Water

Water

Closeness to sources of water was an important determinant while choosing accommodation for our ancestors, and although we no longer worry about the water supply on a daily basis thanks to well-developed means of provision, it is still an essential part of our lives. 

Water composes 55% to 60% of our bodies, and almost 75% of our brains and hearts. As human beings,  we need it to maintain homeostasis (the balance of our bodies) and to function properly. It also lubricates your joints, protects your organs, and disposes of the waste material in our bodies. In addition to harming these functions, dehydration might also hurt your cognitive functions and athletic performance.

Effect on your health

What types of medical conditions are at increased risk in case of dehydration? ​

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Kidney stones
  • Gallstones
  • Constipation 

Conditions to increase water intake

Under what conditions might it be necessary to increase water intake?

☀️ If you’re living in/travelling to hot climates,

🚴🏻‍♀️ If you’re physically active,

🥑 If you’re consuming high levels of protein or fibre,

🤒 If you are suffering from fever, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Signs

What are the signals?

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling hungry
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Dry mouth, lips, eyes
  • Peeing little
  • Urine in a darker yellow

How much water should I drink a day?

Healthy people are advised to drink 6 to 10 cups of water daily. However, this need might change depending on the individual, their health status, and daily activities such as running. Additionally, in general, men need to drink more water than women due to their bodily compositions.

If you get thirsty more or less than usual, you might want to consult a physician. 

In some cases, if the drunk amount is more than the amount that kidneys can handle, a condition called “water toxicity” might occur. This situation results in “hyponatremia”, a decrease in blood sodium levels, which can lead to serious symptoms like confusion, nausea, seizures, and muscle spasms. You may not need to worry about this too much as this is an extreme example and rarely seen in general population.

Increasing water intake

What can you do to increase your water intake?

🍶 Carry a bottle and refill as much as needed.

💧 Find your own body’s requirements (it is most likely to be somewhere between 6 to 10 cups) and adjust your intake based on your daily activities and needs. 

🍋 Try to add variety: a slice of lemon, some berries—just not sugar!

🥤 Consume mineral water in moderation. Unfortunately there is no recommended daily amount as its content differs from one bottle to the next. 

🥒 Eat your water by consuming water-rich foods, like a cucumber.  

☕ Coffee and tea causes dehydration. Every time you drink coffee or tea, have a glass of water to compensate.

🧋 Try to avoid sugary drinks. Those options imbalance your blood sugar, which might damage your thirst signals.

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