Hi everybody and welcome back to my blog. Today I would like to talk about the importance of water and hydration, which forms the base of our food pyramid.
Why we need it
Every single function in your body relies on the presence of water, from digestion and nerve signaling to the delivery of oxygen to the muscles.
Our body consists of about 60% (or more) water. It helps to:
- Maintain the balance of body fluids
- Dissolve and transport nutrients
- Bulk nutrients and transporting them through the intestines
- Eliminate waste via kidneys
- Regulates body temperature
How much water should we drink?
As we know water should be odourless and colourless. Recommendations for a healthy lifestyle are 2.5-3 l of total water intake. This should mostly be accomplished by drinking just water. About 20% of your water intake can be taken in by foods.
For any normal exercise an additional 500ml of water is recommended. If you exercise intensely (running a marathon for example) you will require more fluid intake than normal. How much more is needed depends on how much you sweat. During long intense exercises, sports drinks are advised to keep the electrolyte levels on track.
What are good sources to stay hydrated?
The best source to stay hydrated is drinking water of course but there are some vegetables and fruits that contain a large amount of water as well. These are good sources to stay hydrated
Lack of water
A lack of water can range from just being uncomfortable to life threatening. Thirst appears when we lose water worth more than 0.5% of our body weight.
When we are dehydrated our body does not have enough fluids to keep up its normal processes. The common signs of dehydration are a dry mouth, headache, weakness, thirst and dizziness but can be overcome by drinking enough water.
Severe dehydration on the other hand causes lack of sweating, rapid heartbeat, and sunken eyes and needs immediate medical attention.
Dehydration also affects the electrolyte levels in our body. These are needed to control signals, including the ones that control our nervous system, heart and brain. A lack of these electrolytes confuses our body’s signaling and can lead to muscle cramps, seizures and loss of consciousness.
A loss of water worth 15% of our body weight would lead to death.
Therefore ensure you have a full water bottle to hand so you can stay hydrated!
Happy healthy eating,