The common belief is that you must drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water daily to stay healthy. In fact, health magazines or websites all seem to promote this thought. As a matter of fact, this age-old suggestion to drink eight glasses of water a day was simply a guideline and not based on any scientific evidence. We see many people carrying around bottled water, and, where pop was once a staple in everyone’s diet, water has now superseded soda or pop, even Gatorade, which many use to replenish fluids and electrolytes that are lost during intense exercise sessions.
It is important to note that, even though water is essential to keep you healthy, the water needs of individuals varies. Your individual water intake depends on a variety of factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live. Thus there is no magic formula or a one-size-fits-all recommendation for everyone, other than each person should know how to recognize when their body needs fluids and thus gauge how much water to drink each day.
So, while you may not need to drink until you feel like you are sloshing around with liquid inside your body, you should continue to drink water, or any liquid like milk or juice, as fluids are indeed essential to your good health. It is important to replenish all liquids that you continually lose during the course of the day through skin evaporation, breathing, digestion, absorption and the circulation and creation of saliva – these losses must be replaced daily to maintain good health. If your daily water intake does not equal your output, you will quickly become dehydrated. Take the instance of having the flu – your body fluids sometimes cannot be replenished quickly enough and severe dehydration often occurs. Additionally, the loss of fluid is accentuated in warmer climates, in high altitudes and during strenuous exercise. Sometimes, older adults must be reminded to drink a lot of weather as their sense of thirst may not be as acute as a younger person’s. Water is necessary to create transportation of nutrients and maintenance of body temperature.
You should drink water at regular intervals throughout the day, and not wait until you are thirsty to do so. The process for your brain to signal you to drink water is complicated and goes as follows: your brain communicates with your kidneys via your posterior pituitary gland and tells it how much water to excrete as urine, or hold onto for reserves. If you are low on fluids, your brain triggers the body’s thirst mechanism. Pay attention to this cue and reach for liquid to quench that thirst as soon as possible. That liquid does not necessarily need to be water – juice, milk, even coffee is acceptable, but not alcohol because it interferes with the brain and kidney communication process, and causes excess excretion of fluids which in turn will lead to dehydration.
As discussed above, water is beneficial to keep your body humming. What other benefits are achieved by drinking water?
Whatever you do, and wherever you go, heed these top health tips about the health benefits of water and drink more H20 every day for a healthier and more-vibrant you.