Do you ever feel thirsty in the middle of your day, but right after you just have something else in your mind and forget about it? One of the main obstacles to keeping ourselves hydrated is that in some cases we don’t pay much attention to our body’s request for water. It can be misleading, too, since sometimes we’re lacking water and think that we are hungry instead of thirsty. Other times you might feel a bit dizzy and sluggish until you notice that you need some water.
The positive effects of keeping yourself hydrated are many: water is essential to all basic body functions, promotes adequate nutrient absorption, prevents kidney stone formation, and reduces the likelihood of cancers in the digestive system. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight, or lose some pounds if you are overweight.
The traditional “8 glasses of water” as a daily intake recommendation was substituted long ago for more specific guidelines given by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Medicine, which are stated below:
General recommendations for women are 2.7 liters (91 oz) of total water –from all beverages and foods– each day, and about 3.7 liters (125 oz) for men. The panel did not set an upper level for water. This board also assured that “the vast majority of healthy people adequately meet their daily hydration needs by letting thirst be their guide.”
About 80% of people’s total fluid intake comes from drinking water and beverages, and the other 20% comes from food. Consequently, the total amount of water suggested is 11 glasses for women and 15 for men; what you actually need to drink, which is 80% of this amount, would be 9 glasses of water for women and 12 glasses for men. However, these are the basic requirements, so they could be higher if you’re very active or expose yourself to high temperatures.
It’s also important to keep in mind that caffeinated drinks dehydrate the body, so don´t rely on this type of beverages because it will provide you with liquid but stimulate its loss as well. Avoid sugary drinks, too, since they can also be dehydrating and leave you feeling thirstier in the long run.
Now, the first thing to do is be aware of your body’s fluid needs; if it’s not easy for you to tell, you can start by logging your intake in a regular day, and evaluate if it fits the minimal requirements. If it doesn’t, ask yourself why you aren’t reaching those requirements – for example, is it because you don’t like the taste of plain water, or you just forget to drink it? And then apply a solution that works for you, such as getting flavored water, or setting a couple of reminders on your phone throughout the day.
So stay in touch with your body’s needs, and when in doubt, drink a sip of water and let your body talk.
You can use too some strategies to achieve this goal, click here and make your own plan and share it with family and friends.