How much is enough?!

In the summer when it got pretty hot here I posted a blog to “Stay hydrated”. That gave me a little bit of a base to start writing today`s blog which is an assignment for my studies. In short “write a personal blog post about beverages” – healthy beverages that help us to stay hydrated, I may add!

And funny enough, a few days ago the water intake came up with my husband, too, him not truly seeing the need of drinking a lot of water, while I am the one pushing to increase the intake, especially with my kids.

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The `8 glasses of water a day` saying is out there, as a rule of thumb, not really scientifically proven it seems. And I found it rather interesting that when searching `how much you should drink`, the search engines tends to switch it into `how much water should you drink`. It leaves the impression that only water is important and seen as a healthy drink. And I would like to get more into that, as I find that is sends a wrong message.

I think we will all agree that it is important and crucial to have enough (healthy) liquid intake throughout the day and that (clean) water is the healthiest beverage, but is is not the only one. And not everybody likes to drink that much water. I for example, remember that I distasted water during the first trimester when I was pregnant with my second child. It tasted horrible to me, left me with a metal taste. But we lived in a hot and humid country and it was crucial to have a sufficient healthy liquid intake.

I eased the taste of water during this time by adding pieces of lemon, cucumber, ginger and/or apple to the water. I still do that during times when I drink a lot of water and get bored by it.

And if water is not your thing, or you get bored by the taste, try out some teas – hot or iced – they are a great healthy beverage, too. As long as you prepare them yourself – especially the ice-teas as the store-bought ones are usually very high on sugar! That is something you do want to avoid, especially when you want to increase your liquid intake. There are some great webpages for ice-teas out there, go and try some of them, try to eliminate sugar or at least reduce it to the very minimum when preparing the teas!

Having a healthy and foremost steady beverage intake through the day is important and healthy for several reasons. Some of the below are my own experiences some are based on information found on http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water#1

  • It helps to wash the toxins out of your body, supports the liver function.
  • It helps to keep your body energized – whenever I do not drink enough throughout the day, I feel kind of sickish and very exhausted during the late afternoon/evening. Filling myself up with 2 glasses of water helps me to perk up again, but a steady intake makes me feel better throughout the day and into the evening.
  • Drinking 1-2 glasses of water before eating can as well help if you want to lose some weight, as it fills you up before you even start eating and helps the digestion.
  • It helps to balance the body fluids, after all our body is composed of about 60% water. That means it can help your digestion, absorption, create saliva, transport nutrition.
  • It helps to maintain your body temperature, especially important when it is hot, when you do work out, sweat a lot or when you have a fever.

But that still leaves the question of how much fluid intake is enough? While the 8 glasses a day is a good rule of the thumb I would say it varies per person, for example:

  • It depends on your own feeling, some people need more then others, I for example need more then 8 glasses a day.
  • It depends on your weight, if you weigh more you need more water/liquid
  • It depends how active you are throughout the day
  • It depends what kind of sports you do and how much you sweat during your workout
  • It depends on your diet, some foods make you really thirsty
  • It depends how much water your body is used to, the more you increase the intake the more it may crave after a while

A clear sign that you do not drink enough is when you start to feel thirsty –  thirst is a sign of dehydration, and a steady intake of healthy beverages will help help you to reach that stage.

Having said all this, people often overlook that a healthy liquids does not only come in a glass or bottle. Even if you are not a big “drinker” foods, especially fruits can bring you fluids, too. One overview on high water content fruits can be find under my above mentioned blog. And another one listing different foods I found in the Yoga Journal, please see at the end of the blog post.

And obviously, whenever you drink a fruit juice or soda you get a fluid intake, too. But I did not mention them yet, as they are not meant to be your daily `go-to`drink as they contain too much sugar. If you drink them, try to reduce them to a glass a day and/or dilute them with water. Teach your body and mind to start liking water and unsweetened drinks!

Happy, healthy drinking

Have a lovely day

AK

drink your food
No more eight glasses a day: New research says you can get your water from food and even coffee.

  SERVING SIZE AMT. OF WATER % BY VOL.
lettuce 1/2 cup 1.8 oz. / 53 ml 95%
broccoli 1/2 cup 2.7 oz. ./ 80 ml 91%
grapefruit 1/2 cup 3.4 oz. / 100ml 91%
raw carrot 1 medium 2.1 oz. / 62ml 87%
apple 1 medium 3.5 oz.  / 103 ml 84%
spaghetti (cooked) 1 cup 3.3 oz. / 97 ml 66%
watermelon 1 cup 5.1 oz. / 150 ml 92%
skim milk 8 oz. / 237 ml 7.5 oz. / 222 ml 94%
coffee or tea 8 oz. / 237ml 7.9 oz. / 234 ml 99.5%
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