Water- A Necessity
The most common question asked each time by every woman. water should I be drinking in a day? Some people suggest drinking 8 glasses others, say 2 liters.
The truth is it varies from person to person and also on many factors such as health conditions, environment, climate, physical size,weight, etc.
A lot of water is lost through sweating, urinating and exhaling. In hot weather lot of water is lost due to sweating and during cold weather urinating makes us lose water from our body. In sickness like flu and diarrhea also a lot of water is lost. Water intake should be managed according to the weight, if a person weighs more the water intake should be more for the fluid, muscle, bones, etc.
The common recommendation is drinking 8 glasses of water (250 ml/8 ounce per glass=total of approximate 2 liters) of water per day.
WHY IS WATER IMPORTANT?
Drinking lots of fluids is good for us, but many of us do not realize that it is vitally essential for our body. Water and fluids are 60 percent of our body weight and play a vital role in many processes. Fluids in our body transports nutrients, hormones, gases (such as oxygen) and enzymes to our body cells and also removes wastes and toxins from our body. It also regulates our body temperature, protects our brain and other organs and helps in digestion.
Everything in our body from the energy levels to our mood and our ability to concentrate can be affected when we are not hydrated enough.
HOW MUCH WATER IS NEEDED?
The recommended daily water intake for women is 2000 ml although factors such as temperature and activities can influence this. Feeling thirsty is the sign that you need to drink more water but one should be careful not to reach that point.
The color of the urine is also a way to check your fluid intake and hydration.The Cleveland Clinic Medical and Research Authority produced a color chart that helps you check your hydration levels.
The suggest that as long as the urine is pale yellow color, you are hydrated enough.
The other factors to look for dehydration are headache, fatigue, feeling thirsty, dry mouth and lips and dizziness.
CAN WATER ALONE FULLFILL YOUR NEED TO STAY HYDRATED?
Its not necessary to stick to plain water. Various studies have shown that water can be replaced with different beverages to hydrate the body. The UK Department of Health, recommends drinking 6-8 glasses of fluid every day. Water, low fat milk and sugar free drinks including tea and coffee can be included. Fruit juices and smoothies also count towards the fluid consumption, although they are a source of sugar free drinks and the intake should be limited to 150 ml per day.
We also get a lot of our water consumption from foods including fruits and vegetables.
IS THERE A FIXED TIME TO DRINK WATER?
Start your morning with a glass of water as the body is dehydrated since the last glass. Also, a glass drink water 30 minutes before every meal, it will help fill your stomach before food. Even tea and coffee can be replaced with water but people think it’s a source of dehydration.
Tea and coffee are not suitable for people who are concerned about having a good night’s sleep, due to the caffeine present in such beverages.
Herbal teas are a very good evening brew, but green tea contains caffeine. So, at night time teas like chamomile, red bush, peppermint or ginger.
FACTORS INFLUENCING WATER NEEDS
Total fluid intake can be based on several factors
Women who are involved in activities where they lose a lot of sweat they should take care of their fluid intakes. It is important to drink before, after and during workout. If exercise is intense and lasts longer a sports drink can be used as it contains minerals which is beneficial for the blood as a lot of are lost in sweat.
Hot and Humid weather can increase sweating and requires additional fluid intake. Dehydration also occurs at a very high rate.
PREGNANCY OR BREAST-FEEDING:
Women who are pregnant and breast feeding require additional fluids intake to stay hydrated.The Office on Women's Health recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.4 liters) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters) of fluids a day.
Your body loses fluid when you have fever, diarrhea or vomiting. During this more water should be used and follow the doctor’s recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Bladder infections and Urinary tract stones require more fluid intake.
THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF DEHYDRATION
Having headaches in the, feeling a little fuzzy in the brain or feeling fatigued are all signs of dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration are