I got a sheet entitled “Hydration” from a gym today that got me thinking about how much information is out there; and how much conflicting information is out there. So I started doing some research myself. After thoroughly exploring 4 Google pages of information I got advice ranging from 3.3 litres all the way down to “don’t worry about it”.
Some sites had calculators – you could enter information, how much you weigh, how active you are, how hot or cold is it where you live, and presto, out comes the magic number of ounces or litres you need to drink to stay healthy, fit and young. Some sites had a basic calculation of one ounce for every two pounds of body weight. Other sites counted food and coffee or tea as contributors to the water equation, still others said these things did not count. Apparently as we age our mechanism for registering thirst deteriorates and that’s why many elderly die in times of great heat waves.
Whatever else is out there, the effects of not enough water are scary, to say the least. Here’s a quote from the website http://www.the-benefits-of-honey.com (I know – go figure)
“The consequence of consuming insufficient water can be devastating to our body. The cells will start to draw water from the bloodstream instead, causing the heart to work harder. At the same time, when the kidneys fail to cleanse the blood effectively due to inadequate water, the liver and other organs will have to work harder, putting them under extra stress. Continuous water loss over time will speed up aging but increase risks of diseases and health issues such as constipation, dry and itchy skin, acne, nosebleeds, urinary tract infection, coughs, sneezing, sinus pressure, and headaches.”
Of all the stuff I read, the most useful advice came from this site:
“We’ve all heard something about drinking 8 eight ounce glasses per day. But the amount of water you drink should really depend on the individual, as well as your lifestyle.
If you exercise and sweat a lot, then you would need to drink more water. Also, it’s important to note that drinking liquids other than water are not a good substitute.
Even changing the amount of minerals the water contains can change how your body absorbs it. So think twice before drinking anything other than pure water, and counting it toward your total.
My recommendation for figuring out how much water you need to drink in a day, is to look at the color of your pee.
Yes, it might seem silly, but it’s a great way to get immediate feedback on how dehydrated your body is. If your pee is dark or yellow, then you aren’t drinking enough water. It’s only once your pee is clear that you know you’re getting enough water.
Notice that most mornings your pee is dark, whereas throughout the day it is more clear. That’s because our bodies get dehydrated during the night from exhaling, sweating, and because we aren’t drinking any water during the night.”
Yep, we all look, even though we say we don’t, but who knew it was the right thing to do? :)
Now you know.