How to manage water intake | Ask an Expert

How to manage water intake
How to manage water intake

How to manage your daily water intake during office hours?: Water is essential for our health and we all are aware of it too. Water helps in many bodily functions such as digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature making it one of the most important nutrients required by our body.

Still, do we really put in the efforts to fulfill our daily water needs?

The average adult human body is 50-65% water, averaging around 57-60%. The percentage of water in infants is much higher, typically around 75-78% water, dropping to 65% by one year of age. Body composition varies according to gender and fitness level because fatty tissue contains less water than lean tissue. 20% of water intake happens through food like juices, milk etc and rest is drinking water.

What is recommended water intake guidelines?

AI (Adequate Intake) for men is 3 litres a day and women is 2.2 litres. But this recommendation may vary depending on weather conditions in a particular area (like humidity levels, high temperatures round the year or very cold) and the activity levels of a person.

In a place like India, we cater to every type of condition from scorching summer heat, to winter chills and high humid conditions too. So, I recommend to keep water intake around 5-6 liters a day if you exercise daily or involve yourself in some kind of physical activity.

Effects of dehydration

When your water intake does not equal your output, you can become dehydrated. And it can lead to following side-effects on body:

  • Just 2% dehydration can lead to reduced endurance, increased fatigue, reduced motivation and effort by 20%.
  • Adequate water intake can help you in regulating temperature through sweating and respiration.
  • Dehydration can lead to low concentration levels and alertness during active hours.
  • You may experience dry mouth, headache, dry skin.
  • And other bodily functions may get disturbed due to low water intake which may lead to complex health problems in long run.

There is lot more to this and list is endless, so, better to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.

Tips to manage your daily water intake

1.) Marked water bottle or flask – You can buy a 1 liter marking water bottle and aim to finish it 5-6 times a day. No rocket science, it just makes your life easy and it’s easy to keep a track of your water intake that ways. A popular say of drinking 12 glasses of water a day may not be the right technique, as glasses vary in sizes and volume. Whether a glass of water had 250 ml or 400 ml of water, it’s hard to measure like that, unless and until you pour down the glass of water in measuring cups every time and then drink. That’s not feasible too. So, buying a 500 ml or 1 liter water bottle may help. Water bottle also helps in case you have a field job or have to travel a lot.

2.) Water intake reminder apps – There are certain apps floating in market these which keep an eye on your water intake and give you reminders to drink water at particular times. You can easily find it on playstore.

3.) Drink water after every bathroom break – Easy to follow, you just need to make a habit of drinking water with one of the most common activity i.e. going to the bathroom. Also, it will help you to stay hydrated and increase your water intake.

4.) Eat water rich foods – Many citrus fruits like oranges, grapes, mosambi etc. contains decent amount of water. Also, watery fruits like watermelon may help too. You can also opt for fresh juices, lemon water, coconut water etc. to fulfill your water needs. But remember not to get dependent only on this method as nothing can actually replace plain water. Though these food items help but they only meet 20% of daily water intake, 80% still have to be met.

Stay hydrated, stay healthy!

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About the Author : Lucky Gaur is an INFS Certified Fitness and Nutrition Consultant and a Diploma holder  in Naturopathy & Yogic Science, All India Nature Cure Federation. The views expressed in the article are his personal. 

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