Water is the most important thing for us to consume, since it takes care of so many vital functions in our bodies. Even though we can manage for several weeks without solid food, we can only survive without water for two to four days at most.
What are the effects of water on our bodies?
Drinking water regularly is important for physical and mental performance as well as proper functioning of the kidneys, heart and circulatory system. Water also plays a significant part in regulating body temperature, and in our bloodstream it serves as a dissolving agent and transport medium for nutrients. If you focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle along with eating a balanced and varied diet, then you are creating the very best conditions for getting through every day fit and healthy.
Drink plenty – but why?
Every human being loses about 2.5 litres of fluid each day – through the skin and exhaled air and in the urine and stools. We lose even more water if we sweat profusely, such as in a sauna, when exercising or when it is very hot in the summer. This is because sweat is nothing more than liquids that our body expels onto the skin to cool us off. When we experience diarrhoea or vomiting, our body loses especially large quantities of fluid. Once you think about all of the functions of water in our body, you will quickly understand why it is so important for us to replace the lost fluid as fast as we can.
How much fluid is healthy for us to drink?
Solid foods such as fruit and vegetables, yoghurt or meat also contain water. As a result, we do not need to replace all of the fluid we lose every day with beverages. Still, 1.5 – 2 litres should be our daily minimum. You need to drink even more if you are losing weight or engaging in strenuous physical activity, and during pregnancy or while you are nursing a baby. Luckily, you have a wide choice of beverages – there’s something for everyone. Enjoy the variety. Excellent thirst-quenchers include mineral water, unsweetened herb and fruit teas and juice spritzers made in a ratio of 1/3 juice to 2/3 water. All of these beverages contain few or no calories, and they also provide valuable minerals.
Tips: Here is how you can provide your body with sufficient fluids
- Drink before you feel thirsty, and throughout the day in small quantities. This will ensure you have a sufficient supply.
- Make drinking a habit: every morning, have a large glass of fruit spritzer; any time you are about to leave the house, first have a small drink of water; every evening before you go to bed, have a cup of tea, and so forth.
- Drink a glass of water, unsweetened tea or a fruit spritzer with every meal. This creates a routine for your drinking behaviour.
- Do you spend many hours every day working at your desk? If so, it is a good idea for the sake of your fluid intake to always have a bottle of water or fruit spritzer handy in front of you. You could also stick a post-it note in front of you on your PC with the word, “drink???.
- No matter where or how you are travelling, always take a half litre bottle of water with you.
- In-between meals, you could snack from time to time on a piece of water-rich fruit or vegetable, such as cucumber, tomato or watermelon.