Contributed by- Saumya Shatakshi, Senior Nutritionist
If you are ever troubled with this question, then read on.
Air, water, and sunlight are the pillars of our existence. Out of these three, water constitutes 60% of the human body. A healthy intake of water is essential for carrying nutrients to our cells, removing bacteria from our cells, averting dehydration and restoring water lost via sweat and urine. The advantages are manifold. Right from a smoother younger skin, to silky hair, to weight loss, to better digestion and energy all through the day, water supports all our internal body functions also. Drinking water is like taking a shower on the inside of your body. It is our magical component to a better existence.
As suggested by our nutritionist, 10-12 glasses which equals around 3 liters, is the minimum water required to stay hydrated. This includes all fluid intake in a day. Certain foods like spinach, lettuce, watermelon and soups give our body the required fluids that work parallel with water to process required amount of fluid intake. Similarly, coconut water, chaach, lassi, vita water, aam panna, nimbu pani, bael sharbat etc are also advisable, especially in the scorching summers.
FAQ’s : How much water should you drink in a day
a) What is the best time to drink water?
Though there is no best time to drink water, you should be sipping water the whole day; it is recommended to drink at least 2 glasses of water early morning on empty stomach to facilitate your digestion process.
b) How long should I wait after meals to drink water?
After having meals wait at least 1 hours before consuming water.
c) Is it advisable to drink water at least an hour before the meal?
Yes, though time can be less than an hour also. This helps in avoiding overeating and better digestion.
d) I find drinking only water very boring. What else can I drink and when?
There are many options if you want to increase your fluid intake.
- Drink fresh fruit juice along with your breakfast to increase energy levels and help maintain electrolyte levels of your body.
- Drink aam panna, bael sharbat or sattu sharbat mid-day to fight the summer heat.
- For afternoon meals lassi, chaach, mattha or buttermilk is recommended as they promote digestive enzymes and aids in digestion.
- For evening, nariyal pani, watermelonon crush, jal jeera in summers and soups in winters is recommended.
- After dinner, one can have warm milk for better sleep.
What happens when you don’t drink enough water?
Lack of drinking water not only leaves a person with a dry mouth and throat but with the gradual deterioration of the body. This is also the sign of the onset of several diseases and illnesses. We can do without eating food for a month or so but not without water. Dehydrated body leads to thickening of blood causing resistance to blood flow, resulting in blood cholesterol. This is the body’s response to prevent loss of water from the cells. Lack of water in the body may lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure which can further increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Muscle tension, cramps, chapped lips, dry mouth, and fatigue are signs that one is drinking less water than what the body requires. It is best to listen to our body and increase our daily intake before getting affected by the long-term consequences.
Tips to increase water intake
- Carry water whenever you step outside.
- Keep a bottle full of water and a glass on your work desk /bedroom /study table.
- Always drink water in a glass. This assures that at least 225 ml is consumed each time you pick a glass of water to drink.
- Always finish the water in the glass. Do not just take small sips.
- Once you are used to drinking 1 glass each time, target drinking 2 glasses at a time.
- If none of the above suits you, drink small sips at regular interval but make sure you finish the bottle.
Drinking more water/ fluids is just a tiny step to a healthier you! Any effort to take these tiny steps will give you numerous long-term benefits.
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