Water comprises two thirds of the human body, which is essential for the function of the cells and organs. Water helps regulate body temperature through perspiration. It also facilitates in the transport of nutrients, boosts metabolism and assists in the elimination of waste. It’s perfect at quenching thirst and re-hydrating the system, preventing the onset of any illness.
How Much Water Do We Need?
Although we’ve repeatedly heard about the set rule on consuming 8 glasses of water a day, there’s not enough research to support this. However, this is a great way to fulfill a person’s fluid requirements.
We lose water through breath, perspiration, bowel movements and urine. To maintain body function, it is essential to replenish the water supply either by consuming beverages or including dietary sources of water.
The amount of water a person needs is subjective depending on the weather, diet and amount of activity during the day. If you’re living in a warm climate and your routine involves high intensity exercise, your requirement may be on the higher end. The Institute of Medicine determined that the adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly
The recommended intake can be fulfilled by both diet and beverages. Almost 20% of our water intake comes from our food and other drinks. So, even if you drink water only whenever you’re thirsty and consume foods that are rich in water content, you should be able to meet your target.2
If you’re struggling at getting through 8 glasses of water everyday, you must consider other effective non-water sources of water to incorporate in your diet.
Dietary Sources Of Water
Fruits and vegetables contain a large amount of water in proportion to their weight. Some foods that ensure you meet optimum water intake are:
|Food||Food Weight (gms.)||Percentage of Water|
The other fruits rich in water content are apricot, bananas, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, pear and oranges.
|Food||Food Weight (gms.)||Percentage of
Also consider other vegetables rich in water content like broccoli, carrots, peas, sweet pepper, white potatoes and green tomatoes.3
Other Natural Alternatives
Coconut water is one of the most popular water substitutes. It is safe, clean and natural. It is recommended as a good source of hydration for people recovering from illnesses. It is also good to have on a daily basis. Coconut water is low in carbohydrates and rich in the five electrolytes: calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and sodium. It is a great thirst quencher and good for weight watchers too. Coconut water is also said to benefit the skin and aid in clearing toxins from the body.
Buttermilk is made by beating down thick yoghurt (curd) with a liberal quantity of water and seasoned with ginger, curry leaves, cumin seed powder and salt. It is not only a thirst quencher but also replenishes the body’s need for fluids. It can be safely consumed by convalescents as it is easy on the digestive system. The yoghurt in buttermilk is a
Which Foods Should You Avoid?
While you are trying hard to build up necessary hydration levels, there are some foods that you should avoid that can dehydrate you. So abstain from these common dehydrating foods:
Alcohol curtails the production of anti-diuretic hormone, which is used by the body to reabsorb water. This causes the body to lose more fluid than normal with the promotion of urine production.4
High Protein Diets
According to UConn’s Department of Nutritional Sciences, hydration levels are influenced by the increased protein in a diet. This is because a higher quantity of water is used to digest protein and eliminate waste. Researches recommend increasing fluid intake when consuming a high protein diet, whether they feel thirsty or not. Also, avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol when you’re on a high protein diet.5
|↑1||Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2004. Accessed on March 28, 2009|
|↑2||Water In Diet, U.S National Library of Medicine|
|↑3||Water Content of Fruits and Vegetables, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture|
|↑4||Dehydration Causes, NHS Choices|
|↑5||Too Much Protein Can Lead to Dehydration, Researchers Find, Advance University of Connecticut|