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17 Oct 2020

The Importance Of Drinking Water

Water - why, where and how much? 

Throughout my life I heard an enormous amount of times of how important water drinking is. Its ability to regulate body temperature and transfer nutrients and waste products as a component of blood is legit. I heard it at school, uni, work and just everywhere I looked, but somehow I haven’t convinced myself to drink enough of it. Actually, there were times where I haven’t drunk plain water for days and I was fine. This made me ask how on earth I’m still alive if they recommend drinking about 2L daily? And so the investigation began! 

Here’s the thing - water is hidden. 

If you don’t physically see water when you drink it, it doesn’t mean it’s not there! For example tea and coffee can easily contribute to our daily fluid intake. There is just one fact to remember at this stage - both are diuretics which means they increase water losses. So, for example, if you have a cup of coffee 200ml, 146ml of it will be lost from the organism and only the remaining 54ml will contribute to the fluid intake. So where else do we get water from? 

Interestingly, water content in food can be anything from 10 to 98%. Take for example a cucumber, tomato, mushrooms or spinach - all have water content above 90%! Obviously, water from the food will not be enough on its own, so let’s keep looking for other sources. 

Fizzy drink? Yes! But be careful with these, high sugar alert! 

Smoothies? Of course! As smoothies are made from fruit which do contain water themselves, then there is either milk or water and voila a little bit of H2O contribution again. I must mention though, please limit smoothie intake to 150ml per day, again, due to high sugar content. (I know, I’m boring)

Juice? Yes! Good thing is, it contains vitamins and minerals which are very beneficial for your health. Bad thing is - it is low in fibre and high in sugar (again!).  Generally, together with smoothies should ideally be limited to a glass per day which will also contribute to your 5 a day fruit and vegetable intake! 

How much water do I need?

The reason why I haven’t died of dehydration of not drinking 2L per day can also be of the individual water requirements. These differ from person to person based on age, weight, activity and weather. 

As a matter of fact, exercising people and athletes require more water to maintain proper hydration. The longer and more intensely the person exercises, the more important they drink the right amount of water. 

On average, we require 1ml of water to 1kcal burned. So, if an athlete has burned 1000 kcal during a high intensity or endurance exercise class, the water loss has to be replaced. Preferably as soon as possible. This does also explain why it is said you need about 2L per day - because we burn around 2000kcal daily. EASY maths!

REMEMBER: Thousands have lived without love, but no one without water! H. Auden