Human body is made up of 60–70% of water. Water is imperative for functioning of cells and organs in human body, Water acts as a lubricant for joints, regulates body temperature through sweating and respiration, and helps to flush waste. We lose around 2–3 litres of water every day through sweating, breathing, urine and bowel movements. These functions are vital for body’s survival, thus we need to compensate the lost water by hydrating ourselves in order to make our body function properly.
How much water is daily needed?
There is no accurate answer to this question as daily water requirement may differ for different individuals because factors like body type, exercise, environment, health conditions, and pregnancy/breast feeding influences the need of water.
For example people who are active and workout regularly require more water than those who are less physically active because their body will lose more water while doing exercises, so their daily water intake will automatically increase.
However according to a medical research it is advisable for a man to drink at least 2.5 to 3.7 litres of water daily and for a woman to drink at least 2–3.1 litres of water daily.
But if we are not drinking appropriate amount of water regularly then we are likely to face these problems:
- Headaches and Migraine.
- Skin problems like dryness.
- Lethargy and lack of energy
- Weak immune system.
Drinking adequate amount of water will not only help in regular bowel movements, body’d detoxification, but also improves the overall immune system.
But the fact the 90% people drink water in a wrong way
Drinking water is an art that should be done right. You must be thinking about what to eat and how to eat it but, have you ever given a thought about your drinking habits?
Let’s have a glance at the 5 bad drinking habits which we are unaware of :
1. Consuming water before, after and during meals.
Gulping down water after a heavy meal or while eating popcorns in a cinema hall is the most tempting and satisfying thing for any person but sadly it is the most dreadful thing for the human body.
Whenever we eat food, our body’s temperature rises, resulting in stomach’s to secrete digestive juices(pepsin, renin, hydrochloric acid) to digest the food and breaks it’s nutrients into small parts for the body to absorb and use for energy, growth, and cell repair.
But drinking water immediately before or after eating dilutes the digestive juices and therefore reducing the body’s ability to digest food.Because of this indigestion of food, not only our body will fail to absorb the nutrients from it but can also welcome various problems like bloating, acidity and gas, thus proving harmful for the overall health. That is the reason you might hear people saying that “I am not getting desired results even after eating healthy food”. Well this could the be answer for this saying.
When should we actually drink water?
The ideal time to consume water should be at least 1 hour after the meal and 30 minutes before the meal.
2. Gulping down the water
If you think by drinking water in haste will make you remain hydrated and let your body absorb all the benefits of it, then think again. If you drink water in a very fast manner your body will not absorb it and will flush most of it. It is exactly opposite of what water should do to our bodies.
Stomach is acidic in nature and saliva is alkaline and its primary function is to stablize the acid in stomach through salivation but while gulping a large amount of water at once, very less saliva gets mixed with water. Hence the atmosphere inside the stomach remains acidic and this may lead to acidity, gas, and may even increase weight as stomach fails to absorb nutrients from the food we eat and moreover this may cause improper detoxification by not removing the complete unwanted material from our body.
How should we drink water?
Drink water in a sip-sip way.
3. Drinking cold water
If you come from office or gym and immediately run towards grabbing a chilled water bottle from the refrigerator to remove your thirst, then please stop doing that. You might have heard that drinking cold or chilled water can make your throat sore. Yes that’s right but not only sore throat, drinking cold water has some very serious shortcomings.
- Cold water shrinks the blood vessels which restricts the digestion process therefore affecting the natural process of absorbing nutrients from the food we eat. The main reason for this is our body’s needs to spend extra energy regulate the body temperature when you consume anything which has a very low temperature like cold water. That extra energy is actually necessary for proper digestion and absorbing the nutrients.
- Cold water solidifies fat from the foods and as a result it becomes difficult for your body to breakdown the unwanted fats from your body. It may even lead to constipation as it becomes difficult for the body to pass the solidified food through stools.
- According to a study conducted in 1978, involving 15 people, reported that drinking cold water made nasal mucous thicker and more difficult to pass through the respiratory tract.
- Some studies also suggests that drinking cold water may cause headaches in some people and moreover it may increase the headaches frequency for people who are suffering from migraine.
What should I do if only cold water removes my thirst?
Instead of drinking cold water use old famous natural cooling springs earthen pots as they not only will give you the cool water but also provides you with the healing attributes of the earth. As the clay of the earthen pot is alkaline in nature ,therefore it helps in balancing the pH of our body.
Refer this for checking out all the underlying benefits of using earthen pots.
4. Drinking excess water
Drinking water heedlessly because of most of us believes that drinking more water is directly proportional to getting more benefits but the real fact is that this statement is not correct. Hydration is imperative for our bodies to function properly but excess of it may cause Water intoxication.
The excess water dilutes the blood sodium levels and causes fluids to move inside cells which makes them to swell which might also result in producing dangerous and potentially life-threatening effects . Some common symptoms of Water intoxication are headache, nausea and increased blood pressure.
What is the solution?
Drink water whenever you feel the need of it.
5. Drinking water while standing
We’re always in rush and hurry because of the fast paced lifestyle which demands us to multitasking between multiple things like consuming Chicken roll and Pepsi while driving.
This kind of lifestyle is not only harming us but to all who are directly or indirectly associated with us. Our mind is not designed to focus on multiple things at one time. It will take me articles to explain the importance of doing one thing a at a time with relaxation.
Well along with this, we all have the habit of unconsciously drinking water in a standing position whether we came home from office or a tiring workout session and the fact is most of us possess this habit. Since we all believe that we can drink water in any position be it sitting or standing, it doesn’t matter at all. If you also think the same then this must definitely be a wakeup call for you. When water is not consumed in a right posture, it can create some serious health problems like:
- Drinking water in a standing position can lead to imbalance of fluids in the body. This imbalance can lead to greater accumulation of fluids in the joints thus triggering Arthritis.
- Drinking water while standing doesn’t allow the kidneys to filter the water properly. This may cause the impurities to gather in the blood and sometimes even in the bladder and it can further lead to kidney damage in the long run.
- When we drink water while standing, the water goes straight with great force and speed through the food canal and splashes on to the lower stomach wall. This splash damages the lower stomach wall and even cause injuries to the nearby organs. It may also lead to digestive issues in the long run.
What is the solution?
Drink water comfortably while sitting.
We have been discussing a handful of blunders that we do while drinking water. By just fixing those blunder you can see the actual results that this gift of nature can give us. Here are some hacks that you can apply while drinking water to get more health benefits:
- Immediately drink water after waking up to stop dehydration even if you don’t feel thirsty because our body didn’t get any fluid for 7–8 hours while sleeping and it will also help in flushing out toxins from our body.
- One simple way to drink more water is to eat foods that are rich in water for example Watermelon contains 90% water, similarly Lettuce and Celery contains 95% water. In additional to their rich fluid contents, these fruits and vegetables are also packed with vitamins and minerals to promote the overall health.
- Start drinking water in copper vessels to multiply the health benefits because copper has properties that helps to detox and kill the harmful bacterias present in the stomach thus promoting the overall digestion.Researches have shown that drinking adequate amount of water regularly for 3 months improves digestion, slows down ageing, aids in weight loss and boosts immunity.
Water is a basic necessity of life and if you want to get maximum benefits out of it then always keep these above mentioned measures in mind. To summarise:
- The ideal time to consume water should be at least 1 hour after the meal and 30 minutes before the meal.
- Drink Water in a sip-sip way.
- Instead of drinking chilled water use earthen pots.
- Always drink water comfortably while sitting.
There are many more topics we need to discuss in detail, follow me and keep an eye on this place. In the next few posts I will be writing in detail about the following topics:
- Creatine, Yes or No?
- Are you consuming fruits in a correct manner?
- Learn about compound exercises.
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