. Though this is obviously an average estimate because our water intake depends on environmental factors, sex, diet, age, exercise and heat intensity. Some experts also suggest that drinking too much water can cause an electrolyte imbalance, especially in athletes. This imbalance could lead to nausea, headaches vomiting and fatigue – for the hypochondriacs, you aren’t drinking too much water don’t worry!
One quick way to check if you’re hydrated is to take a peek after you go to the powder room. If your urine is transparent and odorless, you’re well hydrated. The darker and more aromatic (for lack of a better term) your urine is, the more water you need to consume! Another thing you should worry about if you aren’t drinking enough water is kidney stones! Lack of water consumption and the formation of kidney stones have a very direct and real relationship. Consuming fruits and vegetables which contain water only make up for 20% of your total water intake, so it really isn’t enough.
Here is a great hydration calculator to get a good idea of how much water you should be drinking for your particular body type and daily activities.
Most health gurus believe in the 8×8 rule, which is basically drinking at least 8 glasses of water in a day. Then there are some health apps and calorie counting apps which remind you to drink water every hour. For some people, these could be too much, for some too little. But when it comes to drinking water, it’s always better to keep it simple. Follow these basics rules; consider them health tips for water!
- Drink water when you’re thirsty because nothing quenches your thirst better than water
- Drink more water than you usually would in a day when it’s hot outside.
- While exercising, make sure you drink enough water before, during and after your workout to maintain body fluids.
A quick tip: Very often, when you’re thirsty your mind tricks you to believe that you’re hungry. This can lead to an intake of unneeded calories. So the time next you think you’re hungry (or just so bored that you want to eat something), try sipping some water.