01 Jul Pass me the H2O
We need a lot of water
Did you know that water makes up 2/3 of your body weight? Every system in your body uses water to function. You need water to remove waste. Your blood is 50% water. Cells, tissues and organs all need water to function properly. Your brain cells are 80-90% water. Muscle cells are 60-70% water. Your joints need water to lubricate and water is used to regulate your body temperature. Your body needs water to transport nutrients. Water keeps your skin healthy and reduces wrinkles. Not replacing the water your body uses can cause headaches, fatigue, and constipation. In extreme cases you can feel dizzy, disoriented or lightheaded.
Each day we lose about 1.5L of water just through urination, breathing and sweating and tears. When the weather is warmer this amount increases. There are so many different recommendations as to how much water we should have each day to stay hydrated. One source I read said 1L for every 25kg of body weight. Another said 6-8 8oz glasses of water (roughly 2L if you do the 8 glasses). However if you drink caffeinated drinks you should add another glass of water to counter is because caffeine causes you to urinate more, taking water out of your system. If you do exercise you should add another glass of water as well. And if it’s a hot day you should also increase your water intake.
Can other drinks count toward our 2 litre intake?
Other types of drinks can also contribute to your daily intake of water, but sometimes they come with excess baggage you may not want (calories from sugar for example). Be sure to check the sugar and sodium levels of the drinks you’re choosing. Juice sounds good on the outside, but how many pieces of fruit does it take to fill that glass? We are recommended to have two pieces of fruit a day, but when you drink a glass of orange juice you could be drinking the juice of up to 8 or 9 oranges. That means you’re also getting the sugar as well, all in a concentrated glass of orange juice. Sports drinks are advertised to hydrate, replacing electrolytes, but they also have a level of carbohydrates and sugars. If you’re not exercising for more than an hour you really don’t need what is in that sports drink as you’re body is not exerting itself to the point where it needs that kind of fuel and replenishment. Energy drinks are another item to be wary of. They contain high levels of caffeine and stimulants like guarana and taurine, which can make you feel jittery. They also contain sugar.
It might seem a challenge to keep up with drinking 2-3L of water a day. I take along a drink bottle and keep refilling it with water throughout the day. I take it with me everywhere I go. Before I know it I’ve had my intake for the day. If you don’t like the idea of just drinking water and need a change, why not add a slice or two of lime, or lemon or orange to flavour the water.