Water is the most abundant molecule in our bodies. It not just makes up a lot of our bodies, but it is critical to several chemical processes that keep them running and healthy. Water eases the movements of bones. It keeps eyes free of infection. It helps our bodies dispose of waste. Considering that drinking enough water and drinking it well is essential for our health, hydration is not something we value enough in life. It is often ignored because the benefits of good hydration are noticed more in the long run and lot more subtly than, say, regular exercising. In this blog post, we talk about what you may be doing wrong when it comes to water.
Mistake #1: Drinking too little
A recent study found that about 25 percent of people do not drink enough water, with around 10 percent drinking less than half the required amount. A healthy female adult needs at least 2.4 L of water, and a male adult needs around 3 L. This affects a lot of the physiological processes in your body, like blood flow, cognition, regulation of body temperature, waste removal etc. Even losing 1-2% of water from body due to dehydration spells catastrophe for your health. So drink enough water. You have probably heard this enough (from us and elsewhere) but this is one of the most important health habits you will need.
Mistake #2: Drinking too fast
You cannot drink the entire amount of water you need in two or three (very) large gulps. This may be tempting, since it is indeed hard to break for water when concentrating on a difficult piece of assignment at work. But we recommend you sip your water slowly and steadily throughout your day. Drinking too much water in one go may give you a headache. Also it may disturb your sodium balance if you haven’t eaten enough salt that day.
Mistake #3: Too many sugary beverages
Another temptation is to drink most of your water in fizzy drinks or sugary juices. One serving of a fizzy drink (300 ml) these days has 13 (thirteen!) teaspoons of sugar. This is a devil’s bargain. A human body does not need that much sugar (unless the said human body is running a marathon or crossing the English Channel). Some say the human body does not need added sugar at all. Drink your water as water, without a lot of extraneous additions. They don’t help in any way and, much too often, hinder your health.
Mistake #4: Not drinking water before a workout
Sipping on water regularly during your workout is not enough. If you haven’t hydrated before time, you may be prone to headaches. You should aim to drink at least eight ounces of water about half an hour before you exercise. Drinking too close to the workout session may give you the dreaded abdominal stitches, or make your stomach feel heavy.
Mistake #5: Confusing the Need for Water with the Need for Food
Drink before you eat to make sure your hunger pangs are actually, well, hunger pangs. Many people confuse the need for water with the need for food. Eat meals and snacks as you normally would—but also getting into the habit of drinking plenty of water with them. Also set a bottle of water on your nightstand, and take a drink first thing in the morning. This too will set the tone for your day.