Are You Drinking Enough Water?
Our body is made up of about 60% water so it is vital to ensure that we drink plenty of it on a daily basis. We all know that a human can not survive for many days without water so it is essential for our health and wellbeing. Studies show that when athletes become dehydrated by as little as 2% of body weight their performance can be affected. Water is vital to all bodily functions as it regulates body temperature, metabolism, it acts as a lubricant to joints and makes up our saliva. These points are just a few of many benefits we experience when consuming water.
If we do not consume enough fluids throughout the day then our body will become dehydrated and experience negative side effects as a result. Dehydration leads to a decrease in the volume of blood in the body which then causes our body temperature to increase, our heart then has to work harder to pump the smaller volume of blood around the circulation. Severe dehydration can result in laboured breathing, dizziness, weakness and confusion. In rare cases dehydration can prove to be fatal. Many of us underestimate the importance of drinking enough water on a daily basis and in actual fact get nowhere near the recommended amount!
Many people suffer from mild dehydration without realising. Dehydration can be accumulative over days of not drinking enough particularly in hot environments, or through sweating during exercise or training. Symptoms of dehydration include; sluggishness, fatigue, loss of appetite, feeling excessively hot, and light headed. One way to tell if you are drinking enough is to check the colour of your urine and it should ideally be dilute, pale and plenty of it. A dark coloured urine of small volume indicates dehydration. You learn something new everyday hey!
So you probably all want to know how much you should be consuming a day?
Well research suggests that we should drink 1000mls for every 1000 kcal we consume.
Here are some figures that will help:
1800 kcal = 1800mls
2000kcal = 2 litres
2500kcal = 2.5 litres
3000kcal = 3 litres
You will need to drink more if in hot humid weather, or if water loss increases due to sweating.
Did you know that drinking more water a day can you lose weight?
A recent randomised control trial showed that those on the trial who drank 2 glasses of water before a meal three times per day lost more weight over a 12 week dietary programme compared to those who did not drink water before each meal. The water helps to fill up the stomach helping you feel full, and assisting in weight management. Also, by ensuring that dieters are adequately hydrated on a daily basis helps them to distinguish between thirst or hunger cues (which are often confused by people who diet).
Here are some Top Tips to help you ensure that you consume enough water a day.
• Have at least 8 glasses of fluids per day.
• Check the colour of your urine first thing to make sure you are hydrated.
• Always make sure you carry a bottle of water with you, or keep on your desk at work to remind you to drink.
• Increase your fluid intake if you are in a hot, humid climate, or if exercising.
• If trying to lose weight drink a couple of glasses of water before each meal.