How to Stay Hydrated? – Overview
Water makes up the majority of the weight in the human body, although it changes throughout life. In adulthood, the proportion of water is 55 to 65 %, and with increasing age, the percentage decreases. Women have a little less water than men in their bodies because they have more fat tissue.
So there is no doubt that our body needs water to live. The right drinking regime can help you in the fight against extra kilos. Sufficient fluids contribute to the proper functioning of the metabolism and the removal of toxic substances from the body.
Main functions of water in our body:
- A transport medium for nutrients, electrolytes, hormones, blood gases, waste products, and electrical currents
- A solvent and a suitable environment for chemical reactions taking place in the organism
- Moisturizes and protects the mucous membrane and maintains the elasticity and resistance of the skin
- Maintains the stability of the internal environment – homeostasis
How much water should we drink during the day and how much is too much?
Water is the basis of our body. We can live without food for approximately 40 days, without water we can barely live for 2-3 days (depending on temperature). Even a single day spent without a sip of water affects a person’s performance, fatigue, and morale.
The water we drink penetrates every cell of our body and its quality is very important. We should drink water every day. It should be a matter of course for us and part of every meal.
The general recommendation is to drink 6 to 8, 8ounce (230 ml) glasses of water daily. 2.5-3 liters per day and more precisely at least 25-30 ml of water per 1 kg of body weight for a middle-aged adult are also indicated.
However, different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. The amount of water we need depends, for example, on gender, age, weight, the proportion of muscle mass, level of activity, and many other factors. 8 glasses may be too little for some, too much for others.
Over the past few years, the opinion has spread that the more water we drink in a day, the better. But that’s not entirely true.
What should we pay attention to when it comes to drinking?
Because of the hot whetter during the summer times, we sweat a lot. Hot whetter causes excessive sweating, so the need for water for our body also increases. It is good to pay extra attention to your drinking regime.
Although we normally lose less than 500 ml of fluid per day, in the summer it can easily be several liters. During summer sports, add 400-800 ml of fluids per hour, during demanding work in the sun, drink at least 3 glasses of water per hour.
The recommendation for drinking water in summer is to drink about 30-45 ml of fluids for every 1 kg of weight.
2. Sport / physical activity
If we regularly do physical activity and sports, our daily water intake should be higher.
During physical activity we should avoid:
Carbonated drinks – contain carbon dioxide, which slows down the absorption of liquid
Sugary drinks – put a strain on the liver and slows down regeneration
Alcoholic drinks – detoxification of alcohol keeps the liver busy and fatigue and dehydration occur earlier
It is advisable to consume primarily water, possibly isotonic and hypotonic drinks (depending on the type of activity). Every athlete should increase their fluid intake by fluid losses caused by increased sweating during activity (500 – 800 ml for each hour of strength training).
We should drink more when we have a fever because feverish conditions cause dehydration of the body.
How do we know we are dehydrated?
By the time you feel thirsty, it’s usually too late. That is, not so late that we suffer health consequences, but late enough to expose our body to dehydration, because thirst is already a sign of mild dehydration.
Dehydration can be manifested by fatigue, headache, reduced cognitive functions, or perhaps a decrease in sports performance.
A few tips on how to stay hydrated to finish up:
- Regularity is the key. Put a glass of water by your desk and keep refilling it. If you don’t sit down in a day and are still on the way, take a bottle with you and aim to drink at least 5 of them a day.
- Caffeinated drinks often cause dehydration. But if we drink 1-2 cups of coffee or black tea a day, we don’t have to worry.
- Various fruit juices seem healthy at first glance – they are made from fruit after all. However, they contain a lot of natural sugars and are sometimes supplemented with artificial sweeteners or aromas. If you want to treat yourself to juice once in a while, carefully monitor the ingredients and choose freshly squeezed juices or combine fruits and vegetables. You should significantly reduce lemonades full of artificial sweeteners.
- Excessively carbonated waters can cause a feeling of gas, irritate the stomach and strain the kidneys if consumed excessively. Therefore, choose slightly carbonated water and drink it only occasionally.