Every function in your body needs fluid to perform seamlessly. It is crucial to keep hydrated for many reasons as fluid helps to regulate body temperature, deliver nutrients to all parts of the body, keep our joints lubricated, and stabilize our mood and mental capacity, to mention some.
The Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) recommends about 10 to 12 glasses of water for Filipino adults per day, particularly during hot and humid weather, which we are experiencing right now. Yet, based on survey, Filipinos have low water intake adequacy to just about 7 glasses daily that poses risks for dehydration. Thus, here are some ways that you can take to stay hydrated:
Timing is the key in keeping hydrated throughout the day. Drink water or any fluids at a given interval even if you are not thirsty. Some people may have a hard time recognizing that their body needs fluid, thus having a timer may help you stay hydrated every time.
Choose water-rich foods for snacks. This includes vegetable salad and fruits (e.g. watermelon, melon, citrus fruits). This will help you be plumped between meals.
Always have a glass or bottle of water by your desk where you work. Placing a source of water where you work can help you stay focused by being hydrated. Over-worked people tend to ignore thirst and may often experience irritability and headache more often than people who are well-moisturized. Also, dehydrated people have high risks for developing urinary tract infection (UTI).
Carry a reusable bottle of water whenever you go. Carrying a reusable bottle of water will remind you to drink whenever possible. Plus, this will save you money from buying a bottle of water from store.
Drink water before and after your meals. This habit may not just increase your fluid intake dramatically but also help you to control your eating.
It is just not just water that keeps you hydrated. All beverages including coconut water, tea, sports drinks, and milk contribute toward achieving your recommended needs. Though caffeinated beverages and alcohol are said to be dehydrating due to their diuretic effects, many people consume them as part of their daily diet and lifestyle. For these people, it may be a bad idea to avoid them, therefore responsible consumption is best recommended. For coffee, it is advisable to limit consumption to 1 cup per day; for alcohol, men and women are allowed 1 to 2 drinks and 1 drink per day respectively. It is also better to stay away from high-sugar drinks. High-sugar drinks may keep water from being absorbed in the body, as sugar attracts fluids during excretion (That is why eating high-sugar meals can trigger watery stool or diarrhea.). This is aside from the fact that excessive sugar intake can lead to weight gain and increase your risk for developing diabetes.
Albeit, water is still a good choice due to several reasons. Water is relatively affordable than the other choices and can be taken up with your medicines. And for weight watchers, water has no calories.
Our body loses water every minute through sweating, breathing, and excretion of biological waste. Thus, when our body senses that we are at risk of dehydration, we may feel thirsty, irritability, tiredness, dizziness, dry lips and mouth, and even experience low blood pressure. You can also tell yourself if you are dehydrated through your urine. If your urine is dark in color, you better tank up a glass of water.
Thank God, quenching thirst is one of the good feelings in the world. So do not ignore thirst, gulp a drink when you need to.