Staying hydrated is critically important to ensure overall good health. Your body uses water and other fluids to clear off the toxins and maintain optimal temperature. In addition, it also helps to deliver nutrients to the cells. Many situations and some disorders can drain fluids out of your body. Most notably, it’s during the summer that people lose more water
This may lead to many health problems. For example, dizziness, sunken eyes and dry mouth, extreme weakness, and little urine. All of us know that we should drink water to stay hydrated. But other drinks can give you similar benefits as well. Moreover, avoiding some foods and drinks can help you cut down water loss.
Why Water Isthe Most Preferred Fluid to Stay Hydrated
“No water, no life. No blue, no green”. Anything about water cannot be truer than this. In fact, the clear, colorless, odorless, and tasteless liquid forms the basis of life.
Water is devoid of calories and does not contain any additives. Also, not to forget that it is wallet-friendly and readily available.
How Much Water Do You Need In A Day?
This is a common question, but finding the answer is often tricky. Because many factors influence your need, an exact number might be missing in almost every case. Nonetheless, some guidelines may help you figure out how much water you should drink.
According to The Institute of Medicine, about 3 liters of total water (for males) and 2.2 liters (for females) everyday may be considered enough. But there is something more to this than just the numbers. First, the total beverages do not mean you should take only water. Next, your intake can change according to the level of activity, climatic factors, health conditions, and body weight.
Another popular recommendation is eight glasses per day. While this has not been fully supported by the evidence, you could give it a try. In fact, the “eight glasses per day guideline”is quite close to that given by The Institute of Medicine.
In general, it is not an uphill task to find out how much water you need in a day. Nonetheless, if you cannot make up your mind, you may consult a dietician or nutritionist.
What Other Drinks You Can Have To Stay Hydrated?
It’s not always that you should gulp down gallons to keep you from dehydration. Other, probably tastier, options are also available. Drinks other than water also contain some amounts of water in them.
Consider the following foods and drinks in addition to water.
- Take fruit juices but count the calories.
- Drink unsweetened iced tea and coffee in moderation.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables that have high water content. For example, watermelon, cucumber, and spinach. In addition to providing water, they are also good sources of healthy dietary fibers.
- If you love the taste of beer or wine, you could drink them too. Just make sure not to cross the recommended limits. If you have more, they might cause dehydration. Drink the same amount of water for each alcoholic drink you have.
What You Should Avoid To Stay Hydrated
Interestingly, some drinks can actually cause dehydration. This is more likely when you overdo them. For example, it is generally safe to drink a few cups of coffee or tea everyday. But when you have more than four cups, your body starts losing water. Caffeine, the active chemical in coffee and tea promotes the loss of fluids through urine. Alcoholic drinks also have the same effects on your body.
The key, here, is not avoiding all the drinks you love. But drink in moderation so the net loss of water does not cause any health issues.
- Your body needs fluids to run its day-to-day physiological functions. In fact, it is essential for almost every function inside the body.
- Hydration is important for your heart, too. When you have high blood pressure, the amount of sodium in the body is high. To flush the excess salt, you need to drink more water.
- Dehydration is a condition that results when you do not have enough fluids. Failing to stay hydrated as per your body’s needs can lead to many adverse health effects. Unfortunately, some can be life-threatening. Chronic dehydration, on the other hand, is a long-term condition and results when you consume very little fluids for years.
- Certain situations or health conditions can increase the need for fluids. For example, summer activities, hot climate, and diabetes.
- Severe dehydration is a medical emergency, especially among children. It may result due to severe diarrhea or vomiting. Watch for the dangerous signs such as extremely dry mouth and eyes, very little or no urine, fainting and extreme weakness or dizziness.
- Do not gulp down all fluids at once. Instead, drink glasses throughout the day. The most appropriate way might be to drink a glass with each meal or while taking medicine.
- Have water or any sports drink during exercise to avoid dehydration.
- Very rarely, drinking too much water can be harmful. But the risk is almost zero for an average person. What actually happens is, too much water flushes out the essential electrolytes. This results in a condition called hyponatremia.
Want To Know More?
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