Thursday, February 28, 2013

How Much Water To Drink A Day?

Water is our body's principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of our body weight. Research shows us that the body needs water to function correctly (from helping the brain to work at its optimum, to eliminating waste).
Enough water helps your energy levels to be more consistent, improves concentration & is helpful to people with gut problems such as IBS and constipation. As the cells of your skin & cells at the roots of your hair will be hydrated, your skin will be clearer and hair bouncier!
How much water to drink a day? Though there is a rough estimation of 2.5 liters a day, needs vary by individual. The water needs depend on many factors, including lifestyle, health status, size & weight, how active people are and where they live, the climate they live in, and if they’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
If you don’t drink enough water to replenish your daily needs you can get dehydrated. If you think you may not be getting enough fluids, check if you have any of these other common signs of dehydration:
One of the first signs of dehydration is feeling thirsty,
Dark-colored urine and not passing much urine when you go to the toilet,
    Lack of energy,
  & Feeling lightheaded.

What is the amount of fluid needed by an average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate? According to the Institute of Medicine an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. The Institute also recommends that pregnant women drink 2.3 liters (about 10 cups) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume 3.1 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids a day.

To many people water is boring, but the more you drink, the less of a chore it becomes. In fact your body learns to recognize it and crave it when dehydrated.
Though it helps to stagger your water intake throughout the day rather than going for hours without anything, then downing half a liter - if you do this your kidneys will struggle and you'll find yourself dashing to the loo.
Water is the healthiest choice of drink because it has no calories and contains no sugars that can damage teeth. Don’t like the taste of plain water, add a slice of lemon or lime, or try sparkling water. You could also add some squash or fruit juice for flavor.
Milk and juice are good source for our fluid needs too.
Milk contains calcium, vitamins and other minerals, and does not cause tooth decay.
As for fruit juice and fruit smoothies, they contain a variety of vitamins that are good for our health. But while their water content is high, they can contain quite a lot of sugar that can damage teeth. And Smoothies should be treated as a food, not a drink, because they contain very little water. So it’s better to stick to one glass a day.
Fruits that have high level of water in them are healthy fluid source too.
Fizzy drinks, diet versions of fizzy drinks, squashes contain lots of sugar and very few nutrients, so keep them to a minimum.
Some nutritionists and doctors say that 2.5 liters of squash a day will hydrate your body in the same way as plain water, which is physiologically correct. But this amount of squash will also give you a lot of other substances, from sugar or artificial sweeteners to additives and preservatives, which can affect behavior, energy levels and your waistline, as well as dental health.
Getting children to drink fewer sugary drinks is a good way to reduce the amount of sugar they consume. Children who drink a lot of sugary drinks are more likely to become overweight and have damaged teeth.
The best drinks to give children are water, milk and milkshakes without added sugar. If you or your children like fizzy drinks, try diluting fruit juice with sparkling water instead. Remember to dilute squashes well to reduce the sugar content in the drink.
Sports drinks & Energy drinks are no different to any other sugary soft drinks, which mean they are high in calories and contribute to tooth decay. Energy drinks also often contain high levels of caffeine & Sports drinks can be only useful if you are taking part in endurance sports.
Energy drinks are not suitable for babies, children or pregnant woman.
For adults beer, wine and caffeinated beverages — such as coffee, tea or soda — can contribute, but these should not become a major source for your daily total fluid intake.
And pregnant women should have no more than 200mg of caffeine a day( One mug of instant coffee contains around 100mg of caffeine). High levels of caffeine can result in babies having a low birth weight, which can increase the risk of health problems in later life. It might also cause miscarriage.
Try to choose healthier drinks as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Water, however, is a pure liquid with virtually no additives and the healthiest drink there is.
To ward off dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. It's also a good idea to:
Drink a glass of water before going to sleep & in the morning after waking up.
Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal.
 Drink water before, during and after exercise.
Try keeping a small water bottle in your bag when you go outside and drink a little whenever you are thirsty.
So Try to drink enough water & don't forget to encourage your children to drink water, too, aiming for around four to six glasses a day. And if you have specific concerns or questions about how much fluid you need, check with your doctor.

There are also some Hydration Calculator on inetrtnet you use to get an idea of how much water you need to drink. The links are given bellow

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