We all may know the benefits of water but do we understand the importance of it? It has many functions in our body such as lubricating joints, assisting in carrying oxygen, removing waste from the body and so much more. A better hydration status might help improve mood, attention and mental concentration scores (2,3).
Frequently. Timing may not have a significant influence but there are a few benefits of knowing when to drink water. It is good to get in the habit of starting your morning with a glass of water to help with adequate intake. If you drink a glass of water before a meal it can help you to consume less kilojoules, therefore reducing the risk of obesity (1,4). Water intake during or after meals has no disadvantages and can possibly aid digestion but this is not scientifically proven. Always keep a glass of water next to your bed. (3)
We can also absorb water through foods like Fat-free milk, strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, cabbage and celery that contains 90-99% water. Other beverages like coffee, sodas, and milk, can also form part of your daily fluid intake. Above all water should always stay the primary intake of fluids because it has no adverse effects and it contains good minerals. (3,5)
Water does not always have the best taste therefore most people struggle to consume it. Few pointers to improve your water intake.
- Always keep a bottle of water with you
- Add fruits/lemon slices/ cucumber/ lemon juice to give it a bit of flavour.
- Teach your kids to get into the habit of drinking it
- You can add flavouring drops to your water (there is no scientifical evidence that it can do any harm). But focus on drinking as much clear water as possible
- Aim for 2-3 litre fluid per day, mostly clean and clear water (2)
- Drink a glass of water when you feel hungry
- If you are an athlete you have to make sure you stay well hydrated – weigh yourself before and after a training session and get the difference, keeping your intake during the session in mind, calculate your fluid loss. You can lose between 2-6 litre fluid through your skin (2)
- If your urine is clear frequently it can mean that you can possibly be over-hydrated and you should reduce your fluid intake.
- A good colour for your urine to show you are well hydrated is a very light yellow.
In conclusion, water is the best beverage and a frequent intake of it will ensure health benefits.