Water makes up a large part of our bodies. The brain is about 75% water! So it is important to keep hydrated. A lot of us find it difficult to drink enough water daily, so we'll talk about another way to help you maintain hydration and reap additional benefits.
Why is Water Important?
It is said that the secret to clear skin and a stress free life is to "drink water and mind your business". Well, while I can't totally verify that, I do know that water helps to maintain a healthy balance in our bodies.
To be brief, water flushes toxins from the body, helps maintain a healthy brain, delivers nutrients to all systems in the body, regulates body temperature and prevents over-eating by making you feel a lot more satisfied after a meal.
Humans can survive weeks without food but only days (maybe even hours) without water.
Daily Hydration Requirements
Contrary to popular belief, there is no set amount for how much water you should drink daily; it varies. My general rule of thumb is to drink enough water such that your urine is always clear. This is a good sign that your kidneys are finding it easy to remove toxins from your body, as they are diluted in water.
My rule of thumb may seem ambiguous, so here are some recommendations for water intake from The National Academies of Medicine:
1. For women, 2.7 litres (11 cups) a day is generally enough
2. For men, 3.7 litres (16 cups) a day is generally enough
Water intake should be individualized. It is highly dependent on your lifestyle and surroundings, i.e. active level, weather, foods eaten (sodium intake) and so on. This is where my rule of thumb comes in. Use the recommendations as a guide and adjust to what your body tells you.
Not everyone is enthusiastic about drinking water. So how can we satisfy our body's daily hydration needs?
Surely we can agree that fruits and vegetables are quite tasty...
Okay, so maybe we can't agree on that, but they do come with important benefits. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of Vitamin C, fibre and other essential nutrients, they contain antioxidants that help build the body's immune system and most have a HIGH WATER CONTENT! This is amazing!
If you struggle with drinking enough water, you don't have to force it. You can switch it up. Below are some fruits and vegetables with the highest water content:
- Watermelon (96%) ~ i.e. 96% of the weight of watermelon comes from the water it holds
- Cucumber (95%)
- Pineapple (95%)
- Tomatoes (94%)
- Strawberries (91%)
- Cantaloupe (90%)
- Orange (88%)
These are pretty common foods, which make it easy to include them in your diet. Eat them or make a smoothie... the choice is yours!
"(don't) Stay thirsty my friends" ~ Most Interesting Man in the World
1. Elliot, B., "19 Water-Rich Foods that Help you Stay Hydrated". Healthline, 2017.
2. LaMotte, S., "Benefits of Water: Are you Getting Enough Fluids to Stay Healthy?". CNN Parallels, 2017.
3. The National Academies of Medicine. "Dietary Reference Intakes". 2004.
4. Godman, H., "How Much Water Should you Drink?". Harvard Health Publishing, 2018.