Monday, April 6, 2015

Excess Water is Bad: Drink Just Enough!

Water is an essential nutrient the body needs in varying amounts.
You learned in biology class that water makes up 60% of the human body. This fact is true; every cell in the body depends on water. Hence, the reason it is a nutrient you do not want to overlook.
Functions of Water:
✔ Water carries nutrients to our cells
✔ Helps to flush out waste products from the organs 

Drinking water restores fluid lost from:
✔ Breathing
✔ Sweating
✔ Metabolism and 
✔ Excretion (via kidneys)

 It is recommended to drink water before you feel thirsty. In most cases, thirst is the first sign of dehydration. Being dehydrated comes with a host of unwanted issues.
The fact that, daily water consumption varies from person to person. It is challenging to estimate the amount a person actually needs daily. As it stands, not everyone requires 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Research shows, the amount of water needed every day truly depends on a number of factors, such as:
✔ Age
✔ Daily physical activity level
        e.g. Intense exercise sessions increases water needs
✔ The temperature/weather of the environment you are in  
       e.g. Hot weather   increases water needs due to sweating
✔ The type of diet consumed  
       e.g. a diet high in fruits and vegetables would reduce the amount of 
       water one needs to consume. Fruits and vegetables are hydrating foods. Contrary, a diet high in protein increases the amount of water the body needs.
✔ Whether you are ill or not
      e.g. Certain disease/conditions increases the body's water needs  for example persons with kidney stones are required to increase fluid intake

Nevertheless, drinking too much water can lead to over hydration, though this is pretty uncommon.  Compared with dehydration, over-hydration can result in the sodium content of blood being diluted to abnormally low levels. Resulting in a fluid imbalance that causes cells to absorb excess water, which can cause swelling in many parts of the body-- most dangerously in the brain. (hyponatremia).

Variety and Moderation to Water Consumption
 The key to effective hydration is to focus on a variety of foods and consume them in moderation.
80% of people meet their daily water from liquids (plain water, soups or beverages). While, 20% meet their daily needs from their food.
Foods that have a high water content include:
(click image for a larger view)
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Melons (watermelon; cantaloupe etc.)
  • Citrus fruits
  • Broccoli
  • Boiled or steamed vegetables
  • Plain yoghurt
  • Pomerac
  • Young coconuts
Liquids such as milk, unsweetened juice, and herbal teas can contribute to your daily water needs.  

Nevertheless, if plain water is your preferred calorie-free beverage of choice, when it comes to meeting your water needs. Try giving it a boost of nutrition by 
1) Adding a squeeze of lime or lemon

Adding a few drops of unsweetened fruit juice

Other Tips:
1) Sip water throughout the day. To reduce the chance of overloading your blood stream with water. Drinking too much water in any one sitting does not give your body enough time to absorb it. Hence the frequent urge to urinate. 

2) Sip a small amount of water with your meals. Remember this rule: fill your stomach 50% with food, 25% with water, and leave 25% empty for the digestive juices and process.

Whether you enjoy your water hot, cold, filtered or straight from the tap, be mindful of how much water you consume every day. [This does not mean, not to drink water, it means to include a variety of hydrating foods and beverages in the diet]

Additional Resources:
 European Hydration Institute: The Importance of Variety For Hydration

☑ European Hydration Institute:Hydration and our diet poster

Thank you for reading! 
Leave a ⓒⓞⓜⓜⓔⓝⓣ below.

Further Reading:
Advice to drink eight glasses of water a day '
Coconut water is an excellent sports drink

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