Yet, its only a few of us who actually reach for a glass of this natural elixir. Can you drink your way to good health? You sure can. It is important from a health standpoint. Regular water consumption can prevent one’s risk of developing health problems like obesity, urinary infections, urinary stone formation and dehydration. Unlike fruit juices and other sugary drinks, water has no calories. Let’s help you understanding the benefits of water to a healthier ‘you’.
WATER FOR OVERALL FUNCTIONING OF THE BODY
90 per cent of the blood in our body is made up of water, which helps in transporting nutrients to the muscles. It also helps carry away the waste such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Our cells and our circulatory system which includes blood contain water. Therefore enough water helps in maintaining the blood volume, which in turn helps in the proper functioning of the body. Water is also used by our body to convert food into energy, regulate body temperature and in eliminating toxins.
WATER AS A DIGESTIVE
Water plays a very important role in digestion and waste control. The water in saliva and gastric fluids helps the body to digest food. Without sufficient water, the colon will not be able to process fiber as well as it should. Fiber, without enough water, makes solid waste too bulky and concentrated to pass comfortably, which is the first cause of constipation. Remember, water is the only medium to flush toxins from the body.
WATER AS A REFRESHMENT
Thirst is one of the main reasons behind fatigue. Just by drinking water one can get instant energy. A glass of water is enough to rejuvenate one. If you allow yourself to get dehydrated, every part of your body suffers. Dehydration can lead to lethargy, tired feeling and lack of concentration. Other symptoms of dehydration include loss of appetite, headache, dry mouth, burning sensation of the eyes and flushed skin. Heat stroke is a more serious and life threatening condition and requires quick medical attention.
We drink too much coffee, tea, and sodas containing caffeine, which prompts the body to lose water. A dose of eight to 10 glasses of water per day keeps the body hydrated.
WHEN WATER IS NEEDED IN EXCESS
One needs more during and after exercise especially athletes and for activities like basket ball, baseball, soccer etc. This is required to maintain blood volume, reduces heat injury and enhances performance. Regular consumption of fluids not only takes care of your body’s need for water but also aids in maintaining the electrolyte balance in our body. Of course, the actual amount of water to be consumed varies from person to person and on factors like activity level, weather conditions etc.
WATER FOR SKIN AND HAIR CARE
Water, being a hydrate, essentially helps in the prevention of shriveled, wrinkled skin. It also makes the skin glow, preventing acne and a patchy, wrinkled look. Less water in the body also leads to dry and brittle hair, causing split ends.
SOURCES TO INCREASE INTAKE
- Keep a large (600 ml) glass of water by your bed. Soon as you wake up, you can drink it. It helps in flushing the toxins out of the body.
- Carry a bottle of water around with you. This will make it easier for you to drink water if you are on the move. It’s also a constant reminder to keep drinking.
- Keep a bottle of water on your desk or near your work area and sip from it throughout the day.
- If you are a regular at the gym, carry a bottle of water along. This way, you will drink more water than you usually consume.
A FEW STRATEGIES TO GET THE RIGHT INTAKE OF WATER PER DAY:
- You don’t need to sip from your water bottle all day to satisfy your fluid needs. Your diet, including the beverages you drink, can provide a large portion of the water your body needs. Fruits and vegetables, especially the water based ones besides being good sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber, contain a lot of water. Orange, cucumber, watermelon, gourds etc are great substitutes. Drink fruit juices, veggie juices as well as infusions such as chamomile, peppermint, ginger, lemon, buttermilk, coconut water etc to increase water intake.
- So raise your glass to water – it’s good for you, and available almost anywhere. Bottoms up!