About 75% of our body consists of water. So drinking enough and keeping your fluid balance in balance is an important part of good health. Water, an essential nutrient. Sufficient fluid intake is important for proper digestion, muscle contraction, blood circulation, temperature control, nervous system functioning, nutrient absorption and waste disposal. So you really need it to stay alive. You can also end up without water for about 3 days while you can eat for a few weeks without food. Fortunately, your body has a built-in 'thirst' mechanism that warns you when you need extra moisture.
If you do not drink enough water, your body can not remove all waste. It will also switch to a kind of survival mechanism that holds all the water present to supply the main organs with water. Typical symptoms of insufficient drinking are: dry mouth, hunger, fatigue, muscle pain, cramps, dizziness, depressed feelings, anxiety, too fast heartbeat or nausea. Prevent muscle pain by drinking water. Do you feel tired, are you hungry, muscle cramps or do you feel headaches coming up? First drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes. You will often see that you are already feeling a lot better.
Most people have a shortage of fluid. If they suddenly decide to drink more water (eg by a new diet), then there is an exaggeration and suddenly too much water is drunk. If you suddenly drink too much water you can get hyponatremia. This is a deficiency of sodium (salts) in your blood. Sodium regulates the absorption of fluid in your cells and if this becomes disrupted, this can lead to brain damage, coma and even death in the worst case.
You hear different, sometimes contradictory opinions about how much water you should drink:
- Every hour you wake up a glass of water
- 1.5 to 2 liters of water on top of all other liquids
- Only drink if you are thirsty
There are at least a number of external factors that also play a role. You will get more thirsty and therefore have to drink more if you lose a lot of fluid. For example, in hot weather, with a great effort where you sweat a lot, after eating salty food or when fever, diarrhea or vomiting.
Your gender also plays a role. Women have a different fluid regulation than men due to their hormonal cycle and will retain more fluid just before their menstruation. Your weight and height also play a role. The larger and heavier, the more moisture you need.
You can actually look at the color of your urine very simply. Bottled water contains less minerals than tap water. If it is colorless to pale yellow in color, you're fine. If your urine is dark yellow, orange or brown, then it is high time to drink something extra.
No, also other fluid counts with your daily fluid intake. If you eat enough fruit and vegetables you can get 20% of your moisture out of this. Also soup, coffee, tea, vegetable milk and other drinks count, but water is of course healthier than for example. soft drinks or coffee. Soft drinks, fruit juices and sports drinks quickly contain too much sugar and are therefore not recommended. Coffee and green or black tea contain caffeine and theine and can best be consumed to a limited extent. Alcohol has a diuretic effect and therefore does not count. A 'hangover' is nothing more than a headache caused by a lack of fluid after drinking 'too much' alcohol and 'too little' water to absorb this moisture deficit. Can you lose weight by drinking water.
- Choose a nice transparent drinking bottle. Decide for yourself how often you want your bottle to be empty per day. For example 1x in the morning, 1x in the afternoon and 1x in the evening. By visualizing you get a better view of how much you have already drunk. That's why you also choose a transparent bottle, then you see how much is left. The bottles of Contigo and Tupperware are very handy to take with you in the car, on a trip or to work.
- Do you just like water? Then add a flavor. No syrup, but fresh herbs, vegetables or fruit, such as mint, lemon, cucumber, watermelon or ginger. Be moderate with sweet fruit, because the fruit sugars diffuse into your water so that eventually it will contain as much sugar as soft drinks or fruit juice.
- Do you forget to drink? Then put an alarm a few times a day that you will remember.
Start the day with 2 large glasses of water, possibly with some lemon juice. As a result, you rehydrate yourself after a whole night without moisture. Then drink when you are thirsty, but make sure that you always have water at hand so that you can drink when you are thirsty.