They say “water is life” and a lot of experts have told us to drink about eight (8) glasses of water a day. For those who are able to do this and drink even more, big ups to you. However, if you are in any way like me, then you would agree that drinking eight glasses of water a day is not a walk in the park; there are times I go the whole day without drinking up to two glasses of water. I think it is usually just about two; half a glass somewhere in the morning, one glass at lunch and then another half before I go to bed, presto!
I was quite content about my water intake until some recurrent headache landed me in the hospital. The doctor asked, “How often do you drink water?” The answer sent me home with a few drugs and a daunting task of having to drinking at least two litres of water a day. I have been copiously doing this for a month and guess what? I am still trying to figure out at what point exactly the headache stopped because, indeed, it has stopped.
A friend also tells me how her skin cleared from rashes after she decided to take the “Drink Water Challenge” (as I term it) for a few weeks.
People usually make pretty lofty goals for fitness, health, and weight loss, most of which they give up within a few weeks. Drinking more water is one of the best things you can do for your health for so many reasons. If that is not enough to convince you, let us consider a few of the other benefits of making water drinking your new favorite habit, shall we?
Hydration – Think of water as nutrients you need. The heat these days is fraught with dehydration, but usually, and for those sitting in the office, we are not as easily reminded that we are thirsty. However, since water makes up approximately 60 percent of your body, it is no wonder your cells need it to function their best, and by the time they communicate this to you via chapped lips, your cells are already suffering. Do not punish your cells – it is not their fault!
Clears Skin – Do you remember the friend who had the skin issue? Here is the reason. Certain toxins in the body can cause the skin to inflame, which results in clogged pores and acne. While science’s statement that water makes the skin wrinkle free is contradictory, water does flush out these toxins and can reduce the risk of pimples.
Improves Energy Levels and Brain Function – Your brain is strongly influenced by your body’s hydration status. Studies show that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function. In a study of young women, fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration, and increased the frequency of headaches. Another similar study, this time in young men, showed that fluid loss of 1.59% was detrimental to working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue.
Though these are but a few benefits, one question still remains, How much fluid does the average, healthy adult need?
Every day, you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.
What about the advice to drink 8 glasses a day?
Everyone has heard the advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” That is about 1.9 liters, which is not that different from the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations.
So the “Drink Water Challenge” is still on. To make it easier for me, I have bought a bottle that can take up to about two litres of water. This way, I do not have to keep getting up from my desk to go get water.
There is one caution though, you will surely get up to use the rest room. Let us hear your success stories on the “Drink Water Challenge”.
By: Revina Acheampong