(Pssst…. can I tell you a secret about drinking water) 😉
This is my first blog post and today being 22 March which is World Water Day, it makes sense in writing something about water! That being decided, I was planning to title this article “The Importance Of Regularizing Water Intake” or maybe “Drinking Water Dos and Don’ts” but the marketer in me found them boring, hence the “secret” word to get your attention 🙂
You’re probably wondering…. what has water got to do with someone who wants to focus on marketing and business? A lot, actually. I urge you to read this post even if you think you know everything about water, you may be pleasantly surprised! In fact if you do nothing else but regularize your water intake, you will feel fuller of energy than you have ever felt before! You will see a noticeable improvement within 3 days for everything you do, physically and mentally.
Basic Facts: About 60% of your body weight is water. Water helps transport nutrients, removes waste from the body and regulate the body temperature. Water is also essential for the brain. Studies have shown that a mere reduction of 2% body fluid due to dehydration not only reduces physical performances but causes a decline in mental functionality, cognitive performance, psychomotor (origination of movement in conscious mental activity) and visuomotor (coordination of movement and visual perception by the brain). So if you find difficulty in thinking or focusing it’s probably nothing but time for a water break!
Some Benefits: Drinking adequate water daily decreases threat of a heart attack by preventing thickening of blood and lowering blood pressure. It also strengthens immunity against kidney stones, enhances metabolism, strengthens bones by helping rebuild shock absorber cartilage, and moisturizes your skin and keeps it soft, glowing and wrinkle free. It also helps produce more saliva, reducing the chances of bacterial overgrowth, which is responsible for bad breath.
So, how much water should you drink per day?
Most of us have heard the popular “8 glasses a day” advice. Unfortunately, there is no scientific theory to support this measure. How much water should you drink every day depends on a lot of factors, like your body weight, your environmental conditions, your daily exercise regime, your body fat and body muscle ratio, etc. As a general rule of thumb, men should drink 13 cups and women should drink 9 cups daily. You can also gauge your water intake by looking at your urine colour, which should be very light (pale) yellow. Do note, however, some medications especially dietary supplements can change the colour of your urine to a bright yellow or a darker colour. Another indicator is if you have bad breath. Even mild dehydration can reduce normal saliva production thereby reducing the flow of saliva. So drinking more water throughout the day will help with your bad breath problem especially if it is accompanied by a dry mouth.
How often and how much water should you drink at a time?
Most people believe that you should drink water “whenever you’re thirsty”. This is only partly true. You should actually drink at least half to one glass of water “every hour” to keep yourself hydrated! In fact you should first start your day by drinking a large glass of warm water immediately after waking up. This helps activate the internal organs and stimulate proper bowel movement. Always avoid drinking cold water. Best is to drink warm water and better is normal temperature. Cold water dampens the energy and weakens the kidneys. Cold water or any cold beverage taken with meals will solidify the oily stuff which will turn into fat and sludge in the body, creating imbalance.
While it’s a good idea to drink a little more water than the recommended intake for you, drinking “too much water” can actually harm you! Water overdose can cause an “electrolyte imbalance” in your body. The more water you drink, the more you need to replenish your electrolytes. But in certain situations and environments you will need to drink more water. You will need to increase your water intake when:
- You have a fever.
- You have diarrhea.
- You’re pregnant / you’ve recently delivered and you breastfeed your baby.
- You had several drinks last night and now you have a hangover.
- You live in a very hot location.
- You are very active physically and do hard labour / exercise.
So how do you manage the right balance of electrolytes? Don’t worry, you don’t need any expensive sports drink to do that. I’ve learnt that the simplest and the cheapest way to balance your electrolytes is to add 200mg (about a pinch) of unrefined mineral salt to a large bottle of water (2 liters), and you’ll have all the electrolytes your body needs!
Can a person die from drinking too much water?
Yes! Drinking about six liters of water at a stretch is sufficient for a normal human to die of water intoxication. This is why you should never encourage or participate in water drinking competition or challenges. The kidneys can eliminate a maximum of 1 liter of water per hour, so excessive water causes the level of salt or sodium in the blood to drop to dangerously low levels, called hyponatremia. The excess water which cannot be flushed out by the kidneys enters the cells and causes them to swell. This situation rapidly becomes lethal when the brain cells also begin to swell.
Weight loss or weight gain?
While drinking a little more water helps decrease your appetite and indirectly helps you not to overeat, excessive water drinking backfires and actually makes you gain weight, called water weight.
Water and food – the before and after:
It is advisable to keep a 30 minutes gap from drinking water before and after having a meal. Since it takes about 2 hours for the stomach to digest food, drinking water just before a meal, during meals and immediately after a meal dilutes the essential gastric juices and increases your insulin levels. It also disturbs the fluid – solid proportion, fastening the digestion process, resulting in the food entering the large intestine much sooner than it should.
Some more important things to learn about water:
Insufficient water intake causes dehydration which makes you feel tired and distressed. It can also result in headaches, constipation, chronic fatigue, dizziness, impotence, hair loss and more. In fact, over hydration also causes throbbing headaches. Water is required to get rid of the poisonous toxins in the body. I would highly recommend finding a reliable source of drinking water instead of relying on tap water. Many times, these contain various chemicals which will only increase the toxins instead of decreasing them.
Always sit down and drink water slowly.
You should never drink water when standing as it won’t fully quench your thirst. In addition, the water flow in the standing posture doesn’t dilute the acids sufficiently and affects digestion and kidney functioning. Side effects also include ulcers, early invitation to arthritis and heartburn.
Now stop reading and go get that water bottle first 🙂