Benefits of drinking enough water

It is said that ‘water is life’, and health experts explain that the body is about 70 per cent water, which indicates that drinking enough water is essential for good health. 

Doctors say that water plays many roles in the body, for instance, maintaining electrolyte balance and blood pressure, lubricating joints, regulating body temperature, promoting cell health, weight loss, managing diabetes, essential in pregnancy and also keeps the teeth, skin and gums healthy and so forth. 

 

Although most people know that staying hydrated should be everyone’s responsibility, sometimes it might be hard to drink water. 

 

Guideline to drinking more water 

 

Scientists advise that one should understand their body’s fluid needs before they even drink water. 

Emmy Ntamanga, a Kigali-based nutrition consultant, says that due to busy schedules, some people may not be able to drink enough water. However, to those that find water tasteless and not appetising to drink, adding flavours like lemon, or oranges creates better taste for easy drinking. 

Currently, life is simplified as there are smartphones water apps like “Water Logged” that assist in tracking how much water one has consumed throughout the day, and send a reminder to keep drinking water. 

Ntamanga says that sometimes people fail to hydrate because they don’t have water to drink, which is why he advises having a water bottle as it will encourage one to always refill it and drink. 

He also urges hydrating while exercising to avoid increased risk of blood clots, as one’s blood will thicken and their blood vessels will become narrower. Also, while exercising, one loses water through sweat and that’s why they get thirsty. 

Health professionals recommend drinking eight cups or two litres of water a day. They note that the right water consumption should not be based on how much water one can drink a day, as this varies with body weight, size, activity levels, and climate.

However, Harvard research notes that depending on one’s lifestyle, size and other contributing factors, drinking four to six glasses of water is good. 

The nutrition consultant further explains that water can also be found in fruits with high water content, for example, watermelon cucumber and others.  

According to Healthline, setting a daily water intake goal can pay off as it is motivating and makes one more likely to make positive changes that last. To be effective, the goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound (SMART).

Healthline warns against consuming drinks that are full of added sugars as they could be detrimental to one’s health. They advise limiting added sugar intake to less than five per cent of one’s calorie intake. Just one 8-ounce (240 ml) cup of soda per day can exceed this limit.

Diets high in added sugars have been linked to obesity and other conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Therefore, replacing these sugary drinks with water is an easy and cheap way to cut calories, while helping to lose weight.

Researchers advise consuming fluids before one gets thirsty so that by the time they are thirsty, their body is already dehydrated. For instance, a person can use the colour of their urine as an indicator to know if they are drinking enough. Urine should be a pale yellow colour. In case one notices a darker yellow, they may need to increase their fluid intake.

“Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and sodas increase the excretion of water from the body rather than hydrating, they should be substituted to decaffeinated beverage intake throughout the day,” Ntamanga says. 

For thick juice, he urges diluting it with water but explains that leafy greens are also a great source of water yet they contain vitamins and nutrients. 

Milk, juice, tea and sparkling water assist in at least helping in staying hydrated, he adds.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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