Are we drinking enough water?
Many people who have been to an Osteopath may have been told to “keep hydrated/drink water” at the conclusion of the treatment. For many, it’s a very simple piece of advice, however why is it so important?
Well, water forms on average 60% of the human body. Water lubricates joints, aids digestion, regulates body temperature through sweating, and assists in the elimination of by-products through urination. Water is found in bones, muscles, joints, organs and importantly the brain, and as such can impact on everything from concentration to headaches to posture and joint/muscle pain.
Each day on average, the human body loses between 2-3 litres of water, through multiple means, mainly sweating, urination and faecal excretion. Factors that increase water loss can include increased physical activity, exposure to warm/hot temperature, or conditions involving vomiting or diarrhoea.
It is recommended that the daily intake of water to help maintain fluid levels are:
- Adult Males: 2.5L (10 glasses)
- Adult Females: 2L (8 glasses)
- Children 1-18 years old: between 1-2L, increasing intake with age (4-8 glasses)
- Pregnant and Breastfeeding Females: 2L + 750-1000mL additional.
The above seems simple and a task everyone should be able to achieve. However, water as we know doesn’t have a significant taste, and as such some people find it hard to meet the recommended intake. And for many it seems easier to consume sugar/caffeinated drinks, which are commonly substituted for water.
So how can we increase water intake without making it feel like a chore?
Here are 5 helpful tips:
- If you’re looking for more flavour: add a squeeze of a fresh lemon, lime or orange to your water.
- Keep a water bottle at your workplace or in your bag: no excuse not to have regular fluids if the water is sitting right in front of you.
- At each meal, drink a glass of water: This provides regular fluid intake, and helps form a routine to help stay hydrated.
- Consume fluids before you are thirsty: by the time you are thirsty, your body is most likely dehydrated already. By consuming fluid regularly, you can prevent the body from becoming dehydrated.
- Eat your water: Water is also obtained by the foods you eat. If drinking 2L of water seems unrealistic then maybe add certain foods into your diet with higher water content such as watermelon, cantaloupe, celery, tomatoes, lettuce or soups.