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Why water should be your drink of choice

Publishing Date : 02 February, 2015

Author :

DR BOIMA
HEALTH ISSUES

Water might not have taste or colour or price tag to it but it surely has benefits in the body that surpass those of any other drink. Our bodies are made up of at least 60% of water so we need to constantly replenish this store as we continue losing water in the form of sweat, urine, faeces, breathing and other bodily fluids. The human body is engineered in such a way that it cannot survive without water for a few days whereas with other nutrients  it can take up to weeks or even months.


At least 2-3L of water per day is optimal for an adult’s body to function to its full capacity.  Some of the medically proved benefits of water are listed below;


Ease dehydration – Humans lose a lot of water through physical exertion, gastrointestinal losses (diarrhoea etc) and excessive sweats that they might end up having water deficit in their bodies. This is called dehydration. Signs and symptoms of dehydration are fatigue, tension headache,  dizziness, dry cracking skin, low blood pressure to mention a few. Keeping hydrated will prevent these symptoms from occurring or relieve them if they are already there.


Blood pressure regulation – water helps keep blood pressure in a healthy range. This will ensure the brain gets adequate blood supply (and oxygen) and reduce feelings of faintness etc.


As pain reliever – water especially if it is warm is considered a home remedy for aches and pains in the body like in period pains and headaches. The heat from warm water increases blood flow to the affected area and offers a calming and soothing effect on the abdominal muscles.


Temperature regulation – If the body heats up maybe due to exercise or during a hot day, the body (sweat glands) produces sweat that will give it a cooling effect when it evaporates off from the skin.


Skin – Skin is such an organ that benefits most from drinking lots of water. Water is believed to improve capillary blood flow and the elasticity of the skin leaving it with a long-term smooth colourful touch.


Digestive – water is required for digestion and absorption of nutrients. Poor hydration usually leads to constipation and bloating. So to move the bowel motions regularly one needs to be having adequate water intake.


Excretion – water is a good detoxifier. It helps get rid of all the body toxins. Kidneys are responsible for this function and urine production through a special filtration process. Efforts not to drink water usually lead to concentrated urine with subsequent urinary tract infections due to stasis of urine.


Dental Halitosis or bad breath is one of the signs of a dry mouth. The role of water is to produce saliva that lubricates the mouth and washes away food particles and germs. Having sufficient water especially after a meal is vital as it removes bacteria and food debris stuck between teeth and dilutes the smell that the oral bacteria make.


Pregnancy and breast-feeding – Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional water to stay hydrated and promote lactation. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.3 L) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 L) of fluids a day.


Weight loss – hooray! Water does not contain even a single calorie. It is a good replacement drink for high-calorie drinks like alcohol, latte, fizzy drinks. So for weight watchers it is a drink of choice to fill up with during meals. Studies have found out that drinking 2 glasses of water before meals help suppress appetite and hence support the weight loss efforts.


TIP – If water starts becoming boring or distasteful, one may squeeze in lemon, ginger, garlic or anything that may make it worth drinking.

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