Why should you drink more water?
Why should you increase your water?
I want to give you the reasons why the emotional and scientific reasoning behind the request. I know from teaching customers that if you understand your ‘why’, you are more likely to stick to your habit. So here is the why…….
- Water helps to dissolve your food and liquids and transports and transfers them throughout the body.
- Water is a necessary component of producing the ‘protein and glycogen’ that are required for all body’s cell function – the food that your body needs to operate.
- Water acts as a catalyst to the body’s metabolic reactions. Water carries chemicals and then works as a catalyst to speed up the enzymatic interactions.
- Water is required as a lubricant for your joints and eyes and as a shock absorber for your spinal cord.
- Water is a temperature regulator. When your body temperature increases, you begin to sweat. As this sweat collects on the skin, its evaporation cools the body, lowering your body temperature.
- Water is a great source of minerals – drinking water is processed and during that process, pollutants are removed and remineralised with fluoride, calcium, magnesium etc.
Drink water instead of fruit juice
Drink water instead of carbonated drinks and minimize your intake of fruit juice, sports drinks, coffee and tea. While fruit juice is marketed as a healthy alternative to fizzy pop, in reality, fruit juices have very little nutritional value in terms of fibre but can be loaded with almost as much sugar as a can of coke!
Fruit juices are no substitute for actual fruits and vegetables. Fructose is the sugar found in fruit, but it is still sugar. Patrick Holford from the Institute of Optimum Nutrition warned me decades ago about spiking my sugar and then insulin peak with too many fruit juices and even fruit. Eat fruit and vegetables to obtain the most nutrient content and fibre. Drink mostly water as your usual beverage. Green tea is another great choice, and a little coffee is good too.
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Aim to drink eight glasses of water per day if you’re not exercising, and double that – sixteen full cups – when exercising. Start with five and build up.
The water you consume in smoothies and green tea do count towards your water consumption, don’t rely on these drinks alone because they don’t usually get the job done. You will likely have to ‘top up’ with some clean, cold, H2O.
Tea and coffee are diuretics
Drinks that contain caffeine, such as tea, coffee and cola can act as a mild diuretic. A diuretic requires more water to flush it out of the body, so can make the body produce more urine. Of course, during a sweaty workout, you need to drink more water. However, over consuming water could lead to an electrolyte (mineral) imbalance.
This is why sports drinks containing carbs, proteins, and minerals have become popular. However, a simple drink of water and personally adding an ‘electrolyte’ supplement is a better alternative, which is what I do.
Consequences of not drinking enough water.
On average our bodies are made up of 60% water. Water is absolutely essential for a variety of body’s physical functions. Your health, performance and body composition (the way you look) will suffer if you don’t drink enough. Healthy adults lose water in a number of ways. It could be ‘insensible’ water losses, which means the water loss that you can’t see or feel.
For example, you won’t be aware of fluid loss when you expire air when breathing or evaporation from your skin – which is increased when you are ill or have a fever. During non-exercise conditions, water loss due to sweating and evaporating cooling is minimal. However, during intense exercise, especially in hot climates, sweat loss can be quite pronounced. Another regular water loss is through your wee and poo or more politely known as faeces and urine. An average adult with normal kidney function requires 400 to 500ml of water to excrete your daily poo load 🙂 nice!
As little as 1-2% of water loss can lead to activity levels dropping and additional water losses can lead to illness or even worse.
Percentage of body water loss and its consequences:
• 0.5% loss leads to an increased strain on your heart. It has to work harder because there is less fluid in the blood
• 1% loss – reduces your aerobic endurance, meaning you will become tired more quickly when walking or running.
• 3% reduced muscular endurance – legs get achy when walking or running.
• 4% reduced muscle strength – reduced motor skills heat cramps
• 5% heat exhaustion will result in cramping, fatigue and reduced mental capacity.
• 6% physical exhaustion equals heatstroke and/or coma.
• 10-20% Mort!
Even a small water loss can drain you of energy and make you feel completely exhausted PLUS your cells will not be functioning properly, your metabolism slows down and you won’t burn calories or fat. Your digestion becomes uncomfortable and unreliable. When your body has a shortage of water, it takes it from less important places (joints) to use in a more important place (brain).
What do you need to do?
Drink five glasses of water a day. You can time it with your meals and snacks or choose another time that best suits you to stick to your plan. The size of glass – sip 250ml before and during each meal. Start with 5 glasses a day, eventually, we can increase this depending on your needs.
Estimating the exact water required for you depends on your weight and size, every kilogram of body weight you should have 30-40ml of water. If you weigh 50kg (110lbs) you will require one and a half to two litres of water per day. If you are 100kg (220lbs) you will require three to four litres of water per day.
Larger people will likely require more water, smaller people likely require less. More exercise and warmer climates can increase your water requirements too. Of course, your daily water intake can come from both food and drink. Therefore generally a safe recommendation for daily fluid intake is about three litres of fluid (or twelve cups each day. Since one litre (four glasses) comes from our food, this means that two litres (eight glasses) need to come from your purposeful drinking.
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If you are on the go and it is difficult for you to have five glasses of water with a snack or meal, then purchase a 1-litre water bottle online or from a local sports shop. Fill it with water add freshly squeezed lemon if you want- and drink the contents during the day. Carry it with you in your handbag, walk with your water bottle to school, on your daily walk and keep it by your desk. Fill the bottle up twice and drink it throughout the day.
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The secret is to include your nutritional habits like – adding more protein, drinking more water, decreasing carbs and then PLAY. Play and investigate what you personally need. It is a game, it is an interesting game because you are learning about yourself. My energy levels are through the roof at 50, way more than I was at 20 or even in my 30s.
Feeling good about yourself and feeling fulfilled comes from learning, learning about yourself and what you can do to make changes. Happy changes. Interested? Book a call with me to find out more
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