Hi, recently I compiled a series of interesting information about drinking water, which you may find useful especially during summer.
Water is the most abundant substance in our bodies (~60%) needed for digestion, temperature regulation, tissue protection, metabolic processes, electrical impulse conduction and joint lubrication. WHO stated that every single day, about 6 thousand children die due to a lack of access to drinking water.
Planned drinking vs drinking to thirst?
If you exercise in cooler conditions with low intensity, then it’s enough to drink to thirst. When you exercise with high intensity, in warm environments or your sweat rate is high you should plan drinking. The sensation of thirst works well at rest but is less sensitive during exercise. Dehydration starts from losing >2% of body mass and it’s worth noting that some people may feel rested and not thirsty after intense exercise even when they lost 3-4% of body mass (1).
How much water should you drink?
Scientists are divided in that matter. A Dutch publication says that under normal circumstances, about 500ml of fluids/day will be excreted as urine or sweat. They also admit that males should drink 3,000ml and females 2,200ml per day, while higher fluid intake has no convincing benefits. Other scientists say that thirst drives us to drink at least 2L of water/day (2) and drinking more than thirst does not produce any biological advantage. Other sources indicated 8 glasses of water/day to be the best measure of optimal hydration levels. It’s worth mentioning that fluid intake takes into account water, not coffee or sugary drinks, which should increase the amount of liquids needed (as all carbohydrates do).
Good indicators of good hydration is the lack of thirst and passing bright-coloured not smelling urine. You should adjust your water intake levels to your weight, lifestyle, activity level, sex and the atmospheric conditions.
Dehydration effects on your brain.
It may appear extremely abstract, but it’s possible to dehydrate your brain since it needs a substantial amount of fluids in order to work properly.
Did you know that dehydration affects your mood? This may be a reason why you hit a snooze button every morning instead of getting up with fully charged batteries. When mildly dehydrated you are also more sensitive to pain (3).
It also decreases your cognitive and motor skills as well as memory. Driving under influence is a criminal offence but it has been proven that dehydrated driving may be even more dangerous (4).
Tap or bottled water?
In case of water quality, drinkable tap water and bottled water do not differ (and very often the former one is simply a tap water anyway). Arguments such as “bottled water contains pesticides and hormone-like substances” don’t work. Why? Because tap water has similar amount of pesticides plus the unfiltered left-overs of excreted medications containing hormone-like substances. Tap water is more eco-friendly as plastic bottles clutter our planet for hundreds of years and in order to produce one of them, 3L of water are used. Also it’s worth remembering that once we open the bottle, we should store it in cold temperatures to avoid bacteria growing inside it and harmful substances from plastic being released into water. It looks like tap water may be not only more ecological but also less contaminated.
Is it possible to overhydrate?
In theory it is, nevertheless anyone with healthy kidneys should be able to deal with that problem by walking to toilet more often. People who are most likely to suffer from overhydration (and low sodium levels = hyponatraemia) are endurance athletes, who are advised to drink according to their sweat levels. The sign of water retention is swollen ankles. Most people who drink a lot of water go to toilet more frequently and experience no other symptoms or negative effects of over-drinking.
What about other scientific sources which say you should drink more?
Some organisations recommend 2.7-3.7L of liquid consumption which counts in water from foods and other drinks.
5 quick tips for staying hydrated this summer:
- Always have a sip when you feel thirsty. Don’t delay your response to your body craving water. Flavour it with fruits, mint, ginger and cucumber.
- Every time you put the kettle on, have a glass of water prior to making tea.
- This summer I recommend AKASHA BPA free, stainless steel insulated and lightweight reusable bottles which allow you to hold hot drinks up to 12hours and cold for 24hours. Using code MOTIVELINA you will get 15% discount at https://www.weakasha.co.uk/. In addition, on my IG account [@motivelina.com] you can win a free bottle by taking a part in my competition.
- When you are at a restaurant or a bar, ask for a glass of water together with your order, it will help your digestion and keep you hydrated.
- Don’t spend fortune – VOSS is just a tap water from Norway.
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