Fluid intake is achieved through the food we eat and the beverages we drink. On average, we get about 1 litre water through the food we eat, this number varies from the food selections. For e.g., fruits and vegetables in the raw form have the highest percentage of water, carbohydrates like cooked whole grains and lentils have a fair amount and foods high in fat have a very low water content like nuts and seeds. It is imperative to be well hydrated throughout the day considering the negative effects of dehydration and positive effects of drinking water.
– Fluid intake for men 3.7 litres
– fluid intake for women 2.7 litres
And this increases with physically activity and weather conditions
Benefits of drinking water:
1. Hydration has a major effect on energy levels. Good hydration is a key factor to help improve blood circulation and energy levels and maintain good health.
2. Helps to strengthen our immune system defenses and build better resistance to stress and infections.
3. Water is required for good digestion and prevention of constipation aiding gut health and thus reducing the chances of acne.
4. Having anti-aging and anti-catabolic effect, water helps preserve tissues and reduce muscle loss and prevents sagging of skin and wrinkles.
5. Helps in getting rid of water retention and helps one look leaner.
6. Drinking sufficient water helps in weight loss!
– Helps maintain higher LBM (lean body mass) by supporting the structure of the body’s lean tissues, muscles.
– Improves blood circulation and delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and all body cells.
– Ensures better energy levels, increase in exercise performance and aids fat loss.
– Helps maintain body temperature during exercise to help muscle contraction and physical activity.
– Helps with stronger immunity, better compliance to exercise and nutrition plan leading to faster and better fat loss results.
– Helps maintain good health parameters and helps in disease prevention/ management and protection from secondary complications. Therefore, good hydration is crucial for persons with medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high Bp, high uric acid and arthritis.
– Helps in faster recovery of muscles post exercise.
– Supports optimal brain function due to oxygen and glucose supply to the brain.
Tips to incorporate fluid intake on daily basis:
1. Start the day with unsweetened lime water/ apple cider vinegar in luke warm water
2. Breakfast: Can add diluted vegetable juice
3. Mid-morning: Coconut water / unsweetened lime water
4. 15 mins prior lunch: Sip on fennel water
5. Lunch can add buttermilk
6. Post lunch: Cinnamon water
7. Unsweetened lime water in the evening
8. Pre-dinner: Fennel water/ apple cider vinegar in luke warm water
9. Dinner: Add buttermilk
10. Post dinner: Cinnamon water/ chamomile tea
-Sip on plain water, water infused with mint or fruit pcs throughout the day.
-Consume protein shakes, electoral or sports drink as per requirement.
Not included in hydration: Tea, coffee, caffeine drink, energy drink, carbonated drinks, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, sweetened drinks like sherbet and milk.
Thirst is a late indicator of thirst. Hence it is imperative to drink every 1-1.5 hours and until you feel thirsty. And interestingly a dehydrated body cannot burn fat, gain muscle or reach its highest potential or performance!
(The writer is a Nutritionist & Lifestyle Educator)