With winter having arrived you may be feeling like things are a bit on the drier side. Your skin may be a bit drier. your mouth may feel a bit pasty.
Water is the most important nutrient and is the most important factor in human life after air. Humans can live for weeks without food but can only live a day without water.
With the colder, drier air comes the need to be drinking more water. But, how much water should you be drinking, and why?
Health benefits of water
Water has many functions: Hydration, transportation of water-soluble vitamins, body temperature regulation, lubrication of joints and organs, and is a solvent that dissolves substances into our bloodstreams.
Our bodies are constantly losing water throughout the day. Bodily functions like urinating and sweating play a big role in this, but you also lose water through functions like breathing. It's important to be hydrating often throughout the day to make sure you're body is functioning with ease.
The benefits of water are vast and include improving your memory and mood, improves exercise performance, reduces headaches and migraines, reduces sugar cravings and can help with weight management, prevents constipation, prevents kidney stones, and helps to reduce your risk of bladder infections.
All good reasons to up your water intake, but the other question is...
How much water should you drink?
There are different opinions on how much water you should be drinking per day. The golden rule for the longest time has been 8x 8 ounce glasses of water per day. Others say you should be sipping water constantly throughout the day, even when you're not thirsty.
It depends entirely on you. If you're an active person you're going to need more than 8 glasses of water per day. You're also going to need more if you have a manual labour job, or if you live or work in a hot climate. Pregnant or breastfeeding mom's will also need to take in a lot more water.
The easiest “rule” to find the amount is to drink half or one ounce of water per pound of body weight. You will need more if you’re working out or live in a hot climate. Try to pay attention to your body as well. Is your mouth dry? Is your urine dark yellow? There will be a lot of signs from your body telling you you need to drink more water.
Water in your diet
There are other ways to get water than filling your glass from the tap or drinking from a water fountain. You can also get water through:
-Foods with high water contents (lettuce, watermelon, broccoli…)
-Semi-nutritious drinks like tea, coffee, and fresh-squeezed juice.
-Non-nutritious drinks like soda or alcohol (these should be reduced or eliminated).
Dehydration can also cause hunger. Make sure to stay hydrated if you are worried about overeating.
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