Are we all dehydrated?
Water is an essential life force. It is the single most important substance we consume. In fact, our bodies are a whopping 70% liquid. It keeps our organs healthy, our livers cleansed and our blood flowing. To put it in perspective, consider that the body can survive without food for up to two months, but wouldn’t last more than seven days without H2O.
Chances are, most of us aren’t drinking enough water. Coffee, soda, juice and alcohol have replaced water thanks to savvy marketing and bad habits. As a result, we are lethargic, suffering from headaches and indigestion, or developing skin conditions such as acne.
Luckily, our bodies will tell us if we are in need of water. Symptoms such as bloating, constipation, muscles cramps and headaches are clear signs. The color of urine says a lot: a dark yellow color translates to dehydration and a light, translucent color is a sign of healthy hydration.
The National Institute of Medicine reports that the “vast majority of healthy people adequately meet their daily hydration needs by letting thirst be their guide”, but still set recommendations at approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) per day for women and 3.7 liters (125 ounces) per day for men. The institute also recommends that individuals who are physically active and exposed to heat will increase water losses and therefore require up to 6 liters of water per day.
80 per cent of our daily intake comes from liquids, and 20 per cent is derived from food, so including water-rich fruit and vegetables into a healthy diet will help.
Staying hydrated helps with weight management, clear skin, fresh breath, increased energy and better sleep. It also prevents hypertension, diabetes and high-blood pressure.
What’s not to love? Bottoms up!