In my last blog on “Are you drinking enough water to stay hydrated?” I spoke about why our body needs the crucial nutrient – water and why it is important to keep ourselves hydrated. Afterwards, many of you approached me with similar questions. Hence, here I come up with another blog on tips on ways to drink water to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. This blog would answer the FAQs from the readers.
In my busy routine of back-to-back diet counselling sessions, I often used to forget about drinking water. By afternoon, I felt dryness in my mouth, sluggishness, low energy and a drop in concentration levels. All these were early signs of dehydration. Many a times you miss out on these signs, and the best way to check if you are well hydrated, is to check your urine colour. Consistently colorless or pale yellow urine suggests optimal hydration, while darker yellow urine suggests dehydration. My problem areas were: my water bottle was not kept ready on time by the help at work, and me not getting time to fill the water bottle amidst the counselling sessions and e-consults. So I planned out a 21 days water goal to overcome this issue, and reminded myself that “wherever I go, my filled water bottle will follow”. Every morning, before stepping out of the house I made sure that I carried my water bottle for 21 days and kept it handy at my work desk and used to refill during the lunch break. By the end of these 21 days, I developed a habit of drinking water more regularly to stay hydrated!
I tried to jot down some tips which could come handy to meet your water goals.
- About 2-3 litres (12-15 glasses) of drinking water per day for a healthy individual. (If you have any medical conditions such as kidney failure, acute and chronic kidney disease, liver failure and heart issues there would be some restrictions on water intake allowance, which you can check with your nutritionist / dietitian).
- Divide the water intake throughout the day instead of drinking 1 bottle at one shot, as mentioned in my last blog. Begin and end your day with a glass of water, in fact have a glass of water at every hour of the day. This would ensure you are well hydrated throughout the day, with reduced frequency of washroom visits which could be seen when you gulp down large amounts of water at once.
- Stay hydrated while you exercise, because physical activity demands higher water requirements. Make sure that you drink water before, during and after your workout.
- Don’t get confused between thirst versus hunger. When you feel hungry, first drink water, as thirst could mask the hunger. However, actual hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water.
- If you don’t like the taste of plain water; you can add lemon or orange slice to it.
- You can carry a reusable water bottle so that it could be re-filled with water once it’s empty and help you keep a count of the litres of water intake.
- To drink or store water use copper or glass or steel bottles or utensils, or earthen pots or BPA(bisphenol A) free material. Avoid plastic glasses and bottles, as it contains BPA which is harmful for human health and is linked to cancer and fertility issues.
- Drinking water also helps to control portion sizes of beverages and food intake.
- Summers and hot climates definitely calls for higher water needs in order to replenish the water losses via sweating for cooling down the body temperature.
- Choose filtered water to drink and avoid water from any unknown source, to prevent infections and water-borne diseases due to contaminated water.
Stay well hydrated to stay healthy and fit!
Dr. Monal Velangi