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Why is drinking water on a regular basis so important?

Natural Calivita products
Published by Calivita Partner in Healthy lifestyle · 31 July 2023
Tags: waterdrinking
On average, a person excretes 2.5-3 liters of water per day through urine, stool, breathing and skin. However, the body must have a balanced water balance, and to cover these losses, it must take in water. About a third of a liter of "new" water a day is produced in the body as a result of metabolic activity, we take in about 700 ml of food-related water.

This means that the rest (approx. 1.7 liters) should be delivered to the body directly in the form of fluids. Every day for life. Let's not forget that we eliminate over 3 liters of water through physical effort. Even this loss must be adequately compensated. The quality of these fluids and their constant intake in the right amount is an important condition for maintaining health, mental well-being and productivity at work.

Why should we drink?

The right amount of fluids ensures not only metabolism and good kidney function, i.e. the excretion of harmful substances that are formed in the body. It also enables the full efficiency of literally all other organs, physical and mental functions, and also supports the proper appearance of the skin.

Conversely, lack of water in the body (dehydration) causes both acute and chronic problems. Acute symptoms of mild dehydration include headaches, fatigue and malaise, decreased physical and mental performance, including decreased concentration. A fluid loss of 2% of body weight means a loss of up to 20% of performance. This reduces children's ability to attend school, which can adversely affect their academic performance.

Risk of dehydration

Even at 5% dehydration there is a risk of overheating, circulatory failure and shock. A small but long-term lack of fluids, which we often do not even register in the daily rush, can lead to serious health disorders. In addition to recurrent headaches or constipation, kidney dysfunction and the formation of kidney and urinary stones may occur.

Dehydration also increases the risk of urinary tract infections, appendicitis, certain types of cancer (such as rectal and bladder cancer), and cardiovascular disease.

In addition, it is assumed that a number of other so-called civilization diseases is also the result of an incorrect lifestyle, including lack of fluids, or that some civilization diseases are either the first symptom or the result of permanent mild dehydration - these are back pain, gastric and duodenal ulcers, hypertension ... .

How much water to drink?

The need for fluids is a strictly individual matter, which depends on many external and internal factors - e.g. body weight, age and sex, composition and amount of food (content of water, salt, protein and calories), physical activity, temperature and humidity of the environment in which including air flow, type of clothing and body temperature, current state of health, body hydration, etc.

bottle of water

Individual water needs

Each person has their optimal need for free fluids, which also varies over time. This requirement can range from less than one liter per day (in a sedentary person who eats mainly low-salt plant, grain and legume foods) to several liters per day (in a person who eats an excessively salty or sweet diet that is low in salt ). The increased need for water is influenced by intense physical work, playing sports or moving in a hot environment.

In the case of the second category, the daily requirement can exceed even five liters. Everyone needs to find their optimal amount of fluids!

When does thirst appear?

Thirst may alert us to the need to drink, but it is worth knowing that thirst is not an early sign of water needs, as it only appears when we are 1-2% dehydrated. In addition, the feeling of thirst decreases with age.

On the other hand, an increased feeling of thirst can also be a symptom of some diseases (e.g. diabetes) and there is also the so-called addictive thirst, which may not be a sign of needing fluids.

When there is not enough fluid

The risk of dehydration is greater in young children, who have a low volume of total body water and normal daily losses account for a significant proportion of it, and in the elderly, in whom the volume of total water also decreases, the ability of the kidney to reabsorb water deteriorates and the feeling of desire is weakened.

When looking for an individual's need for fluids, we can rely on a few basic symptoms. In addition to the feeling of thirst, symptoms of lack of fluids include a dry mouth, dry lips and tongue, a small amount of dark yellow urine, a tendency to constipation, hiccups when eating, tightness in the abdominal area or dry skin.

When there is too much fluid

On the contrary, the symptoms of excess fluid are: frequent urination, especially at night, sweating at rest in normal temperature conditions, moist hands or feet.

Although the lack of fluids is associated with several risks, it must be said that even their constant excess - that is, drinking much more fluid than the body needs - is not healthy for the body.

What should I drink?

Although the healthiest drink is pure water, you can afford a more varied composition of drinks without fear. However, it is necessary to prefer suitable drinks and limit the consumption of unsuitable ones, and to be careful with those drinks that may be conditionally suitable or unsuitable depending on how much and how often we drink them.

Appropriate drinks

Pure water is most suitable for constant drinking by people regardless of age or health - drinking filtered tap water or bottled, spring and slightly mineralized natural mineral water without carbon dioxide. This water can be consumed without limiting the amount in proportion to the needs of the body. However, filtered, chlorine-free water with a pH of 7-7.5 is best.

Appropriate drinks are also fruit and vegetable juices diluted with water, unsweetened and not very strong teas (especially green ones) or drinks made of roasted beans. Herbal teas, unless it is a treatment, should not be drunk too often and it is advisable to change them.

Inappropriate drinks

Drinks that should be avoided or consumed very rarely include various "soft drinks": lemonades, cola drinks, flavored mineral waters, energy drinks, nectars, etc.

The reason is sugar, which only increases the feeling of thirst and its "empty calories"; also artificial sweeteners, some of which increase appetite, or carbon dioxide, which together with organic acids (flavoring substances) damage tooth enamel and have other disadvantages listed above.

Watch out for caffeine

The caffeine contained in cola drinks has a diuretic effect (increases urine production, thanks to which more fluid is removed from the body than should be obtained after drinking the drink). It is also a mildly addictive substance that leads to hyperactivity in children. Phosphoric acid, which is also an ingredient in cola drinks, is likely to increase the risk of osteoporosis.

Coffee, black tea (caffeine) and alcoholic beverages are not part of the drinking regimen (they do not count towards the required daily amount of fluids), they can only be a flavor supplement to the diet. They should definitely be used sparingly. Even a healthy adult should not drink more than 0.5 liters of beer or 0.2 liters of wine per day. Coffee should be washed down with a glass of clean water.

How to properly hydrate yourself?

For "healthy" hydration, not only fluid intake and composition are important, but also the composition of the diet.

It should be drunk throughout the day, starting in the morning (a cup of tea or coffee is not enough to compensate for overnight water loss). Man is not a camel to drink his supply once a day. It is necessary to regulate fluid consumption in accordance with the current load and need.

The best liquid for hot weather is plain water or lemon and mint flavored water. Sweet and cold drinks increase the feeling of thirst.

Water for daily consumption should not be acidic, but slightly alkaline. Did you know that now you can have a source of healthy alkaline water in your home. Find out more.

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