WHY YOU SHOULD ALWAYS STAY HYDRATED

Drinking water can help you lose weight! A study done on women at an unhealthy weight showed that those who drank water lost more weight than those who did not.You need to drink more water if you are exercising, live or work in warm weather, or breastfeeding. More fluid is needed when breastfeeding, so you may need additional fluids to stay hydrated. As a new mom, drinking plenty of water is something simple you can do to keep yourself and your baby healthy.3.4 million People, mostly children, die annually from water-related diseases. Most of these illnesses and deaths can be prevented through simple, inexpensive measures. For instance, trachoma remains the leading cause of preventable blindness, accounting for 146 million acute cases around the world. But the disease is almost unheard of in places where basic water supply, sanitation and hygiene prevail.

Water is life, and our bodies need water more than they need food, sleep, or exercise. An important component of every bodily function, water is the major portion of our digestion and elimination systems. It also cushions and lubricates brain and joint tissue. Water also transports nutrients and carries waste away from the cells. And it helps regulate body temperature by distributing heat and cooling the body through perspiration. Our bodies are composed of water. The entire human body is about 66 percent water. Our bones are composed of 22 percent water, muscles are 76 percent and blood is 83 percent. Lungs are 90 percent, and our brains are actually 95 percent water. It is easy to see why water and hydration play such a critical role in a healthful lifestyle. Hydration is the replacement of body fluids lost through sweating, exhaling, and elimination. It’s just as important at the office or on the couch as it is in the gym. And proper hydration does more than just keep you from getting thirsty.

Water helps your body with the following:

  • Keeps its temperature normal.
  • Lubricates and cushions your joints.
  • Gets rid of wastes through urination, sweating, and bowel movements.
  • Water carries nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body.
  • Water is the main property of blood, which carries nutrients to cells and carries wastes out of the body.
  • Water helps convert food into energy.
  • Water protects and cushions vital organs.
  • Water lubricates joints.
  • Water regulates body temperature.
  • Water moistens oxygen for breathing.
  • Water is essential for our senses to work properly. Hearing waves are transmitted through fluids in the ear, light is reflected through fluids in the eye, and food and odours must be dissolved in water for taste and smell.
  • Water is one of the six nutrients essential for life (water, fat, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals).
  • The body can last up to six weeks without food, but only one week without water

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

Under average circumstances, the body loses and needs to replace approximately 2 to 3 quarts of water daily. All bodily functions, including breathing, cause water loss, which means that water needs to be replaced on a daily basis. When you are asleep, you lose as much or more water as when you are awake and you need as much water in cold weather as in warm weather. Luckily, many of the foods we eat are composed primarily of water. Foods with particularly high water content include greens and most fruits and vegetables. Caffeinated beverages such as soft drinks, tea, and coffee also count, in part, toward our daily fluid intake. Though they do not ‘dehydrate’ you, they can promote increased urination, so they should not be the primary non-food source of liquids during your day. The best source of hydration is probably water, or drinks that are primarily water, such as sport replacement drinks, herbal teas, lemon water, and vegetable broth.

RISKS OF DEHYDRATION

  • If you don’t drink enough water, your body can become dehydrated.
  • Signs you are dehydrated include: dryness in the mouth, headache, feeling dizzy, confused, and fatigued.
  • If you ignore these signs of dehydration you could become severely dehydrated, which is a life-threatening condition.
  • Signs of severe dehydration include: not urinating, convulsions, rapid breathing, weak pulse, and loose skin.
  • ­Diarrhoea causes 4% of all deaths and 5% of health loss to disability worldwide. It is most commonly caused by gastrointestinal infections, which kill around 2.2 million people globally each year, mostly children under five in developing countries. 88% of that burden is attributable to unsafe water supply, sanitation and hygiene.
  • ­More than 50 countries still report cholera to world health organisation (WHO).
  • ­Emerging challenges: increasing use of wastewater in agriculture is important for livelihood opportunities, but also associated with serious public health risks.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Tips to increase your water intake:

  • Make water accessible – Use a water bottle that you can carry around the house with you, bring to work, and keep with you in the car. Having your water bottle at arm’s reach will remind you to keep drinking!
  • Make water easy to remember – Set a reminder on your phone or watch that will help you to remember when you plan to finish your glass or bottle and when it is time to refill! Fluids are more easily absorbed from the body when they are somewhat cooler, about 40-60 degrees. Keep a one- or two-quart bottle of water in your refrigerator, and make sure you drink and refill it daily

 

  • Make water fun! Add slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon, or drink sparkling water. Visit the Recipes or Sparkling Water modules for more tips.
  • Drink water when breastfeeding. Keep water nearby when you are breastfeeding to stay hydrated.
  • Drink extra water when exercising. Visit the Water and Exercise module to find out how much to drink when walking and being active.When exercising, drink one to two cups of fluid 30 minutes before and half to one-cup fluid every 15 minutes of exercise.
  • Bring your family on board – Encourage your family to drink more water by stocking the fridge with jugs or bottles of water. You are your baby’s first teacher, so set a good example!
  • Your baby should not drink water until they are at least 6 months old.
  • Your baby will get all the water they need from your breast milk or formula.
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